It's been a painful, uncomfortable summer for 44-year-old Mehmet Donuk.
"Near to the point where I was going to pass out from the pain," he said. "They found blood in my urine, sent me for a CAT scan and determined that I had a kidney stone."
Kidney stones are common, affecting about 4 million people in the U.S., usually more men than women. They are small, hard deposits of mineral and acid salts that form in the kidneys, and doctors say they see more patients as the temperatures and humidity rise.
"We find a big spike in the number of kidney stone cases presenting in July, August September as the weather heats up. We have belief that this is because people are more dehydrated," said Dr. Caner Dinlenc of Beth Israel Medical Center.
Stones can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. Diet can also play a role. Too much protein, salt and sugar can increase the chance of them forming.
Doctors say the best way to prevent kidney stones or help stop them from getting bigger is to drink plenty of water, about a half gallon a day.
"The other thing is to have lemon juice, every day. It has citrate and citrate helps prevent the crystallization of calcium in your urine," Dinlenc said.
Donuk stayed hydrated while his kidney stone was closely monitored. Because of its size, the doctor finally recommended surgery.
"I was hoping it would pass on its own," Donuk said.
And just a few days before his procedure, it did pass. Donuk avoided surgery.
Once you have a kidney stone, you are at risk of developing them again.
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