Kidney stones are solid, crystalline formations in the kidneys. They may form when substances in the urine, such as calcium, phosphorus and oxalate, become highly concentrated. Kidney stones vary in sizes and composition as well as shapes. They may be smooth and rounded or jagged in shape, depending on the type of material that composed them.
Common Causes of Kidney Stones
The most common cause of kidney stones is dehydration. When there is not enough fluid in the body, the concentration of the substances in urine can increase and they can crystallize. The crystalline substances then build up and form stone-like formations called kidney stones. Dehydration can be caused by low levels water intake or it can also be a result of strenuous physical activity. Residents of hot climates may also be susceptible to dehydration.
Certain medical conditions may also increase the risk of developing kidney stones:
Gout- Results in chronically increased amount of uric acid in the blood and urine, in which case uric acid stones are formed.
Chronic diseases- Certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can cause a person to be prone to kidney stones.
Hypercalciuria- It’s a condition that causes high calcium concentration in the urine, which may cause the formation of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate stones.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Or Crohn’s disease can prediscpose an individual to kidney stones.
Gastrointestinal surgery- People who have undergone surgery in the gastrointestinal tract are likely to develop kidney stones.
Medications can also cause the formation of kidney stones. Diuretics, calcium-containing antacids and protease inhibitors are among the most common.
One’s diet can also play a significant role in the formation of kidney stones. A diet that is high in animal protein, salt, sugar, spinach, rhubarb, nuts, wheat bran, and even taking calcium supplements can provide a good condition for calcium oxalate stones. However, a diet low in calcium can also cause calcium oxalate stones due to the increased secretion of oxalate in the urine.
Uric acid stones can be caused by too much animal protein in the diet, which can cause urine to be too acidic. Animal protein can include meat, eggs, and fish.
Kidney stones can also run in families over several generations. A genetic condition can also cause cystine to leak into the urine developing into cystine stones.
In rare cases, a person’s parathyroid gland may produce too much of a hormone, which leads to higher levels of calcium that can cause the formation of calcium kidney stones.
When you suspect having kidney stones, you should immediately consult your doctor or an urologist. The health care provider can help you get rid of the stones and treat your condition safely and effectively.