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Tracking Your Water Intake

Patients who have suffered from kidney stones are urged to drink lots of water to reduce the chances of future attacks. Now there is an electronic home test to help monitor hydration levels.

The user places a drop of urine on the Hydrate 1 monitor, which measures the dilution of the urine. The monitor then displays the degree of risk of stone formation based on the concentration of salts and minerals in the urine, says Linda Groh, spokeswoman for the Mentor Corp., which makes the device. It retails for $149.95 in drug stores or through telephone order, (800) 235-5731.

Is it worth the price? If it will help a patient pay attention to hydration levels, it can be useful, says Dr. Stanley Brosman, chief of urology at St. John’s Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica.

“But there’s a much cheaper way to do it,” he adds. The darker yellow the urine, Brosman tells kidney stone patients, the more concentrated it is--and the more they need to increase their water intake.

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