The People's Perspective on Medicine

Regular Exercise Lowers the Likelihood of Developing Painful Kidney Stones

The benefits of exercise include a lower likelihood of kidney stones. An epidemiological study of more than 84,000 postmenopausal women found that those who were even modestly active, walking about three hours a week or gardening for four hours, were 31 percent less likely than sedentary women to develop painful kidney stones.

The investigators also found that women who consumed more than 2200 calories daily boosted their risk of this excruciating condition by about 42 percent. The take-home message seems to be keep moving–and don’t eat too much.

[Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, online Dec. 12, 2013]

Previous epidemiological research has shown that a diet rich in calcium-containing foods also helps lower the probability of a kidney stone by about 20 percent. This does not hold for calcium supplements, however.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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