(RxWiki News) Kidney stones have been on the rise for the past 30 years, according to new research.
This new study, which was published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that kidney stone cases have been increasing steadily, especially in women.
"Symptomatic kidney stones are becoming more common in both men and women," said lead study author Dr. Andrew Rule, a Mayo Clinic researcher, in a press release. "This is due in part to the increased use of CT scans to diagnose kidney stones."
Dr. Rule went on to say that health care providers are now "... diagnosing symptomatic kidney stones that previously would have gone undiagnosed because they would not have been detected."
Kidney stones form in the kidneys and can cause discomfort and pain. They can be small, but large ones can become stuck in the urinary tract, blocking the flow of urine and causing intense pain.
In some cases, kidney stones will pass on their own. However, in other situations, medical treatment may be necessary. The following are signs of kidney stones that require a doctor's attention:
- Extreme pain in your back or side that will not go away
- Blood in your urine
- Fever and chills
- Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
- A burning feeling when you urinate
Some people are prone to developing kidney stones. You can follow a few recommendations to lower your chances of developing kidney stones:
- Drink plenty of liquids — mainly water. (Be sure to speak with your health care provider about how much liquid is safe for you to drink on a daily basis.)
- Limit your salt intake.
- Cut back on certain foods, such as those that contain animal proteins.
Ask your health care provider any questions you have about kidney stones.