By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There is no doubt that for those who suffer from kidney stones the pain can be severe. There is the characteristic cramping as well as abdominal and low back pain as kidney stones travel within the urinary tract.

The pain can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fatigue and blood in the urine. There can be fever and chills.

If you don’t have kidney stones, I think it is quite easy to see why they are so debilitating just from listening to these symptoms. We also know that people are more likely to have kidney stones as they get older and certain medications like antibiotics and diuretics can increase the risk of stones. And, yes, people who are obese have an increased risk as well.

So, weight loss can help. But, if you are trying to lose weight, make sure that you drink plenty of fluids and don’t overdo it with protein. Both protein intake and dehydration can make things worse.

Cranberry juice can help with prevention of certain stones, the calcium phosphate and struvite variety, but fluids are most helpful.