Ask the Doctors: Jan. 14, 2011

Q: What causes kidney stones? Is there anything I can do to prevent them?

A: Kidney stones form when an unhealthy diet or certain diseases cause calcium salts or uric acid to become too concentrated in the urine. Sugary foods and beverages increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Salty and high-animal protein diets also boost your risk. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products can help prevent kidney stones. Most importantly, drinking more water dilutes the urine and makes all stones less likely. Preventing recurrent stones also reduces your risk of osteoporosis, hypertension and kidney damage.

Emory's Dr. Harold FranchHarold A. Franch, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Renal Division, Emory University School of Medicine
Director, Emory Kidney Stone Prevention Clinic

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