Are Southerners at a Higher Risk for Kidney Stones?

It’s estimated that 10 percent of Americans will develop a kidney stone in their life. But did you know that Southerners are at a higher risk of kidney stones? It’s true!

Studies have shown that Southerners are up to 50% more likely to develop kidney stones, a statistic that’s led to the region being nicknamed “The Stone Belt.” While it’s not entirely clear why the region is at a higher risk of kidney stones, there are a few factors that experts believe are increasing the rate of the disorder.

Kidney stones are chemical buildups in a person’s kidneys which form “stones.” Stones may remain in the kidney or fragment and travel through the urinary tract. The latter is a painful experience, likened to a stabbing feeling in the groin or lower back.

The south’s high temperatures and long exposure to sunlight both add to an individual’s risk of kidney stones, emphasized even further by underconsumption of water. The Stone Belt’s diet is also largely to blame for the painful issues many residents face. Foods found in a Southern diet, such as iced tea, okra and spinach are high in oxalates, a compound that contributes to kidney stone formation. By overconsuming these foods, and others, Southerners put themselves at a greater risk of kidney stones.

Age also plays a major role in a person’s risk factor, with 40-50 year olds having the most prevalence of kidney stones. Caucasians are five times more likely to develop the painful disorder than African Americans, and it’s important to note that men are more susceptible to kidney stones than women. A family history of kidney stones and obesity have also been linked to the disorder.

The main factor in kidney stone formation is dehydration. This is relative-you can’t simply compare how much you drink to others to know you are well hydrated. The simplest way to be sure you are well hydrated is to watch the color of your urine. The clearer, the more hydrated, the better.

Kidney stone development can be largely prevented by altering your diet and making healthier lifestyle choices. It’s recommended that you:

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight
  • Monitor/Reduce Sodium and Animal Protein Consumption
  • Drink More Water/Citrus Beverages

Suffering from kidney stones? Trust the expert urologists and lifechanging, advanced treatment at Arkansas Urology to bring you the relief you deserve.

Contact us today or book your appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Call Our Kidney Stone Hotline at 1-844-NOSTONE

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