Kidney Stones on the Rise
The number of people who have kidney stones has shot up by a whopping 70% over the previous two decades, as reported by Charles D. Scales, MD of the University of California Los Angeles based on preliminary analyses of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Older people proved more likely to have stones, with close to 20% of men 60 and up affected as well as nearly 10% of women over 60. Overweight and obese people were also at increased risk for stones.
MedPage Todayreported that Scales said a similar proportional increase occurred in the number of individuals who reported passing a kidney stone and that he added – presumably with a straight face – that a person "is unlikely to forget having passed a kidney stone."
The report did not speculate about the reason for the uptick, but the Mayo Clinic site lists various causes for the condition including dehydration, a high-protein diet, gout, high doses of vitamin D, metabolic disorders, and nuts and chocolate since they have high levels of a substance called oxalate.
If you or the man in your life ever have kidney stones, the good news is that permanent damage rare. In most cases, taking pain medication and drinking plenty of fluids is all that's needed to help you pass the stones. In severe cases, though, surgery is the best option.