Why Do We Get Kidney Stones?

added on: May 22, 2019
man pondering

If you or someone you know has ever had a kidney stone, then you know it’s not that fun. At our urology office in Pittston, we get asked all the time, Why did this happen?? “ or What caused me to develop a kidney stone? Unfortunately, the causes of kidney stones are not as cut and dry as you might think or hope. There’s actually no definitive cause of why both men and women get kidney stones. However, some things can increase the likelihood that they will occur.

What Are Some of The Most Common Kidney Stone Risk Factors?

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons we’ve seen patients in our Pittston urology office develop kidney stones:

  • Genetics – Unfortunately, if kidney stones run in your family, there’s an increased risk to you that you’re going to get one too. If you’ve had one in the past, there’s also a good chance you’ll get a kidney stone again in your lifetime.
  • Diet – If you tend to eat large amounts of salt, proteins, and sugary foods, this can cause kidney stones to occur as well. Too much salt is the biggest problem because it makes calcium levels rise in your kidneys.
  • Weight Gain – Some patients who are overweight are at higher risk of having kidney stones.
  • Medications – Prescription medicines sometimes come with the unwanted side effect of a higher likelihood that a kidney stone will develop.

What Are Kidney Stones?

Your Pittston urologist will tell you that kidney stones start to form when there’s a heightened level of calcium, uric acid, and oxalate present in your urine. They form crystals and lead to kidney stones. Your urine might even lack these substances also leading to kidney stones.

Most stones consist of calcium deposits or oxalate. Your liver produces this every day, and you can also find it in certain veggies, fruits, chocolate, and nuts. Sometimes calcium stones form because you’re experiencing metabolic issues or because of medications- such as Topamax, which is highly prescribed to treat migraine headaches.

How Will I Know if I’ve Got a Kidney Stone?

It can sometimes be hard to diagnose a kidney stone because they might not experience symptoms right away. By the time your stone makes its way to the tiny tube that connects your bladder and kidneys, you could start to have some of these issues:

  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Nausea
  • Cloudy urine with a foul smell
  • Pain in your back, side, below the ribs, and varies in intensity
  • Pain when you urinate
  • Fever or chills
  • Inability to pass a large amount of urine at a time

If you start to experience any of these symptoms, especially if you’ve had a kidney stone issue in the past, you’ll want to contact Greater Pittston Urology as soon as you can. We can help you get out of pain and feel better before more significant issues, or other medical problems arise. If you or someone in your family has any questions about kidney stones or other urology dilemmas, please feel free to call our urology office in Pittston at your earliest convenience. We’re always ready to take your call and answer any questions you have.