Kidney stones are painful....very painful....in fact, they are so painful that many who have had the opportunity to pass one have compared it to giving birth to a child. And the worst part is that the chances of developing a kidney stone increases once you have one. It increases markedly once you have two. This article is going to go over the various causes of why a kidney stone even happens in the first place and if you are at risk.
You are at a greater risk of developing a kidney stone if you are a white male between the age of 35-50. You are also at a greater risk if you live in what researchers have dubbed the "stone belt" or the southeastern portion of the US. Many doctors believe this to be the case because of the hot climate in the south as well as the diet habits that most southerners have. Regardless of what the reason is, if you are a middle aged male and white, your chances of developing kidney stones are fairly high.
What are the other causes of Kidney Stones?
It is crucial to understand that your diet and lifestyle can play a significant factor in whether you will develop kidney stones or not. The reason why I even say this is because this problem has just recently sprung up to be a bigger problem over the past 100 years. This points to the fact that modern day diets and kidney stones could be linked. Just to verify this example, the cases of kidney stones has risen by 10 times what it was 100 years ago. People who are obese are much more at risk. All this said, you can't prevent kidney stones from diet alone.
Another potential cause is the lack of magnesium in your diet. Magnesium is responsible for actually helping to break up kidney stone formations in your body. A diet deficient in magnesium will increase the risk of kidney stones forming.
There are some that also believe that heredity plays a role as well. If your family has a history of kidney stones and you aren't obese, then it is likely that you will as well. Doctors and researchers believe that the reason is how our bodies are able to process calcium. In families that share this problem, there is a tendency for their bodies to absorb too much calcium which may overload their system.
If your immune system is suppressed, ie. you are sick, then you are more likely to develop stones in your urine. While this is nothing really to worry about as if you don't have the risk factors above, a suppressed immune system will allow an otherwise stable body to lose the protective compounds in the urine that prevent it.
Like I mentioned earlier, the southern region of the US has been dubbed the stone belt because of the high incidence of kidney stones. Many researchers believe that the main cause of kidney stones is simply dehydration. If you live in a dry or hot climate, one of the best preventative measures you can take is to simply drink plenty of water. This not only works to prevent kidney stones, you will also pass one quicker.
Finally, there are certain metabolic disorders that will increase the chances of developing a stone. If you have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, any form of cancer, Sarcoidosis or Cushing's diseases, just be aware that the risk is heightened. Likewise, some digestive diseases such as Crohn's or IBS will also increase the risk.
If you think you have kidney stones then you should go to your doctor. The doctor will make sure that it is a kidney stone and not something more serious and will also check to see if the kidney stone caused an infection. You are more likely to get a urinary tract infection during this crisis.
There are several ways that a doctor will diagnose whether you have a kidney stone. The most common route is to simply do a urine pH analysis to determine the type of stone you may have. Other ways include x-rays, ultrasound or CT scan, and electrodermal and blood tests to check for potential food and allergies that could cause the onset of a kidney stone. In rare cases, you may also be checked for heavy metal toxicity using a hair or urine test or a detoxification profile once again, by doing a urine profile.
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So, as you can see, when asking the question what causes kidney stones, the answers are numerous and really depend on your lifestyle, you diet, whether you are dealing with other diseases and if the problem runs in your family. By understand the causes, you can start to look into how to cut the risk of developing a kidney stone.