By Dr. Mercola
If you’ve ever suffered with a kidney stone, the pain is something you will likely not forget… and certainly want to avoid in the future. Kidney stones can cause excruciating pain in your sides and back that may spread through your lower abdomen and groin.
The pain sometimes comes in waves and, generally, the larger the stone, the more pain and symptoms it will cause. While most kidney stones pass on their own without causing damage, more than half a million people go to US emergency rooms each year due to kidney stones.1
Today, with rates continuing to rise, kidney stones will impact one in 10 US adults at some point during their lives2 — usually between the ages of 20 and 50.
Want to Prevent Kidney Stones? Drink More Water
The number one risk factor for kidney stones is not drinking enough water. If you aren’t drinking enough, your urine will have higher concentrations of waste produces, including substances that can form stones.
Specifically, stone-forming chemicals including calcium, oxalate, urate, cysteine, xanthine, and phosphate will have less chance to settle and bond in your kidneys and urinary tract if you’re urinating frequently.3
According to the results of a large meta-analysis, presented at a March 2015 National Kidney Foundation meeting in Dallas, Texas, people who produced 2 to 2.5 liters of urine daily were 50 percent less likely to develop kidneys stones than those who produced less.
It generally took drinking about eight to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water daily to produce that amount of urine. According to Kerry Willis, chief scientific officer at the National Kidney Foundation:4
“Kidney stones cause significant discomfort and cost, along with a potential to contribute to the development of kidney disease, so confirmation of reducing risk through improved hydration is
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