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From Urology of St. Louis: How to prevent kidney stones during summer months

The humidity and heat are here, and Urology of St. Louis, a private urologic practice in the Metro East and the St. Louis area, is educating people on how to prevent kidney stones. One in ten people deal with kidney stones at some point in their lives and extreme heat can often be a contributing factor to this painful condition.

Urologist Michael Marcus, MD, said St. Louis is in what’s commonly referred to as the ‘Stone Belt’, which means kidney stones are more common in this region of the country. Residents in the ‘Stone Belt’ are more susceptible to developing kidney stones because of a combination of warmer weather which causes people to become dehydrated, and a high salt diet.

“I want to encourage people to be mindful of how much water they’re drinking, especially during these hot summer months when I often see an uptick in patients having kidney stones,” said Dr. Marcus. “To prevent getting a kidney stone, you need to take care of yourself and eat the right foods. I tell my patients to drink enough water so that their urine is a pale yellow, eat a low-sodium diet and include foods with citric acid like fruit. Not only will this help to prevent kidney stones, but this diet will aid in keeping your kidneys healthy overall.”

Both men and women can get kidney stones, but those with a family history run a higher risk. Kidney stones range anywhere in size between the size of a grain of salt to a golf ball. Symptoms can include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, abdominal or lower back pain, bloody urine and an increase in the frequency of urination.

“If you are wondering if you should see a urologist because you think you might be passing a kidney stone, there are three key indicators I tell my patients to pay attention to,” said Dr. Marcus. “If you are experiencing a fever/chills, sharp pain or any nausea, people should call our Stone Center. If you call USL, we can get you in that same day and save you the hassle of waiting in an emergency room along with paying a more expensive medical bill.”

USL’s No Stone Center provides rapid access to care, virtual same-day appointments and procedures within 24 hours, as well as prompt diagnosis of a kidney stone. To learn more about the No Stone Center or book an appointment go to or call (800) 667-8663.

USL offers treatment for a wide range of urological conditions including prostate cancer, penile curvature, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, sexual health, benign prostatic hyperplasia, kidney stones, kidney cancer, vasectomies and erectile dysfunction. For more information about their telehealth services or to find a list of locations, visit their website at or email at

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