• By Jeff Olsen

Mayo Clinic Minute: Avoiding kidney stones

September 4, 2019

About 1 in 10 Americans will have to deal with kidney stones in their lifetime.

The stones, which are mineral and salt deposits, happen for various reasons. However, one dietary issue is a common culprit.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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"Kidney stones — they form in your kidney itself," explains Dr. John Lieske, a Mayo Clinic nephrologist. "And at some point, they can break off of wherever they're attached in your kidney. And then that's usually when people get into trouble."

Dr. Lieske says that besides the intense pain associated with kidney stones, there's a chance for infection.

A diet high in protein and sodium can put you at an increased risk for the stones. But the biggest issue is lack of water.

"If you're not drinking enough water, which is part of your diet, your urine's going to be more concentrated," adds Dr. Lieske.

Concentrated urine allows small particles within it to stick together, increasing the chance for stones. So prevention can start at the tap.

"Being hydrated, that's a simple one," concludes Dr. Lieske.

To ward off stones, drink water every day. Adult men should aim for at least 3.7 liters. Adult women and older teens should get at least 2.7 liters.

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