Kidney stones are deposits and minerals that crystallize in your kidneys. While some may be small to exit your body without your knowledge, others may be big enough to get trapped in your urinary tract, leading to excruciating pain. Several factors can increase your risk of developing Mount Vernon kidney stones including:
- Family history
If a loved one in your family has had kidney stones, you may be more likely to develop them due to a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors in families. For example, certain genetic mutations that affect the metabolism of certain minerals, such as calcium and oxalate, can increase the risk of kidney stones. Additionally, certain dietary and lifestyle habits common in certain families, such as a diet high in certain minerals, can also increase the risk of developing kidney stones. If you suspect you have a high risk of developing kidney stones, inform your doctor, who will help you identify ways to reduce your risk.
Obesity can lead to metabolic and hormonal changes that can increase your likelihood of developing kidney stones. This disorder increases the levels of certain minerals in the urine, like calcium and oxalate, which can form crystals that can eventually turn into kidney stones. Obesity can also lead to changes in hormones like parathormone and vitamin D that can affect the metabolism of certain minerals. Furthermore, being obese can also increase the risk of metabolic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. It is important to note that losing weight and maintaining a medically ideal weight through diet and exercise can help reduce the risk and improve your overall health.
Certain medications can affect the levels of minerals in the urine and increase the likelihood of developing kidney stones. For example, some diuretics, also known as “water pills,” can increase the excretion of calcium in the urine, leading to the formation of calcium-based kidney stones. Other medications, such as glucocorticoids, topiramate, and some antiretroviral drugs for HIV infection, can also be harmful. If you are taking medications that may increase your risk of kidney stones, your healthcare provider may recommend changes to your medication regimen or suggest ways to reduce your risk.
- Reduced fluid intake
Reduced fluid can lead to dehydration, which in turn can cause a decrease in urine volume, increasing the concentration of certain minerals such as calcium and oxalate in the urine. The higher mineral concentrations can lead to the formation of crystals, eventually developing into kidney stones. Additionally, when urine volume is low, it becomes more concentrated, making it more acidic. This acidity can also contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Taking enough water and other fluids can help dilute the minerals in the urine and increase urine volume, making it less likely for crystals to form and turn into kidney stones. Medical experts recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, more if you are physically active or live in a hot climate.
For diagnosis and treatment of Kidney stones, call the Bellingham Urology Group office or schedule an appointment online.