What Causes Kidney Stones

Kidneys perform the function of filtering blood to remove waste from it. This waste is mostly water that contains salts such as sodium, calcium and potassium, all collectively referred to as urine. Kidney stones form when these salts are so concentrated in the urine that they crystallize into clumps, that can be as small as a grain of sand or larger.

Ordinarily a kidney stone causes no symptoms until it begins to move in the kidney or to other parts of the urinary system. A small kidney stone can be passed painlessly by urination. Bigger kidney stones, however, can be very painful to pass. But kidney stones are treatable and treatment should help you avoid the painful experience.

Causes of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones result from the clumping together of salts. Most kidney stones are calcium oxalate stones that form from calcium salts and oxalates. Oxalates occur naturally in some fruits, vegetables and nuts. There are also uric acid stones, which form due to lack of fluid in the body or a significant loss of fluid. Risk factors for the formation of kidney stones include:

1. Lack of Water/ Dehydration
This is without a doubt the most common cause of kidney stones. Stones form when urine salts occur in very high amounts in urine. Drinking adequate amounts of water can dilute the urine and reduce the concentration of salts. People in hot areas should take special care to drink a lot of water because they lose a lot of it in perspiration.

Dr. Rolando Rivera 2. High sodium diet
Many kidney stones have an element of calcium. Too much sodium increases the amount of calcium that kidneys have to process, thereby making it more likely for stones to form. Animal proteins such as red meat and shellfish, also have a reputation for making urine acidic, thereby increasing the possibility of having uric acid stones.

3. Personal or family History
A person who comes from a family with a history of having kidney stones is at an increased risk of having them. Similarly, a person who has had kidney stones before is very likely to suffer a recurrence.

4. Digestive illnesses and surgery
Serious inflammations of the digestive system, chronic diarrhea and gastric bypass surgery all can negatively affect the absorption of fluids and calcium by the body. This makes it more likely for the patient to have kidney stones.

Kidney stones are very common despite the fact that they can be prevented by staying hydrated and watching your diet. If you have them, you should consult a doctor immediately so treatment can be administered promptly. The Advanced Urology Institute offers effective treatment for kidney stones. Its staff of specialists are available to help with diagnosis and treatment and can answer any questions about prevention of kidney stones. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.