As the summer heats up, for many, so does the chance of developing a kidney stone. Many physicians and medical providers refer to summer as “Kidney Stone Season” due to increased sweating and a higher chance of dehydration, which is the leading cause of kidney stones.

Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that initially form clumps inside the kidneys. Over time, they calcify and develop into tiny stones. This process is primarily caused by dehydration, but can also be caused by diet, excess body weight, different medical conditions and certain supplements and medications.

“Kidney stones can happen to anyone at any time, but summertime does put you at a higher risk of developing them,” explained PMC Urologist Mark J. Swofford, DO. “It’s important to drink plenty of water, stay hydrated and refer to the tips below to increase your chances of remaining kidney stone free this summer.”


  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated
  • Avoid dark-colored sodas, tea and coffee
  • Limit salt intake
  • Limit meat intake to 6-8 oz daily

Although kidney stones can be quite painful to pass, they usually don’t cause permanent damage if they are found in a timely manner. Kidney stones can usually be passed by drinking plenty of water. In more severe circumstances, stones becoming lodged in the urinary tract, stones associated with a urinary tract infection or stones that cause other medical complications may require surgical intervention.

To learn more about the Pikeville Medical Center Urology department, or to schedule an appointment, visit or  call 606-430-2202.