As New Yorkers sweat through the summer, their bodies lose precious water and kidney stones can be one painful side effect of dehydration. NY1's Health reporter Erin Billups filed the following report.
It has been a rough summer for 34-year-old Jayme McGrantham.
"I broke my ankle playing tennis," she says.
Just before that it was internal pain in her back and side that brought her to the doctor's office -- confirming her suspicions that she had kidney stones.
"It's just really bad. The pain makes you actually get really nauseous," she says.
McGrantham was treated by Dr. Ricardo Ricciardi, a urologist in Flushing Hospital. He blasted her stones into little pieces with soundwave technology called lithotripsy.
But McGrantham still had to pass some rather large ones, which made her broken ankle feel like a walk in the park.
"This is definitely more tolerable than the kidney stones when it's bad," she says.
McGrantham is not alone. Ricciardi says every summer, when people are more prone to sweat, he sees an uptick in patients coming in with stones.
"In this region, we probably see a three-fold increase instances of stone formation. That means visits to the emergency room or visits to the office," says Ricciardi.
While we all have crystals in our urine that could cling together and form stones, those most at risk are adults over 40, men, and those with a personal history of digestive diseases and surgery.
McGrantham has a family history of stones, which put her at higher risk. She didn't help her chances by drinking mainly juice, soda and five-hour energy drinks.
"Caffeinated beverages, teas and coffee tend to increase stone formation," Ricciardi says. "Diet plays a role, you know. Certainly if patients are consuming food that is high in salt, salt tends to pull calcium into the urine."
The key to avoiding a trip to the urologist's office is simple: drink lots of water, at least eight to 10 glasses a day.
"If your urine is dark, obviously you're going to have a higher incidence. So if your urine is very light in color or very pale and almost clear, you are going to reduce the incidence of forming stones," Ricciardi says.
McGrantham says she now drinks about 16 ounces of water a day.
"It's really water, water is the best," she says.