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September 2009 Mayo Clinic Health Letter Highlights Snoring, Kidney Stones and Vitamin D
Date:9/16/2009

ways to reduce the risk of a repeat.

Kidney stones are made up of crystal-forming minerals in the urine. Normal urine contains substances that inhibit crystal formation. However, if urine is too concentrated or if the crystal-preventing compounds aren't working properly, crystals may gradually accumulate and grow to form one or more kidney stones.

Most kidney stones pass naturally through the ureters (tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder), through the bladder and then out in the urine. Passing a kidney stone may take hours or weeks. Most often, the process takes seven to 14 days. Small stones may not be a big bother. Larger ones can cause extreme pain, typically on the side and the back, just below the rib cage and radiating to the lower abdomen and groin. There are a variety of treatment options, from pain management to surgical removal of the stone.

Once the stone has passed, the focus switches to prevention. Prevention strategies depend somewhat on the composition of kidney stones. About 70 percent are formed primarily of calcium oxalate. Others are formed mainly from calcium phosphate, uric acid or struvite stones. Recommendations for prevention of kidney stones in most people may include:

Drink enough fluid: Drinking at least 12 cups of fluid -- preferably water -- a day is the most basic way to prevent kidney stones. The fluid dilutes the urine and decreases the risk of crystal formation.

Limit meat intake: Consuming more than 6 to 8 ounces of meat daily can increase calcium and uric acid in the urine, increasing the acidity of urine and reducing the chemicals that inhibit crystal formation.

Get adequate calcium: Meeting daily calcium intake recommendations based on age reduces the risk of kidney stone development, probably because calcium binds to oxalate in the gut, reducing oxalate levels in the urine.

Avoid excess vitam
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SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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