Know the Causes of Kidney Stones

By: peterhutch

Kidney stones (renal Lithia sis) are small, hard deposits of mineral and acid salts on the inner surfaces of your kidneys. Normally, the substances that make up kidney stones are diluted in the urine. When urine is concentrated, though, minerals may crystallize, stick together and solidify. The result is a kidney stone. Most kidney stones contain calcium.

Struvite stones (infection stones) are usually large and have a horn-like shape. They develop when there is too much ammonia in the urine. This can happen if you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), because the bacteria that cause these infections can generate ammonia. This kind of kidney stone is most often found in women.

Cystine stones are yellow and crystalline. They develop if you have high levels of cystine in your urine, which happens if you have a hereditary disorder called cystinuria. Only one in a hundred kidney stones are caused by this condition. Cystine stones tend to develop earlier in life than other kidney stones, usually between the ages of 10 and 30 years.

Medical conditions. Many medical conditions can affect the normal balance and cause stones to form. Gout is one example. Also, people who have inflammatory bowel disease or who have had surgery on their intestines may not absorb fat from their intestines in a normal way. This changes the way the intestines process calcium and other minerals, and it may lead to kidney stones.

Problems in the way your system absorbs and eliminates calcium and other substances create the conditions for kidney stones to form. Sometimes, the underlying cause is an inherited metabolic disorder or kidney disease. Gout promotes specific types of kidney stones, as does inflammatory bowel disease. So do some drugs, including furosemide (Lasix), used in treating heart failure and high blood pressure; topiramate (Topamax), an anti-seizure drug; and indinavir (Crixivan), which is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus, the cause of AIDS.

Common sense has long held that consumption of too much calcium could promote the development of calcium kidney stones. However, current evidence suggests that the consumption of low-calcium diets is actually associated with a higher overall risk for the development of kidney stones. This is perhaps related to the role of calcium in binding ingested oxalate in the gastrointestinal tract. As the amount of calcium intake decreases, the amount of oxalate available for absorption into the bloodstream increases; this oxalate is then excreted in greater amounts into the urine by the kidneys. In the urine, oxalate is a very strong promoter of calcium oxalate precipitation, about 15 times stronger than calcium.

Kidney stones are mostly composed of calcium. However, a smaller number consist of uric acid or something called struvite. Kidney stones form due to an imbalance of water, calcium oxylate, uric acid, and phosphate that are usually present in the urine. Stones are also known to form when the pH of the urine is not normal or when normal mechanisms that protect the kidney's are inundated.

It is usually located in the flank or the side of the mid back and radiates to the groin. Those affected cannot find a comfortable position, and many writhe in pain.

Top Searches on
Kidney Problem
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Kidney Problem