kidney stone preventionThe west coast has movie stars, the north has coney dogs, the east has the smoky mountains, and the south… has kidney stones! If kidney stones were diamonds, we’d have mansions on every corner.  I’ve heard it said before, “the ‘Bible Belt’ is the ‘stone making belt’.” With that said, the south offers the perfect environment for kidney stone production. With the rise in temperature and humidity, the incidence of kidney stone cases usually rise by 40% during summer. Most kidney stones are caused due to dehydration, which too increases because of where we live in sunny Florida. Dehydration happens when we lose more water through sweating but fail to drink enough water to make up the lost volume. The water loss due to dehydration is a catalyst for higher urine concentrations, therefore, increasing the risk of kidney stone formation. If you have ever made a kidney stone, your biggest question is, “what do I have to do to not make another one?”  Kidney stones can be prevented.  It is important to know what type of stone you produce and to obtain a 24 hour urine collection and metabolic panel.  With this information, we can identify possible causes of your stones and formulate a prevention plan. Fluid volume at the top of the list.  Three liters a day of fluid intake is recommended in order to urinate two and a half liters a day.  This does not have to be water!  Actually, the best fluids to consume while preventing stones is lemonade or orange juice; the citrates are preventive for almost every type of stone. A conscious effort of eliminating tea and caffeine is also very important as these work as diuretics and tend to dehydrate. So, lets recap. Hydration is the number one instruction for you to help prevent kidney stones! But know that once you have had a stone, you’re at a greater risk for developing another stone in the future.  After your treatment, it’s up to you to make some lifestyle changes to help keep new stones from forming.