Kidney stone disease is a common condition. According to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the overall prevalence of self-reported kidney stones in the period 2007-2010 was 8.8%, with a higher prevalence among men (10.6%) than among women (7.1%). Kidney stone disease tends to recur, with at least 50% of individuals experience another stone within 10 years of the first stone occurrence.
Urine contains a lot of minerals (such as calcium, sodium, magnesium and phosphate) that are dissolved within the urine water. However, in those with kidney stones, certain factors cause those minerals to precipitate and come out of the dissolved state, forming crystals then stones. These factors could be genetic, dietary, related to certain drugs, infection in the urinary tract, alteration of the anatomy of the urinary tract or combinations of some of these factors. The following are examples of some of the factors that might contribute to the formation of kidney stones:
Medical conditions associated with stone disease include:
2-Hyperthyroidism (hyperactive thyroid gland)
4-Renal tubular acidosis (RTA) type 1(Inability to excrete acids in the urine).
5-Diabetes mellitus type 2.
7-Primary hyperparathyroidism (hyperactive parathyroid gland)
8-Malabsorptive gastrointestinal states due to bowel resection, bariatric surgery (weight-reduction surgery) or bowel or pancreatic disease.
Nutritional factors associated with stone disease:
1-Calcium intake below or significantly above the recommended dietary allowance (RDA).
2-Low fluid intake.
3-High sodium intake.
4-Limited intake of fruits and vegetables and high intake of animal-derived purines.
Regular use of any stone-provoking medications or supplements:
Such as lipase inhibitors (used for weight reduction), triamterene (Diuretic), vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium.
Types of stones:
There are several types of stones, such as uric acid stone, calcium oxalate stone, calcium phosphate stone, or combinations of these crystals at different ratios.
Treatment of kidney stones:
There are general measures that help reduce the incidence of new stone formation:
1-Increase fluid intake to a level that produces a 2-3 liters of urine each day.
2-Restriction of salt intake (since high salt intake increases urinary calcium)
3-Diet that is low in animal proteins.
4-Diet that is high in fruit and vegetables.
In addition, there are drugs that can be used depending on the type of the stone and the metabolic disturbances that are promoting the stone formation.
Physicians evaluating and treating patients with kidney stones will order blood and urine tests to find out the factors that are promoting the formation of kidney stones. Based on these tests, the physician will advise the patient on a diet and may prescribe medication to help prevent further stone formation.
The medical information presented in this website is of general nature and intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be used as a basis for making or altering medical decisions or therapies. Medical and therapeutic decisions should be made or altered only by the physician who is evaluating and treating a particular patient. Medicine is an ever-changing and -evolving field. Although, the author of this site has made every effort to present an accurate and up-to-date information, however, he is not responsible by any means for any unintended mistakes or misuse of the information presented.