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Health Beat: Kidney stone smarts: The truth about cola, calcium

By Melanie Falcon, Anchor / Reporter, @Melanie_Falcon, MFalcon@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 14 2013 08:45:52 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 14 2013 04:43:39 PM CDT

Every year, one million people in the United States are treated for kidney stones.

Every year, one million people in the United States are treated for kidney stones. 

So here are a few rock-solid facts:

“About one in ten adults will have a kidney stone in their lifetime," said Dr. Michael Lipkin, assistant professor of urology at Duke University

The biggest kidney myth Lipkin said he hears? Avoiding calcium cuts the chances of kidney stone recurrence. He said that's wrong, although it does make up about 75 percent of stones.

"Avoiding calcium is detrimental to kidney stone recurrence,” said Lipkin. 

To reduce the risk, he recommends 800 to 1,000 milligrams of calcium, or about three dairy servings, a day. He also tells patients to drink three liters of fluid a day.

Some, however, worry about the next myth: Could the extra minerals in hard water actually cause kidney stones? Probably not. Research shows hard water has little to no impact on your risk.

When it comes to sodas, the doctor said he believes some are bad. 

"In my practice, I do tell patients to try to avoid dark colas," he said. 

Many dark sodas contain phosphoric acid, which has a questionable link to an increase in kidney stone risk. 

"There are actually sodas that can help prevent stones," said Lipkin. 

He said those with citrus, like Sprite, diet orange soda, even Mountain Dew can help prevent calcium in the urine from forming a stone.

Statistics show kidney stones are more common in Caucasians, and men get them more than women, but the number of women getting them is on the rise.

Finally, if you have more than one, you're much more likely to develop additional stones in your lifetime.

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