Health Report: Preventing kidney stones - 9/08/13

- More than a million people are sent to the hospital each year from kidney stones and once you've had one, your chances of getting them again are about 75 percent.
Lou Baxter tells us how to avoid them by making some easy dietary changes.

You won't catch Wajiha Khan without a bottle of water, not after experiencing what she calls the worst pain of her life.

Wajiha Khan, had kidney stones, said: "It's just one of those things. You just want someone to rip it out of you."

Wajiha: "It" turned out to be three kidney stones the size of a pen tip."

Duke University's Doctor Michael Lipkin says one-in-ten people will get a kidney stone, a hard mass formed from crystals that separate from your urine.

Dr. Michael Lipkin said: "These are what they look like after you break them up."

His top three tips for preventing these stones? First, drink up.

Dr. Lipkin, "I don't care what you drink, just drink a lot."

That means at least three liters a day-water is best. Next stock up on lemons.

Dr. Lipkin, "Lemon has something called citrate, and citrate is an inhibitor of stone formation. "

You can put them in your water or make your own lemonade. Limes and oranges also contain citrate and so do some lemon-lime sodas, like Sprite or 7-Up. But the best soda to fight stones?

Dr. Lipkin, "Diet orange soda contributed the most citrate to the urine."

Finally, watch out for sodium. It increases calcium in your urine and can lead to stones. And it's not just what you're salting. The top unknown culprits? Bread and cheese.

Dr. Lipkin, "In fact, a slice of pizza has about a thousand milligrams of sodium, which is about 50 percent of your USDA daily allotment."

So, check your labels and drink up. That's what Wajiha does.

Wajiha, "I don't want another one, and I wouldn't wish it on anybody."

Lou Baxter, Jet 24, Action News.

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