Most people are very familiar with uric acid stones (a type of kidney stone) and know firsthand the pain that comes when such a stone causes a blockage. Some people who develop kidney stones go on to have more episodes of kidney problems. Significant research shows that there is a definitive link between obesity and kidney stones. In the US, the number of people with uric acid stones has steadily increased over the past few decades. In the 1970s, only 4 percent of the population was dealing with the problem. In 2010, an estimated 8.8 percent of the U.S. population has been dealing with the condition.

Obesity and kidney problems

There are numerous factors that can contribute to uric acid kidney stones and chronic kidney disease. One of the leading causes of stones is obesity. Research shows that men who weigh more than 220 pounds were 44 percent more likely to develop stones when compared to men who weighed less than 150 pounds. Men who had reportedly gained 35 pounds since turning 21 were 39 percent more likely to have kidney problems. Among women ages 34-59, women who weighed more than 220 pounds were 89 percent more likely to have the condition. Women who were younger than 34 and weighed over 220 pounds were 92 percent more likely to have problems with their kidneys. Research shows that kidney problems are related to weight gain, waist size and BMI.

Exercise and kidney health

Lack of exercise is another risk factor. The benefits of exercising in preventing stones were present among people between 50 and 80 years old. Moderate exercise among women in that age group was shown to reduce uric acid stones by 31 percent. A steady exercise routine can really decrease chances of kidney disease among women.

Dehydration and kidney problems

Dehydration is another risk factor for kidney stones. Hydration aids the body in keeping stones from forming. However, people who have kidney disease often drink far less water and produce less urine than others to keep from developing fluid overload. This could be a problem in people with kidney stones as drinking anywhere between one and one-half to two liters of water a day is necessary to prevent the formation of uric acid stones. Also, drinking sugary beverages along with coffee, wine and tea contribute to uric acid stone problems- so drinking less may help prevent stones as well. Its important to talk to your doctor about the optimal amount of fluid depending on your own medical needs.

Many researchers believe that problems with kidney stones can be attributed to problems like diabetes, gout and obesity. Taking kidney supplements, the right amount of water, and a sound diet and weight loss plan all promote kidney health. The kidneys are a complex set of organs responsible for improving the body’s ability to eliminate waste, conbtrol blood pressure as well as regulate specific minerals implicated in the formation of kidney stones.