Summer brings sunshine and fun, but it also increases your risk of developing kidney stones. Dehydration from the heat can lead to the formation of these painful little crystals. At Jovive Urgent Care, we want to help you stay healthy and pain-free. Learn what kidney stones are, what causes them, how to prevent them, and what to do if you think you have one. 

What Are Kidney Stones? 

Kidney stones are hard, pebble-like masses of minerals and salts that form in the kidneys. They can vary in size from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a pearl. No matter the size, they can cause extreme pain and discomfort. Other names for kidney stones include calculi, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis. 

What Causes Kidney Stones? 

Several factors can contribute to the development of kidney stones, including: 

  • Diet: High intake of sodium, sugar, and protein. 
  • Excess Body Weight: Obesity increases the risk. 
  • Medical Conditions: Conditions like hyperparathyroidism. 
  • Certain Supplements and Medications: Overuse of vitamin D and certain diuretics. 

Symptoms of Kidney Stones 

Kidney stones are not usually painful until they start to pass or move around in the kidney. Common symptoms include: 

  • Sharp pain in the side or back 
  • Pain in the abdomen and groin 
  • Pain or burning while urinating 
  • Pink, red, or brown urine 
  • Foul-smelling urine 
  • Persistent need to urinate 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Fever and chills 

How to Prevent Kidney Stones 

Preventing kidney stones involves making simple lifestyle changes: 

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps your body prevent the formation of kidney stones. Dehydration leads to less fluid to dissolve salts and other materials that form kidney stones. 
  • Watch Your Sodium Intake: Too much sodium can prevent calcium from being reabsorbed by your kidneys into your bloodstream. This lowers the risk of kidney stones. Avoid processed foods, canned soups, vegetables, lunch meats, and foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG). 
  • Limit Foods with Oxalate: Foods high in oxalate can contribute to kidney stones. Limit intake of coffee, spinach, chocolate, sweet potatoes, soy products, and peanuts. 
  • Reduce Animal Protein: Eating less animal protein like beef and pork can reduce the risk of kidney stones. 

What to Do if You Suspect a Kidney Stone 

If you are worried you may be suffering from a kidney stone, seek medical attention, especially if: 

  • The pain is so severe that you cannot sit or find a comfortable position 
  • You are experiencing nausea or vomiting 
  • You notice blood in your urine 
  • You have difficulty urinating 
  • You have a fever or chills 

 Don’t let kidney stones disrupt your summer fun. Stay hydrated, eat well, and trust Jovive Urgent Care to keep you healthy and comfortable. Contact us today for expert care and relief from kidney stone pain.