Climate Change and Kidney Stones

Posted by Alerna Kidney Health on

You’ve heard of kidney stones. You’ve heard of climate change. These two things should not go together like peanut butter and chocolate. However, some research is showing that they may actually have a correlation, as strange as it might seem. According to a piece in Scientific American, when the temperatures went up to 30 degrees C, the risk of kidney stones presenting in patients within 20 days went up by 38% in Atlanta. This rose by 26% in Dallas, and 47% in Philly.

Doctors have seen an increase in both men and women, even those who have not had a history of kidney stones. 

Other research, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at the correlation between higher temperatures and instances of kidney stones as well. Their results indicated that the changing climate actually did cause an effect on the human body, in this case, with kidney stones. Since the world is warming up, it could mean an overall increase in the number of patients who are suffering from this condition.

Studies across different cities showed much the same thing, even though there were some small differences, naturally. However, when the temperature would go up, it meant that the number of cases of kidney stones tended to go up in the city as well.

Interestingly, when the temperatures dropped too much, the same thing happened. This makes it difficult to pick up on trends unless someone is actually looking hard at all of the data. One of the reasons that doctors feel the problem presents itself is that people dehydrate, and don’t really realize it right away. If you aren’t drinking enough water, it can cause dehydration and kidney stones. These relatively sudden temperature changes could mean that many people simply aren’t aware of their own hydration levels at the time.

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Our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, we recommend you work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you.

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