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kidney stones : Risk for whom ?

Anyone may develop a kidney stone, but those people with certain diseases and conditions or people who are taking certain medications are more susceptible to its development. Urinary tract stones are more common in men than in women. About 80% of those related with the kidney stone are men. Mostly urinary stone develops in people between 20-49 years of age, and those who are susceptible to multiple attacks of kidney stones usually develop their first stones during the second or third decade of their life. People who are already suffering from more than one kidney stone are prone to developing further stones.

Kidney stones are more common In residents of industrialized countries, than stones in the bladder. The opposite is true for the residents of the developing areas of the world, where bladder stones are most common due to the difference believed to be related to dietary factors.

The family history of kidney stones is also a risk factor for developing kidney stones. A Survey indicate that the Kidney stones are more common in Asians than in Americans(native), Africans or African Americans.

The Uric acid kidney stones are more common in people, who have chronically elevated uric acid levels in their blood (hyperuricemia).

Small number of pregnant women also develop kidney stones and there is some evidence that pregnancy-related changes may increase the risk of stone formation in them. Factors that may contribute to stone formation during pregnancy include a slowing of the passage of urine due to the increased progesterone levels and the diminished fluid intake due to a decreasing bladder capacity from the enlarging uterus. A healthy pregnant women also have a mild increase in their urinary calcium excretion level. However, it remains unclear whether the changes of the pregnancy are directly responsible for kidney stone formation or if these women have another factor that predisposes them to kidney stone formation.

Several risk factors for kidney stones make it more likely that you will get them. These are categorized into two;

Controllable risk factors, These include;

1. How much fluid an individual drinks. The most common cause of kidney stone is not drinking enough water per day. Try to drink enough water to keep your urine light yellow / clear like water (about 8 to 10 glasses of water daily).
2. Diet. Diet which is high in protein, sodium, and oxalate-rich food, such as dark green vegetables, increase your risk for kidney stone. If you think that your diet may be a problem, consult with a dietitian and review your food choices.
3. Overweight. This can cause both insulin resistance and increased calcium in the urine, which can result in a bigger risk for kidney stone.
4. Medicine. Some medicines, such as acetazolamide (Diamox) and indinavir (Crixivan), causes kidney stone formation.
Uncontrollable risk factors

Things which we can’t control include:

1. Gender and Age.
Men between the age of 30 and 50 are most likely to get kidney stone.
Postmenopausal women having low estrogen levels will be at increased risk for kidney stone. Women who with their ovaries removed are also at more risk.
2. A family history:
The personal history of frequent urinary tract infections. Other diseases or conditions, e.g.; Crohn’s disease, hyperparathyroidism or gout. Gastric bypass surgery or Intestinal surgery.
3. Insulin resistance:
Which can occurs because of diabetes or obesity.

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