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Six countries in ‘stone belt’

Shastry V. Mallady


Expert advocates more intake of water to prevent stone formation


MADURAI: Six countries, including India, have become ‘stone belt areas’ where a large number of people suffer from stones in kidney and urinary track, says J. Rassweiler, Head of the Department of Urology at University of Heidelberg, Germany.

“While the hot temperature in these countries is a common factor for stone complaints, the high intake of calcium-rich food also leads to formation of stones within the body,” he told The Hindu here on Tuesday.

Prof. Rassweiler, who demonstrated a bloodless endoscopic operation with laser at a workshop in a city hospital, said it was time people ‘went back to basic food’ instead of adopting the Western food habits that did not suit the regions with a hot climate. More fluid intake would help to prevent stone formation.

India, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Malaysia had become high-risk areas, where diagnosis and prevention were not taken seriously. People should consult doctors for advice on the right food and preventive steps.

Furthermore, people should drink more water to reduce the chances of stone formation. As water intake was less among those in the age group of 35-40, they were prone to the problem of kidney stones.

“Even if the stone size is big there is technology to remove it.” Early diagnosis would help to cull the stone before it caused any obstruction in the body, he said.

T. R. Murali, Head of the Department of Urology at the Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, which organised the workshop, said holmium laser was used for the first time here to treat prostate enlargement. It could also be used for endoscopic treatment of urinary stones.

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