Risk of Developing Kidney Stone and Preventive Measure

Risk of Developing Kidney Stone and Preventive Measure

Each year, people make almost 3 million visits to health care providers and more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. Most kidney stones pass out of the body without any intervention by a physician. Kidney and bladder stones cause excruciating pain, tend to recur, and are distressingly common. Roughly 10 percent of persons in the United States will have at least one stone in the course of their lives.

Kidney stones result from the precipitation (crystallization of previously dissolved particles) of certain substances within the urine. These stones form in the kidney and subsequently travel through the ureter (the tube that conducts urine from the kidney to the bladder) and are eliminated through the urine if they are small.

Injuries from vehicle accidents are a big cause of evacuations, as are hypertension-related illness, respiratory problems, kidney stones and back and joint problems. Sometimes it can be a symptom of backache. The most common type of kidney stones are composed of calcium oxalate. The transporter, known as SLC26A6 (gene), normally secretes oxalate into the intestine and prevents absorption of too much of the oxalate from the diet.

Not drinking enough fluids (particularly in the summer) can lead to the development of kidney stones, and the types of exercise that are typical during the summer tend to shake loose kidney stones, causing patients to develop symptoms from the stones. Kidney stones are associated with pathologic calcification, the process in which organs and blood vessels become clogged with calcium deposits that can damage major organs like the heart and kidneys.

Uric acid kidney stones develop when the urine's acid level is too high, typically from the ingestion of too much dietary animal protein or when there are insufficient amounts of buffers to neutralize acid in the urine. Larger people (overweight) have very acidic urine even when they control their diets. Uric acid stones also are associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Researchers at UT found that the more overweight a person is the more at risk he or she is for forming uric acid kidney stones.

Kidney stones usually form when your urine becomes too concentrated. This causes minerals and other substances in urine to form crystals on the inner surfaces of your kidneys. Over time, these crystals may combine to form a small, hard mass, or stone. Kidney stones may form anywhere in the urinary tract but usually develop in two sections of the kidneys, the renal pelvis or the calyces. The stones are formed from calcium, phosphate, or urate compounds that are normally dissolved in the urine.

The most common symptom is an intense, colicky pain that may fluctuate in intensity over periods of five to 15 minutes. The pain usually starts in [the] back or [the] side just under or below the edge of [the] ribs. As the stone moves down the ureter towards your bladder, the pain may radiate to [the] lower abdomen, groin and genital structures on that side. If the stone stops moving, the pain may stop too. Mayo Clinic lists other symptoms: bloody, cloudy or foul-smelling urine; nausea and vomiting; persistent urge to urinate; fever and chills if an infection is present.

Everyone forms crystals made of calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate. A coating of protein and other organic material lies between the calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate in the stones. Kidney stones generally form only in urine that is markedly supersaturated with respect to a solid phase.

The stones can range in size from a grain of salt to a golf ball, or even larger. Some stones may move to other parts of the urinary system, including the bladder and the ureter (the vessel that transports urine from the kidney to the bladder).The most common symptoms of kidney stones are blood in the urine and pain.

Kidney stones can be due to underlying metabolic conditions, such as renal tubular acidosis, Dent's disease and medullary sponge kidney. Many health facilities will screen for such disorders in patients with recurrent kidney stones. However, most stones are idiopathic (arise spontaneously).

Dark colas in particular contain oxalate, an acid that can lead to the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Iced teas tend to contain oxalate as well.

Disease factors:

An acute kidney infection begins suddenly with severe symptoms and rapidly ends up. A chronic kidney infection increases at a slow pace and becomes worse. The chronicity can cause a kidney failure. Conditions like pregnancy, cancer, diabetes, kidney stones and abnormalities of the urinary tract can decrease the capacity to ward off the bacteria that cause kidney infections.

Urethritis [sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like gonorrhea and Chlamydia] can also occur due to kidney stones, spinal cord injury or if the immune system is not up to its regular activities. Individuals with diabetes are more prone to have urinary tract infections, which may finally lead to urethritis.

An obstruction of the urethra due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP), a benign enlargement of the prostate, is frequently considered to be the major cause of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Other causes include an overactive bladder, infection or kidney stones.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that patients suffering from the metabolic syndrome (group of risk factors that include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol); a cluster of conditions that increases the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes -- also have a propensity to develop highly acidic urine, which increases the risk of developing kidney stones.

E. coli causes urinary tract infections in otherwise healthy individuals, but Proteus mirabilis (a nasty bacterium) causes more infections in those with 'complicated' urinary tracts; which breaks down urea in the urinary tract, reduces the acidity of urine and leads to the formation of kidney or bladder stones. Once a stone begins to form, bacteria stick to the stone and live within its layers, where they are protected from antibiotics.

Sarcoidosis rarely attacks the kidneys directly. However, the disease can cause the body to overproduce vitamin D, which in turn causes the body to absorb too much calcium and can lead to kidney stones.

Cystic fibrosis patients who lack a beneficial intestinal bacterium have a greatly increased likelihood of developing a condition that can lead to kidney stones, and extensive use of antibiotics may be to blame. Cystic fibrosis, one of the most common genetic diseases among Caucasians in USA. The so-called "thief of breath" slowly destroys patients' lungs through recurrent infections and often affects other vital organs. While kidney function is not greatly altered in these patients, kidney stones are an increasingly common complication as the life expectancy of these patients’ increases.

Drug factors:

Thiazides, beta-blockers and blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin have been linked with everything from kidney damage and increased incidence of gallstones to decreased sex drive, insomnia and excessive hemorrhaging.

Topiramate (Topamax), a drug commonly prescribed to treat seizures and migraine headaches, can increase the propensity of calcium phosphate kidney stones, researchers at UT have found.

Doctors in France reviewed medical records from several major medical centres, looking for cases of kidney stones in atazanavir users. Their review has identified possible risk factors for the development of kidney stones in people with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) exposed to atazanavir.


From a preventative point of view, reduce protein, fat and alcohol, watch out for refined carbohydrates and increase fiber. Blood sugar regulation is important because sugar tends to increase the amount of calcium in the urine. Another factor may be a latent or chronic infection. Magnesium seems to be really good in combination with B6 at preventing recurrences. About 90 percent of stones pass through the urinary system without treatment. In cases where this does not occur, treatment to remove stones may be needed.

Diet plays an important role in the development of kidney stones. In older men and women, higher levels of dietary calcium, sodium, animal protein, and sucrose (sugar) may be associated with a reduced risk of developing kidney stones, the article states. A compound called phytate (found in plants and cereal grains) may also play a role and might inhibit the formation of kidney stones by preventing tiny crystals of calcium oxalate (which is a component of kidney stones) from forming.

If you have had a calcium stone, your doctor may ask you to cut back on the salt and sodium in your diet. Extra sodium causes you to lose more calcium in your urine, putting you at risk for developing another stone. Foods that are high in oxalate include: peanuts, tea, instant coffee (more than 8 ounces a day), rhubarb, beets, beans, beets, berries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, etc.), chocolate, Concord grapes, dark leafy greens, oranges, tofu, sweet potatoes and draft beer.

Plenty of fluids. (Choose water, lemon juice. Avoid grapefruit, apple, and cranberry juice).Limit the amount of protein and salt in the diet. Balance normal calcium intake with potassium- and phosphate-rich foods. Individuals with either calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate kidney stones should not take extra calcium on their own. Reduce intake of animal protein and salt. A high dietary calcium intake is strongly suspected of increasing the risk of kidney stones.

One way to markedly reduce the likelihood of subsequent kidney stones is to drink more fluids, mainly water, to increase your 24-hour urine output to 2.5 or more liters. Drink lemonade. Not the powdery mix, but the real stuff. This has been shown to reduce the risk of kidney stones.

For those people who tend to form calcium stones, doctors recommend restricting foods rich in oxalates: star fruit, beets, beet greens, collards, okra, refried beans, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, sesame seeds, almonds and soy products. Two cloves of garlic a day can reduce the "stickiness" of blood platelets, promoting healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride (fatty acid molecule) levels.

Soybeans and soy-based foods, a staple in the diets of many health-conscious consumers, may promote kidney stones in those prone to the painful condition. The researchers identified oxalate in store-bought products like tofu, soy cheese and soy drinks. Other foods, such as spinach and rhubarb, also contain significant oxalate levels, but are not as widely consumed for their presumed health benefits,

It’s no secret that coffee makes your bladder more active. While that can be bothersome, it can also help reduce the risk of Kidney Stones, according to the Nurses Health Study. Women who drank the most coffee had the lowest risks. Caffeine increases the flow of more diluted urine, which lowers the chance of a Kidney Stone forming

People who are stone formers should avoid high-oxalate foods like sorrel, raw spinach, beet greens, chocolate, rhubarb and nuts. Lower on the list are Swiss chard and black tea. Drink lots and lots of water. All your vitamins and minerals should come in citrate form. Calcium is good in citrate form. Eat alkaline foods [broccoli, lettuce, and tofu] and minimize intake of acidic foods [corn, beef, and wheat]. Get regular exercise. Minimize stress.

A tsp each of basil juice and honey taken daily for 6 months provides relief from this disorder. Pomegranate seeds are said to have therapeutic properties as far as kidney stones are concerned. Increase fiber. Fiber includes oat and wheat bran, beans, whole-wheat breads, wheat cereals, cabbage, and carrots.

A daily glass of orange juice can help prevent the recurrence of kidney stones better than other citrus fruit juices such as lemonade, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered. Orange juice could potentially play an important role in the management of kidney stone disease and may be considered an option for patients who are intolerant of potassium citrate.

In combination with hydration therapy, exercise in a machine that simulates gravity could reduce the risk of developing kidney stones, a condition.

Studies have shown that they can protect against certain forms of diarrhea, colitis, urinary tract infections, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Probiotics may also help treat kidney stones, ulcers and allergies. Some even argue they protect against colorectal cancer and colds and help lower cholesterol.

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