Summer is a time for fun and relaxation for most, but can be a painful time for others. Doctors have seen sharp increases, sometimes a rise of as much as 30 percent, in patients who develop kidney stones, during the warm summer months.

Summer is a time for fun and relaxation for most, but can be a painful time for others. Doctors have seen sharp increases, sometimes a rise of as much as 30 percent, in patients who develop kidney stones, during the warm summer months.

The most common reason kidney stones develop is dehydration.

“As the temperature rises, we sweat more and without proper hydration, the body’s fluids become more concentrated with dietary minerals, such as calcium.” explains Dr. Cockrell, Urologist with Hannibal Regional Medical Group.  “This increases the risk that the minerals will concentrate into stones.”

It’s also important to know that even forming a stone just once increases your risk by 50 percent of forming additional kidney stones.

“The easiest way, particularly in the summer, to prevent kidney stones is to drink plenty of fluids,” said Cockrell. “An easy way to determine if you are drinking enough fluid is to pay attention to how often you are using the restroom. If you aren’t using the restroom every couple of hours, you aren’t drinking enough.”

If you experience any symptoms of kidney stones - extreme, sharp pain in the back or side that will not go away, blood in the urine, nausea and vomiting, cloudy or odorous urine, frequent urination, a burning feeling when you urinate, fever and chills - you NEED to see a doctor. To diagnose kidney stones,  a doctor will do a physical exam and may perform additional tests - intravenous pyelogram (IVP), CT scan, urinalysis, blood test, and/or a renal ultrasound. Forms of treatment for kidney stones include shock waves, ureteroscopy, or watchful waiting for spontaneous kidney stone passage.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cockrell call 573-629-3500.

As part of the Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, the Hannibal Regional Medical Group (HRMG) is a growing multi-specialty physician group continuing to expand primary and specialty care services to meet the health needs of northeast Missouri residents.