6 uncommon causes of kidney stones
Kidney stones are solid masses made of different substances that are normally found in the urine. While these substances normally pass through in the urine, they can sometimes become highly concentrated and crystallized due to the insufficient volume of urine. This is typically a result of inadequate daily fluid intake. Stones can vary in size from as small as a grain of rice to the size of a chickpea.
Here are some causes of kidney stones:
- Obesity: having a high body mass index (BMI) can cause various physiological changes in the body. One such change is the reduced pH of urine which makes the urine more acidic and increases the risk of kidney stones.
- Reduced calcium intake: it is a common misconception that consumption of calcium-rich foods results in kidney stones. Whereas, a diet rich in calcium reduces the occurrence of stones as stones are mainly composed of oxalate salts which are present in the gastrointestinal tract and are excreted from the body along with calcium binds. However, when calcium levels are low, the oxalate salts move from the gastrointestinal tract into the urinary tract in search of calcium and settle there forming stones.
- Chronic or recurrent diarrhea: this can cause changes in the digestive process that affect the absorption of calcium and water, increasing the amount of stone-forming substances in your urine.
- Imbalanced diet: eating a diet high in protein, sodium (salt), and sugar may increase your risk of kidney stones, particularly in the case of high-sodium diets. Citrus fruits and vegetables such as lemon, pepper, and orange, are rich in citrate which is highly effective in preventing kidney stone formations.
- Overconsumption of laxatives: can lead to an electrolyte imbalance and dehydration, which increases the risk of kidney stone formation.
- Long-term use of migraine medications: migraine drugs work by decreasing the pH of urine, making urine acidic which increases the risk of kidney stones.