According to kidney.org, the number of people in the United States with kidney stones has been increasing over the past 30 years. In addition, one in 10 people will suffer a kidney stone sometime in their life.
Some kidney stones pass on their own; however, the danger from kidney stones is their unpredictability and damage potential. A stone lodged in one of the main urinary tracts can block urine flow and cause the kidney to shut down. If urine flow is partially blocked, bacteria can collect upstream, causing kidney infections that can be life-threatening. If the kidney is unable to empty into the bladder, it swells up and ruptures.
Symptoms can include blood in the urine, chills and fever, vomiting or nausea, severe pain on either side of the lower back, and/or urine that looks cloudy or smells putrid.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, the following are risk factors for kidney stones:
People between the ages of 20 and 50 is at high risk of kidney stones. White Americans are more prone to develop kidney stones than African Americans. Men are more likely to develop kidney stones than women. If a person has had one stone, he has a 50 percent chance of having another stone within five to seven years.
Children and Kidney Stones
Children as young as 5 can develop kidney stones. Not drinking enough water and eating foods high in salt are two main reasons why children get kidney stones.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, you can help prevent kidney stones by:
Drinking at least 12 full glasses of water daily Drinking ginger ale, lemon-lime sodas and fruit juices with or between meals Limiting consumption of coffee, tea and colas to two cups or less per day