A leading surgeon has warned of a kidney stone "timebomb" fuelled by the growing obesity crisis.
Bhaskar Somani, a consultant urological surgeon at Southampton General Hospital in England, said annual admissions for renal stone treatment were increasing by between 5pc and 10pc - with a prevalence 75pc higher in obese patients.
He said poor diets and lifestyles were a "key contributory factor" in the development of the condition, with consumption of too much animal protein and levels of salt creating a "breeding ground" for kidney stones.
Mr Somani said: "Nearly two-thirds of men and women in the UK are obese or overweight, with 25pc of adults classed as obese, and we know diet and lifestyle can be a major cause of stones.
"When you consider the number of admissions for patients with stone episodes increased by 63pc to more than 80,000 a year over the past decade, it is clear we have a problem."
The condition, which affects about 10pc to 20pc of the male population in the UK and 3pc to 5pc of women between the ages of 20 and 60, develops when crystals of salt accumulate into stone-like lumps. Although the body tries to pass stones out of the urinary system, they can lodge in the kidney tube and cause severe abdominal and groin pain which, in many cases, can only be corrected through surgery.