Higher prevalence of kidney stones in Southern United States

Studies have shown that there is a higher prevalence for kidney stones in hotter and wetter climates, and in the U.S., that means the South, also known as the “Stone Belt”. Also contributing to the frequency of kidney stones in the South is the Southern diet: rich in fried foods, mayonnaise, dressings, salty meats, and even iced tea.

To quote “The Tennessean:”

“‘Needles to the groin’ or ‘knife in the back’ are two of the ways people recount the pain of passing a kidney stone. It seems most people in the South know someone who can personally describe a jagged crystalline stone moving through a sensitive part of the anatomy.”

“Population studies show that Southerners are up to 50 percent more likely to develop stones,” says Nicole Miller, M.D., a surgeon specializing in stone disease and endourology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center Urology Clinic.

About one in ten people will get a kidney stone at some point in their lifetime, and more than 500,000 people in the U.S. make a trip to the emergency room for the excruciating pain resulting from a kidney stone. Diet, not drinking enough water, hereditary factors, and lack of exercise can all contribute to getting a stone, and sometimes, the reason is unknown.

Changing one’s diet and getting more exercise can reduce the risk of kidney stones, but if you have one, you’re not alone…and you’re not to blame. It can happen. So, what are your treatment options?


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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