Newswise — (New York, March 4, 2015) – March is Kidney Awareness month, and physicians from the Mount Sinai Health System are available to discuss risk factors associated with kidney stones and ways to prevent them.

“About one in ten Americans will develop a kidney stone at some point,” said John Cijiang He, MD, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics and Chief, Division of Nephrology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

One major risk factor is dehydration. “Not drinking enough water on a daily basis is one of the most common causes of kidney stones,” added Dr. He. Additionally, a diet high in animal protein, sodium, fructose, or refined sugars is also associated with the risk for developing kidney stones. Several underlying metabolic conditions or diseases may also increase the risk, including hyperparathyroidism and Crohn’s disease.

“Kidney stones can be extremely painful, and in some cases, can lead to complications including urinary tract infection or even kidney damage,” said Shuchita Sharma, MD, Clinical Nephrologist at the Icahn School of Medicine. “Fortunately, with a healthy diet and lifestyle, there is a lot that we can do to prevent them.”

“Don’t delay a trip to the doctor if you think you may have a stone,” suggested Dr. Sharma. “There are medications available to expedite the passing of a stone.”

Tips to Help Prevent Kidney Stones:• Drink plenty of fluids every day to prevent most types of kidney stones. Two to three liters daily is ideal.• In particular, drink orange juice and lemonade, which are high in citric acid and which can be helpful.• In patients who have already had kidney stones, make dietary changes such as decreasing intake of salt, animal proteins and calcium to help prevent future occurrences.• Seek medical attention if you develop severe pain in the side, back or lower abdomen. Additionally, call your doctor if you notice blood in your urine or have difficulty urinating. Prompt diagnosis and assessment are keys to preventing complications.

About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community‐based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12‐minority‐owned free‐standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.

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