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People love Top 10 lists, like Billboard's Year-End Top 10 songs, Listverse's 10 Hilarious Historic Predictions of Life in the 2000s and Google's Top 10 searched-for health topics of 2019.

This year's Google 10 included topics we've covered recently, from how to lower blood pressure (No. 1), to how to get rid of hiccups (No. 3) and what causes them (No. 5). But No. 6 on the Google list was "What causes kidney stones?" That's a topic we haven't addressed since 2016, and clearly it's a medical problem that's on your mind!

In fact, according to Cleveland Clinic urologist Dr. Sri Sivalingam, "With the declining health of the American public [that's the epidemics of obesity and diabetes] over the past five to 10 years, we've seen an increase in the prevalence of stones, with more rapid increases among women and kids."

So, here are the causes of kidney stones, and the steps to take to avoid them:

Obesity is a trigger. The solution? Maintain a healthy weight to avoid bodywide inflammation and diabetes, which is strongly linked to kidney stone formation.

 Ditto dehydration. The solution? The American Urological Association says that if you're prone to or have had kidney stones, you should drink 84 ounces of fluid daily.

Excess salt is another trigger. It causes an increase in calcium in the urine, which can lead to stones. The solution? Avoid fast food and canned or ultraprocessed foods.

Added fructose/high fructose corn syrup is another culprit. The solution? Ditch foods with added fructose, sugars and syrups. For sweets, eat more citrus fruits; they help prevent stone formation.

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

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