Bakersfield doctors warn of kidney stone dangers

Bakersfield doctors warn of kidney stone dangers »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Kern County residents are no strangers to the heat.

But chances of developing kidney stones is greater in hot climates? It's true.

Kidney stones are a build-up of minerals and acid salts that form deposits in kidneys. They can cause excruciating pain for those who get them.

“It hurts like the worst pain you’ve ever had in your entire life,” said Dr. William F. Baker Jr.

The cause of kidney stones is unknown, but dehydration is a significant contributor to getting them, especially if a person is genetically predisposed.

“We’re in a 'stone belt' here,” said Dr. Albert McBride, a urologist. "We have a lot of stones in Bakersfield."

Drinking plenty of water is key in preventing the development of stones, but not all drinks will keep a person hydrated.

“You can drink iced tea all day and the more you drink the more you pee, so you pee out more than you drink. That result is dehydration, not hydration,” said Baker.

Other diuretics should also be avoided, such as alcohol and coffee.

Soft drinks, fast-food and high-salt and high-protein diets can also contribute to chances of developing kidney stones.

Another reason more people get them in the summertime is because they consume more salt during that time of year.

While there are treatments for kidney stones, like lasers and shockwave lithotripsy, some people will pass them on their own.

“If you pass a stone, bring it to your doctor, because we can analyze these stones and determine what kind it is and perhaps help you prevent it,” said McBride.