Urinary stone diseases increase significantly in summer: what you can do about it

Urinary stone diseases increase significantly in summer: what you can do about it

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Heat: The number of urinary stones increases in summer

According to experts, the number of urinary stone diseases has increased significantly in recent years. An accumulation of cases is noted, especially in the hot summer months. The spectrum of possible complaints ranges from mild pain to extremely painful renal colic. To prevent this, it is especially important to drink a lot.

As the German Society for Urology e.V. (DGU) writes in a current release, the summer heat is just around the corner and with it the seasonal accumulation of urinary stone diseases. Because high temperatures, increased sweating and an insufficient amount of drink favor the phenomenon known as "summer disease urinary stones".

Different risk factors for the formation of urinary stones

Urinary stone diseases are now among the so-called common diseases. According to the DGU, the incidence of urinary stone disease has increased significantly in western industrialized countries in recent years. More and more Germans suffer from urinary stones.

Increasing obesity and changing living conditions are considered to be the cause of the increasing frequency in this country and other western industrialized countries. Unhealthy eating habits, low fiber and insufficient exercise increase the risk.

In addition, diabetes is a relevant risk factor for the formation of urinary stones, which can occur throughout the urinary tract and, depending on the location, are called kidney stones, ureter stones and bladder stones.

Men are affected more frequently than women

“Urinary stone diseases are the most common reason for urological emergency instructions. About every tenth German will form a stone at least once in his life, ”explains Prof. Dr. Thomas Knoll from the DGU.

According to him, men are affected more often than women, with the difference becoming smaller worldwide. According to the expert, the age peak is in the fifth and sixth decade of life.

“The stone disease in children is very rare and mostly genetic. However, there is an increasing frequency among adolescents, probably also caused by obesity and other known risk factors, ”says Prof. Knoll.

Often no or only non-specific symptoms

And how does urinary stone disease manifest itself? According to the DGU, kidney stones often show no or only non-specific symptoms, such as a slight pull on the flank.

But in the case of a ureteral stone, it usually comes to the typical colic. This is sudden onset, most severe pain, which typically begins at intervals and can also subside.

Depending on the location of the stone in the ureter, the pain occurs in the flank, in the groin, in the lower abdomen or in the area of ​​the testicles or the labia.

Often there is a clear urge to urinate at the same time. The urine may turn red due to the addition of blood.

If there is an inflammation of the urinary tract at the same time, there may be a burning sensation when urinating, but possibly also a fever.

Smaller stones can be spontaneously excreted

As the message says, smaller stones can be excreted spontaneously with medication and adequate hydration.

The interventional therapies of larger kidney and ureter stones are nowadays carried out in almost all cases without open cutting operations, but rather minimally invasively.

The spectrum ranges from the destruction of the stones by sound waves from outside, the so-called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), to endoscopic procedures in keyhole surgery.

General preventive measures

In a patient information sheet, the DGU explains what everyone can do to prevent urinary stone diseases from occurring.

The most important thing is to increase your fluid intake: 2.5 - 3 liters per day should be drunk evenly throughout the day.

A balanced diet also contributes to prevention. The experts recommend:

  • Reduction of oxalate intake (spinach, rhubarb, chard, cocoa, nuts)
  • Reduction of protein (meat, sausages) to 0.8 g / kg body weight
  • Reduction of salt intake to max. 6 g a day
  • Normal calcium intake (approx. 1 g per day): no avoidance of dairy products
  • Setting the urine pH to 6.5 - 7.0: mineral water rich in bicarbonate, citrus juices, fruits, vegetables, lettuce

Furthermore, regular exercise and a "normalization of weight" are recommended. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

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