What are the common causes of kidney stones?

Kidney stones are a very critical condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

In simple words, kidney stones refer to the hard deposits made of salts and minerals formed inside your kidneys. It has four different types: calcium stones, struvite stones, cystine stones, and uric acid stones. A kidney stone can be as tiny as a grain of sand, which gets larger unless it is passed out of your body through urine. Also, it can bring several issues with time, such as pain while urinating, blood in the urine, pain in your back/lower belly, long-lasting stomach ache, fever, chills, and more. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the common factors that may contribute to the formation of kidney stones.

Not drinking enough water

Dehydration, especially during hot and humid weather, causes reduced diuresis in the body, which further results in concentrated urine. This leads to the supersaturation of minerals contributing to the formation of kidney stones. A recent study has found that dehydration is one of the leading factors behind kidney stones. Hence, make sure to drink at least 5 liters of water every day.

Eating foods that are bad for the kidneys

As you may already know, diet plays a very significant role in maintaining the health of your kidneys. As studies have found, eating foods rich in oxalates is a common cause of kidney stones. Hence, limit your intake of spinach, beets, almonds, cashews, Miso soup, okra, cocoa powder, raspberries, salt, sweet potatoes, etc. Animal protein, when consumed in excess, can also lead to the same. Easily available and most preferred beverages can also promote kidney stone formation when consumed in excess regularly.  Eat lots of citrus fruits as they help block the formation of stones due to naturally occurring citrate. Also, include tofu, green vegetables, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, fortified soy milk, etc.

Obesity, especially when your body mass index is 30 or above:

Obesity is another major contributor to the formation of kidney stones. It’s associated with insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinemia, metabolic imbalances that may lead to calcium-containing kidney stones. Obesity also aids in increased urinary excretion of uric acid and oxalate, which further leads to calcium oxalate kidney stones. A recent study from Johns Hopkins University shows that obesity doubles the risk of developing kidney stones. Hence, do maintain a proper diet and get exercise regularly from now on.

The impact of genetics on kidney stone formation is still a big topic of debate among scientists. Besides these, certain medical conditions (such as gout, hyperparathyroidism, type-2 diabetes, etc.) can also lead to kidney stones.

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