Stories tagged dehydration

Jul
15
2008

Getting stoned: Here's an array of shapes and sizes of kidney stones. Researchers say global warming will lead to an increase in the production of the little buggers in our bodies.
Getting stoned: Here's an array of shapes and sizes of kidney stones. Researchers say global warming will lead to an increase in the production of the little buggers in our bodies.Courtesy Trevor Blake
It’s going after polar bears and ice sheets. It’s threatening glaciers and coastal cities. Now, global warming has is setting it’s evil intentions against your kidneys.

That’s the conclusion a group of scientists announced yesterday. Increases in global temperatures could lead to an increase in kidney stones.

Having had more than my share of bouts with those pesky stones, that alone is scaring me straight to reduce my carbon footprint and do my part to reduce global climate change.

A kidney stone forms from salts that crystallize inside the kidney. That process speeds up when bodies become dehydrated. As the stones grow and move through the urinary tract, they can cause enormous (and I mean enormous) pain until it passes out through urination. The bigger the stone gets, the greater the discomfort. About 12 percent of men and seven percent of women in the U.S. will experience a bout of kidney stones in their life.

What the scientists announced this week is that warm states in the southeastern U.S. have a 50 percent higher rate of kidney stone cases than in the northeast.

Warm weather and dehydration are two factors that can accelerate kidney stone production, the researchers said. They’re seeing an unusually high rate of kidney stones among soldiers serving in the heat of Iraq.

On the flip side, drinking lots of water and staying cool can help reduce kidney stone risks, the scientists added. Kidney stone rates have been on the rise in the U.S. since 1976

So what do you think? Is there a connection between hot weather and kidney stones? Do you have a great kidney stone story to share? Ever see the Seinfeld episode where Kramer passes a kidney stone at the circus? Share your thoughts about kidney stones and/or global warming here with other Buzzers.