Kidney stones are painful urinary disorders. They start as salt/chemical crystals that precipitate from urine. Under normal circumstances, urine contains substances that prevent crystallisation but for patients with this condition, these inhibitory substances are ineffective. Tiny crystals will pass out along with the urinary flow without causing problems. Kidney stones may contain various forms of salts – the most common is calcium in combination with either phosphate or oxalate. These salts are an essential part of our daily dietary intake and requirement.
Kidney stone disease is more common in males (men) and usually those between the ages of 20 and 40.
Possible causes of kidney stones formation are:
- Drinking too little water
- Too much or too little exercise
- Weight loss surgery
- Consuming too much salt
- Consuming too much fructose
- Family history of kidney stones
- Consumption of certain medications and/or vitamins and supplements
Metabolic conditions such as gout (excess uric acid), hyperparathyroidism, cystinuria (inherited disease), and hyperoxaluria (inherited disease) are also common causes of stone formation.