How Much Fluid To Take To Reduce The Risk Of Kidney Stones

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A new study has shown that increasing fluid intake reduces the risk of kidney stones in the general population…

Fluid intake and kidney stones
8mm / 0.31inch kidney stone – ouch!

This is of particular interest to gout sufferers since their condition is caused by the accumulation of urate crystals in the joints. However, the crystals can also clump together in the kidneys to form very painful kidney stones. And I speak from experience when I say they are very painful!

The good news is that, according to this latest study, increasing your fluid intake can prevent the formation of both first-time and repeat kidney stones.

The study – headed by John C. Lieske, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota – was presented by Wisit Cheungpasitporn, MD, at the 2015 National Kidney Foundation’s Spring Clinical Meetings…

Link Between Fluid Intake And Kidney Stones

The study was a ‘meta analysis’ of 7 observational studies with 273,685 patients, plus, 2 randomized, controlled trials with 269 patients. And the results were very encouraging…

High fluid intake showed a 51% decrease in initial kidney stone risk in the observational studies, and a 60% decrease in the randomized control trials.

Furthermore high fluid intake was indicated to produce a 60% reduction in recurrent stones in the randomized control trials, and an 80% decrease in the observational studies.

So the findings appear to show that a high fluid intake is a safe and effective way to prevent both first-time and recurring kidney stones.

More On Kidney Stones

Dr. David S. Goldfarb On Fluid Intake And Kidney Stones

Interestingly, increased fluid intake to help prevent kidney stones was recommended in 2014 by the American College of Physicians (ACP). Their guidelines recommended increasing fluid intake so that patients would pass at least 2 liters of urine a day.

But, kidney stone expert, David S. Goldfarb, MD, clinical chief of Nephrology at New York University, Langone Medical Center, said that he believed the ACP’s guidelines were inadequate and did not emphasis enough the importance of increased fluid intake.

According to Dr. Goldfarb, increased fluid intake is a cheap and safe treatment that should be a priority for all people with kidney stone problems. He also said that the studies that have been conducted thus far are conclusive enough to not warrant any more.

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In order to prevent kidney stones he recommends consuming 96 ounces (2.8 litres) of fluid per day under normal circumstances. But, in instances where patients live in hot environments, or exercise regularly, additional fluid intake may be necessary. In these cases patients should consult their physician to help them make the necessary adjustments.

But simply telling people to ‘drink a lot’ is not enough according to Dr. Goldfarb: he believes it’s necessary to outline a distinct course of action where patients are told to drink either, 8 x 12 ounces (0.35 litres) of fluid, or 12 x 8 ounces (0.24 litres) of fluid, per day.

“It’s not enough to say to people, ‘drink a lot,’ you have to say what ‘a lot’ means.”