Kidney stones form when there are high amounts of crystal-forming substances like calcium, oxalate and uric acid in your urine, but too little fluid to dilute them. In some cases, the urine might also be deficient in materials that prevent these from sticking together, triggering stone formation.1
How Do You Get Kidney Stones?
Apart from the crystal-forming substances mentioned above, several risk factors also come into play. Although no definite cause has been determined yet, exercise caution or consult a physician or health expert if you experience any of these, since these may cause more painful kidney stones to develop:
✓ Chronic low-grade dehydration:2 Kidney stones are common among people who fail to drink enough water every day.
✓ Drinking fluorinated water: High fluoride levels in water are linked to kidney stones. These are nearly five times more common in a highly fluoridated area compared to a location with non-fluoridated water.3,4
✓ High-sugar diet: Sugar upsets mineral relationships in the body, such as interfering with calcium and magnesium absorption, and may also increase kidney size and induce pathological changes like kidney stone formation.
✓ Excessive soda consumption: Soda is a high-sugar beverage, so it can raise your kidney stone risk.
Plus, the phosphorus acid in soda acidifies your urine and causes stone formation.
✓ Eating non-fermented soy: Soybeans and soy-based foods are abundant in oxalates that bind with calcium in the kidneys, prompting kidney stone development.
✓ Overeating: Research showed that women who consumed more than 2,200 calories daily increased their risk for kidney stones by 42 percent.
Furthermore, obese people were shown to be more prone to kidney stone formation.
✓ Not eating enough calcium-rich foods: A high-calcium diet blocks a chemical action that potentially causes stone formation.
Calcium binds with oxalates from foods inside the intestine, preventing both from being absorbed into the blood and transferred to the kidneys.
✓ Magnesium deficiency: Magnesium helps with the body’s absorption and assimilation of calcium, and inhibits calcium from combining with oxalate.
If your body has too much calcium without adequate amounts of magnesium, the excess calcium could become toxic and lead to kidney stones.
✓ Lack of exercise: People who are bedridden or very sedentary have a higher chance of developing kidney stones.
Limited activity may cause the bones to release more calcium and lead to high blood pressure levels, doubling the chances of kidney stone development.
✓ Using certain medications: Medicines like Lasix (furosemide), Topomax (topiramate) and Xenical were proven to increase kidney stone risk.5