Kidney stones, a common problem in the Yucatan Peninsula

Yucatan ranks first place nationally in renal lithiasis, the forming of stones in the urinary tract. It is estimated that at least 10 percent of the Yucatan population suffers from this condition, which greatly affects the patient’s quality of life.

Even more serious is the fact that stones have been found in Yucatecan children, even as young as three years old.

And, contrary to what was thought until recently, water is not the main cause of these stones. Recent findings confirm the influence of factors such as eating habits, lack of physical activity and genetics, among others.

In Yucatan, the Tuunich project has found a close relationship between this disease and the Maya heritage.

“Renal lithiasis is one of the most prevalent diseases in Yucatan. It’s a real public health problem,” says Juan Pablo Flores Tapia, urologist at the High Specialty Regional Hospital of the Yucatan Peninsula (Hospital Regional de Alta Especialidad de la Península de Yucatán: HRAEPY), and coordinator of the Tuunich (Maya stone) project, which brings together a group of specialists in diagnosis, treatment, education and research on kidney stones.

According to public statistics it is estimated that some 200,000 Yucatecans suffer from kidney stones and the number is increasing every day.

Dr. Flores Tapia explains that in the case of the High Specialty Regional Hospital, the main cause of kidney failure for many patients is the development of kidney stones.


When symptoms of kidney stones become apparent, they commonly include:
  • severe pain in the groin and/or side.
  • blood in urine.
  • vomiting and nausea.
  • white blood cells or pus in the urine.
  • reduced amount of urine excreted.
  • burning sensation during urination.
  • persistent urge to urinate.
  • fever and chills if there is an infection.

 

The Yucatan Times 
Newsroom



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