back to article Global warming to stone US kidneys

The US must brace itself for an increase in cases of kidney stones provoked by rising temperatures, scientists this week warned. Said stones are caused by salts crystallising in the kidneys, something often provoked by dehydration, especially in warmer climes. Accordingly, southeastern US states - the so-called kidney stone " …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Iced Tea

    Prevalence of kidney stones in these states has also been linked to increased consumption of iced teas. Would be interesting to see figures concerning kidney stones incidence in people who don't drink iced tea. Seems strange to me that you would ever drink tea without milk and two sugars and a couple of hob nobs.

    Paris cos she knows about hob nobs, or at least nobs.


  2. cirby


    They left out the part where the "kidney stone belt" is also partially due to diet. The local diet in this area is rich in oxalates - which promote kidney stone formation (along with not drinking enough water and not being active enough).

    Funny how actual science goes by the wayside when a political movement gets involved, eh?

  3. Jach

    I also see a relationship, here:

    Is this science? What's with predicting things 40+ years from now? For one thing, I'm really not seeing how something like the cost of treating kidney stones will rise that much; if anything I'd expect it to go lower as medicine advances and the treatment becomes hyper-mass-produced because so many people will apparently need it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    More beer!

    The answer is obvious. Drink more beer!

    PS - Iced tea has nothing to do with it. Devout Baptists don't drink beer. Out in rural areas, people depend on well water heavy in limestone, iron, and/or sulpher. It doesn't take rocket surgery to figure out the rest...

    PPS - Only use cold tap water for cooking. Water heaters concentrate the mineral content of water. Cooking with hot tap water can increase the chance of forming kidney stones.

  5. Peyton

    @Iced Tea

    Oh dude - we puts loads of sugar in iced tea (you're right on the milk though - we give that a miss). You can actually tell what latitude you're at in the South by just by drinking the tea - the further south you go the sweeter it gets!

  6. Gordon Pryra

    They could rename this belt

    The fat lazy slob belt

    1 billion for treating this?

    Why not just make the fat, energy ingesting leeches and make them walk 5 minutes a day

  7. Luther Blissett

    @AC 11:30

    Could also be the mint julups.

  8. Rachel
    Dead Vulture

    Oh, great...

    ...the last thing I need is MORE kidney stones! I started when I was 17, in the middle of a New England winter, and I never touch iced tea or have any of the other risk factors (except ALL my male relatives had them, but I'm also not male) so I have no clue what's up. But what 'cost' of treating them is there? My parents would usually just drive me to the ER, the doctor would prescribe some Vicodin, and my parents would pick up the prescription and lots of soda, juice, or gatorade on the way home.

    --A dead bird, because that's how they make me feel.

  9. Aaron

    Re: I also see a relationship, here

    The cost of kidney stone treatment will increase because, since it is after all the South we're talking about, the treatment equipment will have to be hardened to withstand tobacco juice, stray shotgun fire, and NASCAR.

    But then, since we're on the subject, why bother going to all that work in the first place? After all, as "cirby" so aptly points out, those kidney stones are largely the fault of the people who get 'em in the first place, and he's got a point!

    I mean, it should be obvious to anyone that the absolute *worst* thing to do, in 90+°F weather and 90%+ humidity, is to stay inside, not move around too much, and keep well hydrated with lots of fluids -- anywhere but the South, you'd see yards full of families doing situps and jumping-jacks on such a day, but those lazy hicks south of the Mason-Dixon line are barely willing to shift off their porches for anything that's not a welfare check, so what do you expect? And *iced tea* for Christ's sake! You might as well cool off with a fifth of Everclear! Is there no limit to what these ignorant rednecks will do to harm themselves?

    Look, we've had these problems before. Look at poverty. Look at racism. Look at child abuse. None of these problems even still *exist* in the United States outside of the South. And now it looks like kidney stones are going on the list of things that science, and good progressive liberalism, have wiped out everywhere except among those stupid gap-toothed grinning hicks. How many times are we going to have to do this before we finally see the error of the ways? How many times before it finally becomes clear to us that these people will not be helped? How many times before we finally stop saddling our economy with the Northern Hemisphere's most useless pity cases, secede from the South, and let them sink into the mire they deserve while we go on to lead the world into the third millennium?

    I ask you!

  10. AJG


    The cost of treatment can be far higher than that. I have just been through this:

    1) CT scan

    2) Faileded lithotripsy as the stone had moved into the dead zone

    3) X-ray

    4) Blood tests

    5) Ureteroscopy laser stone fragmentation and removal

    5) Pain killers (diclofenac sodium)

    6) Anti-biotics

    7) Tamsulosin tablets

    8) Consultant appointments

    That's over 2,000GBP so far.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What might cold summer weather do to the midwest?

  12. AJG

    @More beer!

    No it doesn't take rocket surgery to figure it out, it takes a chemist and it's obvious you're not one. Water hardness has nothing to do with forming stones, oxalates in eg tea and chocolate as well as your sodium vs potassium balance are key. Sometimes the obvious answer is just plain wrong.

  13. Aaron

    Re: They could rename this belt

    Thank you for making it quite clear to everyone what I set out to satirize. I mean, for the Reg comments, I was pretty subtle, and I was worried that there'd be people missing the point and jumping on me with both feet for being so hateful of the South. Thanks to your example, though, Gordon, I don't think I need worry very much at all; only the truly stupid should be likely to miss the point now.

    Oh, and Rachel: What you're forgetting is that everyone in the South lives on welfare and weighs over three hundred pounds, so it'll be your very own precious tax dollars that go to pay for their kidney-stone treatments. You should be used to this by now, since no Southern state contains anything larger than a pack of cigarettes which was actually paid for by Southerners.

    Besides which, kidney stones don't always pass on their own, and there's a whole range of quite unpleasant procedures intended to help them leave more easily, or simply to remove them entirely from the bladder. Given what I've seen my mother-in-law go through in the last year in that regard, I believe that if all you needed was Vicodin and Gatorade, you were awfully damn lucky indeed.

  14. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    I'm not presiding over another fat-fight. Keep it civil and general please folks.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    So have they actually determined that the states will in fact get hotter, if not can I suggest carrying out a study into weather or not women will find me attractive when I become filthy stinking rich because none of these things are ever really going to happen.

  16. Peyton


    Come on guys - relax. Have a mint julep =D (if you get the ratio of bourbon to simple syrup just right, it'll look just like iced tea too!)

    @AJG - "rocket surgery" - haha! that's great!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    On Balance

    I think I would drink beer in preference to iced tea, but then I would probably be more inclined to drink my own urine in preference to iced tea. Horrible Stuff. Up here in the north of the USA, Maine, it is unsweetened and largely nasty.

    Paris just cos.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow human beings really are ignorant

    Looking through these comments I can't help but wonder where you people get educated. Last time I was in the south there were hardly any fatso's as so many people here described. I think there are more Fat people in the north since all they do is sit on their ass in their car stuffing their faces with food or yapping on the phone and then sit on their ass to make money at work. Some of you really need to get out into the world and if you are all refering to your personal familes then I'm sorry to hear that. If all of you are looking at reports for your knowledge I'm sure you might have seen reports in the seventies where giving a lobotomy was the only way to handle someone one who didn't act like the rest of society. Oh yeah and remember the Salem witches where they said if a person floated then they were a witch.

    @Rachel, I know what you are going thru with those kidney stones. My girlfriend is an avid Skater/Snowboarder/Surfer and has them very randomly and she eats healthy and doesn't eat chocolate at all(which I found wierd since you always hearing woman love it so much) and doesn't drink any variations of teas. Spring water is all she drinks except for the occiasional night out with her girls.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    @Aaron re,..relationship

    Ah do believe Sir, that you are a dayum yankee !

  20. Derek Bez

    US is so behind the times

    It's not "Global Warming". It's "Climate Change".

    Blame the alien death rays.

  21. StopthePropaganda

    The Amazing, All-in-one, Snake Oil Scam! Fun at parties!

    Global Warming: Is There Anything It Can't Do?

  22. Charles Manning

    A few degrees

    GW is supposed to make a change of just a few degrees. Surely air conditioning should be banned.

  23. Tim Robson

    North compared to South

    Having driven through part of the south, (half at night, straight line, bad representation of the people) now living in a very different part of south, (So. Florida, which is very different culturally than the rest of the south) and having spent most of my life as a "damn Yankee", I can say that I have seen more overweight people up north. I'm not saying people down here seem healthier; I'm saying they aren't as overweight as a general whole from my observations.

    Having said that, there are things the North makes up for this with: Higher overall education. People up there, in general, seem smarter and more adaptable to changing situations, and also a bit less snobby, overall. I don't know, maybe the harsher weather forces you to adjust outside of your little bubble of self-indulgence. This is not to say that there aren't snobs up there; I've met more than a few. It just seems like the general attitude regarding random people up there isn't as much of "I'm better than everyone just because".

    Also, the North has a much more special place in my heart because they've got more microbreweries and wineries around. (Of course, I'm from the Finger Lakes region of NY, so that may have something to do with my perception of that.)

    @ AC: Wow human beings are really ignorant:

    Spring water: Water bottled out of town. Look up the location that the stuff she's drinking is bottled- in most cases, it's actually bottled either relatively locally, or it's bottled in the middle of a suburban area, rather than the rural, idyllic paradise that is conjured up by the name on the label.

  24. Danny

    Kidney stones

    Well I done did lived in tha South mah whole life and I aint never had no kidney stone. Even when it was pert near 100 degrees I aint got stoned up. Caught a round a buckshot in mah liver back in 42' tho.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Iced tea, beer and mint julups

    Iced tea, beer and mint julups vs water... what was it the devil's dictionary said about water? Something like "Nothing so vital for life is so reviled for it's taste."

  26. Bruce Sinton
    Paris Hilton

    Stones and bloody global warming

    As this assumption about increased kidney stones is from that Global Warming intergovernmental mob, it is more male bovine excrement.

    The statements by that political group has got to the farcical stage. Every week there is a new disaster due to GW or Climate Change as they now call it.

    Their statements have the same ring of truth as George Bush saying the USA invaded Iraq to liberate the population , and absolutely not to get their greedy mits on oil

    It is likely that climate will change,climate is never static. Read up about the Little Ice age 17 to 19 Century, the Medieval Warm period etc.

    It is interesting that James Lovelock , of the Gia Hypothosis , now says that we are NOT all doomed.

    The district in New Zealand where I live the climate has got wetter and cooler over the past 70 years that I have lived here. That's an inconvenient truth as Al Gore would say.

    I have not believed half the lies I have been told for the past 50 years, especially the ones that are spouted by Politicians or their stooges.

    Will go away and think nice thoughts about a nice thing called Paris.

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