Dehydration causes kidney stones in 20-30% of UAE residents

  • Leading urologist stresses importance of adjusting fluid intake to suit UAE lifestyles during the hottest months of the year
  • Up to three in 10 people in the UAE develop kidney stones, compared to global average of one in 10
  • 20-45 year olds in the UAE are most at risk of developing kidney stones

UAE, Monday August 24: UAE residents are more at risk of developing kidney stones due to factors relating to the hot climate, warns a leading urologist.

Dr AgarwalDr. Mayank Mohan Agarwal, a urology specialist at NMC Urocare, warns that while the recommended daily intake of fluid is frequently said to be “eight glasses of water a day”, this is highly misleading, especially during August when temperatures are commonly the hottest and most humid of the year.

Those spending time outdoors in high temperatures, as well as those leading active lifestyles, require a significantly higher intake of water to remain properly hydrated.

Factors such as these make a significant difference to how much water is needed to ensure healthy bodily functions, and prevent the development of kidney stones.

Dr. Agarwal also warned that those working in heavily air-conditioned environments are less likely to feel thirsty and therefore consume less water than their body needs to function properly.

As a result there is a 20% to 30% prevalence of kidney stone development in the UAE, a considerably greater percentage than other countries.
Kidney stones tend to affect the most active individuals, most commonly aged between 20 and 45, who lose a lot of water due to being constantly on the move.

A lack of water leads the body to preserve energy, which in turn affects the brain’s functions.

One of the most common conditions that arises from dehydration is kidney stones – the crystalisation of the body’s salts in the kidneys.
Keeping hydrated ensures that the salt in the body’s fluids and urine is diluted, preventing crystalisation within the kidneys, leading to the formation of kidney stones.

To measure hydration, Dr. Agarwal advises individuals to focus on the amount of urine they produce, rather than the amount of water they drink.

A well hydrated individual should visit the toilet around six to eight times a day, and their urine should be clear. A dark yellow colour indicates that it is too concentrated, increasing the chance of crystal formation.

Dr. Agarwal advises that individuals to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to avoid reaching the point where you feel very thirsty as this means the body is already dehydrated.

Common symptoms of kidney stones which require medical attention

  • Pain on either side of the stomach and around the kidney areas
  • Pain around the groin, depending on where the kidney stones are
  • Nausea and vomiting or a burning sensation while urinating
  • The development of a urinary infections and/or fever
  • The visibility of blood in the urine

Measures you can take to prevent the development of kidney stones

  • Those struggling with the recommended water intake can substitute some glasses lemon-lime juice and unsweetened fruit juice
  • Choose a diet low in salt and animal protein
  • Continue consuming calcium-rich foods in moderation such as milk, curd and cheese
  • Avoid oxalate-rich foods such as beet, okra, spinach and sweet potatoes
  • Drink water before you become thirsty


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