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I’ll never forget the first time I had a kidney stone…
I was pregnant with our youngest daughter and we were planning on having a family day at the zoo.
Unfortunately between the walk from the car and the zoo entrance plans changed and we ended up at the hospital instead.
Since then, I’ve had to suffer through that same pain three more times although I never know when it’s going to strike since one time I made it three years without a stone before landing in the emergency room twice in a month passing stones.
If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you probably have the exact same worry I do…
“Am I going to have another stone? What are my chances and how soon will it happen?”
Luckily, a new online tool created by the Mayo Clinic can now give you some of those important answers.
Simply input your data
Mayo Clinic researchers are tracking the familiar characteristics of kidney stone formers in an online prediction tool called the Recurrence of Kidney Stone (ROKS) model. And, it could help you anticipate whether or not you’ll experience a future kidney stone episode.
The tool was first released to the public in 2014 but the researchers set out to refine it and improve its power to predict kidney stone problems.
Using data obtained from the Rochester Epidemiology Project of people who were seen at the Mayo Clinic, the researchers explored a sampling of patients who were chronic kidney stone formers over a period of 23 years.
Collectively, the patients that the researchers studied had 5,000 kidney stones. That’s a lot of pain for a lot of people!
And, they were able to isolate common features of patients who had recurrent stone events which included:
- Younger age
- Male sex
- Higher body mass index
- History of pregnancy
- Family history of stones
- The type of stones passed (There are four main types but calcium is most common)
They also noted that stone recurrence tended to increase after each subsequent event, and the size and location of stones were also associated with the risk of future episodes.
Determining your risk of a kidney stone
So, the researchers took all of these factors and rolled them into the ROKS model.
To determine your risk of passing another stone, you can find the calculator here and give it a try.
Simply enter your data, including your age, sex, how many stones you’ve had, type, family history, etc. If you don’t know the answer to a question, just choose “Missing”. Once all data is entered, the tool will tell you your risk of passing a stone at both five and 10 years.
For example, mine said, “The risk of another recurrent symptomatic kidney stone event after 1-year recurrence-free is 48% at 5 years and 58% at 10 years. The average risk for another symptomatic kidney stone after the last episode is 60% at 5 years, and 68% at 10 years.”
Knowing your risk could put your mind at ease, but the best thing you can do is practice prevention. Check out these kidney stone myths and natural ways to avoid forming stones. And, try out the secret found in lemonade to bust your stones for good.
Editor’s note: Have you heard of EDTA chelation therapy? It was developed originally to remove lead and other contaminants, including heavy metals, from the body. Its uses now run the gamut from varicose veins to circulation. Click here to discover Chelation: Natural Miracle for Protecting Your Heart and Enhancing Your Health!