Thousands of new cases of kidney stones every year are caused by ignorance or denial of the need to drink three litres of water a day, according to a leading doctor.
Bhaskar Somani, a consultant urological surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, said a lack of awareness about the dangers of dehydration was responsible for an annual increase in renal stone admissions, including among young people in their twenties.
'The number of people admitted to hospital suffering severe pain and discomfort due to kidney stones is increasing by between 5 per cent and 10 per cent every year,' he said. 'Over the past decade, the number of hospital admissions for renal stones in the UK rose by 63 per cent to more than 80,000 and there is no sign of these numbers letting up.'
Kidney stones develop when crystals of salt gather into lumps and are not flushed out of the body due to a lack of adequate hydration, often lodging in the urinary system's tubes. They can cause severe abdominal and groin pain which, in many cases, can only be corrected through surgery.