Kidney stones form if there is a disturbance of the normal balance of water, salts, minerals, and other substances present in urine. The cause of imbalance determines the type of kidney stone you have. Calcium stones are the commonest type of stone and it tends to occur more often in men than in women.
Causes of kidney stones: Factors that can cause formation of kidney stones are:
- Inadequate water intake: In normal conditions, the salts, minerals, and other substances present in urine remain dissolved. But in the case of dehydration, the salts and minerals may precipitate to form stones. Dehydration or loss of fluid from the body is a major risk factor for kidney stones. Ensure that you drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water per day, as this helps to keep the urine clear (by keeping the solutes in dissolved form) and may also prevent kidney stones. It is not possible to start drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day in a day. Start by increasing 1 to 2 glasses every day till you are drinking 8 to 10 glasses a day. Your urine should be clear or light yellow and if it is dark yellow, increase your water intake.
[Read: Signs of Kidney Stones]
- Infections: Urinary tract infection can also lead to the formation of kidney stones. The stones formed due to infection are known as struvite or infection stones. The stones tend to become very large which can block the kidney, ureter, or bladder.
- Medical conditions: Several medical conditions can cause disequilibrium of the balance of water, salts, and minerals in the urine and lead to the formation of stones. For example, people with gout or on chemotherapy are at higher risk of developing uric acid stones. People with certain intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic diarrhoea, and those after surgery in their intestines may develop kidney stones as the way in which the intestines process calcium and other minerals, changes.
[Read: How to Treat Kidney Stones]
- Hereditary: Kidney stones can run in families; i.e. if one or both your parents had kidney stones, you are at higher risk of developing kidney stones. Some stones have a tendency to occur in family members over several generations.
- Parathyroid disorders: Rarely, people with excessive hormonal secretion from the parathyroid gland that leads to higher calcium levels, can possibly lead to calcium kidney stones.
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