House Calls

SPR 2019

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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h o u s e c a l l s { spring 2019 } 33 MINIMIZING YOUR RISK "Kidney stones don't discriminate," says Dr. Kubinski. "They're common among people with inflammatory bowel disease, people who are obese, and people with diabetes. At the same time, they're also quite common among those who have no other medical conditions and those who are very active." Kidney stones strike men more often than women—with one in eight men developing a stone in their lifetime compared to one in 20 women. Family history can play a role, as well. Some kidney stones (like those made up of cystine) tend to be genetic. And having a personal history of kidney stones may be the greatest risk factor of all for experiencing another. Some studies have shown that close to half of kidney stone patients have a recurrent stone within five years of their first. The good news? In many cases, kidney stones are preventable, says Dr. Kubinski. He offers a few lifestyle tweaks to help you avoid the painful experience: • Squeeze some citrus. "Citrate—a salt found in oranges, lemons, and grapefruit—is a very strong inhibitor of kidney stone formation," says Dr. Kubinski. Add citrus to your daily diet, he recommends. "Many people who suffer from stones have low urinary citrate as their primary risk factor." • Eat calcium-rich foods. While it may sound counterintuitive given calcium's role in the development of most kidney stones, eating foods naturally high in the mineral can help fend off stones by neutralizing dietary oxalate within the GI tract. Therefore, low calcium diets can actually increase stone risk. Dig into calcium- rich foods like broccoli, almonds, and yogurt, but skip calcium supplements as studies show they may actually increase your risk. • Opt for plant-based proteins. A number of studies have There's a well documented but complex relationship between kidney stones and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Research has shown that UTIs can both cause some kidney stones and be caused by them. UTI is an umbrella term applying to any infection of the urinary system, including both the bladder and urethra. Symptoms include a painful, burning sensation when urinating, cloudy or bad-smelling urine, the frequent feeling of having to urinate, and pressure or cramps in your lower belly or side. Antibiotics can often resolve UTIs, but complications—like a kidney infection (marked by sudden pain in your mid-back, fever, chills, and nausea)—can develop if left untreated, so visit your primary care doctor, a urologist, or your OB/GYN (women) if symptoms arise. KIDNEY STONES & UTIs shown that diets high in animal protein—beef, chicken, fish—are associated with an increased risk of kidney stone development, "which is why we see a lot of stones in active people with high protein diets," explains Dr. Kubinski. If you have a history of kidneys stones, your doctor may recommend that you limit consumption of meat in favor of plant-based protein sources, such as beans, lentils, and tofu. • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Above all, drink plenty of water. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends drinking half a gallon of water a day to stave off kidney stones, especially if you've had one before. "Staying well hydrated is the number one thing you can do to help ward off the condition," says Dr. Kubinski. "Staying well hydrated is the number one thing you can do to help ward off kidney stones." —DR. DENNIS KUBINSKI oxalate stones urate stones cystine stones phosphate stones

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