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kidney stones : Causes

Kidney stones are formed, when there is a decrease in urine volume and/or an excess of the stone-forming substances in the urine. The most common type of the kidney stone contains calcium in combination with either phosphate or oxalate. Majority of the kidney stones are calcium stones. Other chemical compounds that can form the stones in the urinary tract includes – uric acid, magnesium ammonium phosphate and the amino acid cysteine.

The dehydration from strenuous exercise or a reduced fluid intake without adequate fluid replacement increases the risk of the kidney stone. Obstruction to the flow of urine, can also lead to the kidney stone formation. Climate, in this regard, may be a risk factor for the kidney stone development as the residents of hot and dry areas are more likely to become dehydrated and susceptible to the kidney stone formation.

A kidney stone can also result from infection in the urinary tract, which is termed as infection or struvite stones. Metabolic abnormalities including inherited disorders of metabolism can alter the composition of the urine and increase an individual’s stone formation risk.

The number of different medical conditions which can lead to an increase in the risk for developing kidney stone are :
Gout – this results in chronically increased amount of uric acid in the blood and urine, which can lead to the formation of uric acid stones.

Hypercalciuria (high calcium in the urine) – an inherited condition which causes stones in more than half of the cases. In this condition, much calcium is absorbed from the food and gets excreted into the urine, where it may form a calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate stones.

The other conditions associated with an increased risk of kidney stone, includes hyperparathyroidism and kidney diseases such as renal tubular acidosis, other inherited metabolic conditions, including cystinuria and hyperoxaluria.

The chronic diseases like high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes are also associated with an increased risk of developing kidney stone.

If a person is having Inflammatory bowel disease then he is also prone to developing kidney stone.

Those people who have undergone intestinal bypass or ostomy surgery are also at increased / high risk for kidney stones.
Some medications also raise the risk of kidney stone firmation. These medications include some diuretics, calcium-containing antacids and a protease inhibitor indinavir (Crixivan), drug used to treat HIV infection.

Our dietary practices and factors may increase the risk of kidney stone formation. In particular, inadequate intake of fluids predisposes to dehydration, which is a major risk factor for kidney stone formation. Other dietary practices, include a high intake of animal proteins, a high-salt diet, excessive consumption of sugar, excessive vitamin D supplementation and possible excessive intake of foods containing oxalate- such as spinach. But, low levels of dietary calcium intake may disturb the calcium-oxalate balance which result in the increased excretion of oxalate and a propensity to form oxalate stones.

Thus , it becomes very important for every individual to get diet conscious.

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