What Causes Kidney Stones: The Answers May Shock You

What Causes Kidney Stones: The Answers May Shock You

Causes Kidney Stones: The Answers May Shock You. Have you ever experienced the excruciating pain of passing a kidney stone? If you have, you know it’s one of the most painful medical conditions. Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard horror stories from friends or family. Kidney stones seem increasingly common these days, affecting more people yearly. The question is why. What’s causing this uptick in kidney stones? Moreover, The answers may shock you. But, as it turns out, some of the things you’re doing to be healthy could contribute to your kidney stone risk. Keep reading to discover the significant culprits behind these painful little stones and how to avoid becoming another kidney stone statistic. The good news is a few simple changes can make a big difference.

Too Much Calcium in Your Urine

Too much calcium in your urine is one of the leading causes of kidney stones. The calcium can come from the foods you eat, supplements you take, or even your bones. When you have excess calcium in your urine, it binds with other waste products to form stones.

Cut back on calcium-rich foods like dairy, sardines, and leafy greens to reduce excess calcium. Also, avoid calcium supplements or only take them occasionally under the guidance of your doctor. Some other tips:

  • Drink plenty of water to help flush excess calcium from your kidneys. Most experts recommend 6-8 glasses a day.
  • Limit sodium intake. Too much sodium in the diet can increase calcium excretion in urine. Aim for less than 2300 mg per day.
  • Get more magnesium. Magnesium helps regulate calcium levels in the body. Eat more magnesium-rich foods like spinach, nuts, and beans, or take a supplement.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese growing your risk of kidney stones. So losing excess pounds can help.
  • Lastly, Talk to your doctor about medication changes. For example, some medications like diuretics can increase calcium levels in urine. See if alternatives are available or if doses can be adjusted.

Finally, making a few lifestyle changes and staying hydrated can help prevent excess calcium buildup. Be proactive now so you can avoid the pain of kidney stones later. Your kidneys will thank you for it!

Increase in Oxalate Levels

Have you been eating more spinach and Swiss chard lately? While these foods are super healthy, they’re also high in oxalate — a substance that can increase your risk of kidney stones. Oxalate binds with calcium in your kidneys to form hard crystals called calcium oxalate stones.

  • Oxalate is found naturally in many plant-based foods, especially leafy greens, nuts, and beans. Unfortunately, as the popularity of plant-based diets has increased, so has the incidence of kidney stones. The great news is you don’t have to cut these nutritious foods out completely.
  • Staying hydrated is critical. Aim for three liters of water daily to dilute your urine. It makes it harder for stones to form.
  • Limit high-oxalate foods to no more than one serving per day. For example, a serving is 1/2 cup cooked spinach or Swiss chard, 1/3 cup nuts, etc. Spread out your intake and balance with low-oxalate options.
  • Cook high-oxalate veggies instead of eating them raw. Cooking helps break down some oxalates, reducing the amount your kidneys have to filter.
  • Talk to your doctor about calcium supplements. Calcium and oxalate balance each other out in your kidneys. A calcium citrate supplement with meals may help prevent stones from forming.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Losing excess pounds takes the pressure off your kidneys and may decrease stone risk. Exercise also helps, as staying active keeps your urine flowing.

Making a few diet and life changes can help lower your chances of developing painful kidney stones. You don’t have to cut out all the foods you enjoy, moderation and balance are key. Staying hydrated, limiting high-oxalate foods, and maintaining a healthy weight will have you well on your way to stone-free kidneys.

Gut Issues and Kidney Stones

What Causes Kidney Stones: The Answers May Shock You

Your health can have a significant impact on your kidney stone risk. For example, an unhealthy gut environment allows more oxalate to be absorbed from the foods you eat into your bloodstream, which can then make its way to your kidneys. As a result, oxalate is one of the main contributors to calcium oxalate stones, the most common type of kidney stone.

  • An overgrowth of oxalate-producing gut bacteria can increase oxalate levels in your urine. Using probiotics and eating fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi may help balance your gut bacteria.
  • Gut inflammation also enhances oxalate absorption. Following an anti-inflammatory diet by limiting red meat, fried foods, and sugar while eating more whole foods like fruits and vegetables may decrease inflammation in your gut.
  • Poor stomach acid leads to improper digestion of foods high in oxalate, like spinach and nuts. Supplementing with betaine HCL or digestive enzymes may improve the breakdown of these foods, so less oxalate is left to be absorbed by your intestines.

Getting tested for excess oxalate in your urine is a good idea if you’ve had kidney stones. A 24-hour urine collection test can determine if oxalate levels are too high. In addition, making changes to support gut health and improve oxalate processing may help get your levels into a normal range and reduce your risk of developing another painful stone.

Some other things you can do to maintain a healthy gut environment include:

  • Drink plenty of water to keep your urine diluted.
  • Limit high-oxalate foods.
  • Don’t smoke or vape.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.

Taking steps to improve your gut health may be one of the best ways to prevent kidney stones from forming or returning again. Equally, a balanced gut equals balanced oxalate levels and a lower risk of these mineral deposits causing kidney problems.

What Causes Kidney Stones in Not Enough Water in Your Diet

One of the leading causes of kidney stones is simply not drinking enough water. When you don’t drink enough water, your urine becomes more concentrated with waste products like calcium, oxalate, and uric acid. These substances are more likely to form crystals and stick together when your urine is concentrated.

Aim for 8-10 glasses of aqua daily to prevent kidney stones from forming or recurring and diluting your urine. It is essential in hot weather or if you exercise frequently. In addition to plain water, you can drink decaffeinated beverages like herbal tea, fruit-infused water, or lemon water. Staying adequately hydrated is of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of kidney stones.

Some signs you may not be drinking enough water include:

  • Dark yellow or amber-colored urine. Clear or light-colored urine is a good indicator that you’re well hydrated.
  • Increased thirst. Feeling very thirsty is often a sign you’re already dehydrated.
  • Dry mouth. If your mouth feels dry, your body is likely not getting enough water.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness. Dehydration can cause a drop in blood pressure leading to feelings of dizziness.
  • Headache. Dehydration is a common trigger for tension headaches and migraines.
  • Constipation. Adequate water is essential for digestion and maintaining regularity.

To drink more water, keep a reusable water bottle with you and fill it up throughout the day. In addition, set a prompt to drink a glass of water every hour or two. Add some lemon, lime, or cucumber for extra flavor. Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your kidney and overall health. Make it a priority and significantly lower your risk of developing painful kidney stones.

Medical Conditions That Increase Your Risk

What Causes Kidney Stones: The Answers May Shock You

Certain medical conditions can increase your risk of developing kidney stones. If you have any conditions, you’ll want to be extra vigilant about prevention and talk to your doctor.

What Causes Kidney Stones for Gout

Gout causes a buildup of uric acid in the blood, which can lead to kidney stones made of uric acid. Moreover, Controlling gout with medication or diet can help reduce your risk of uric acid stones.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Conditions like Crohn’s disease and colitis can increase calcium excretion in urine, raising the risk of calcium oxalate stones. Staying hydrated and controlling disease flares may help.

What Causes Kidney Stones in Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery for weight loss increases the risk of calcium oxalate stones. However, Losing weight too quickly after surgery can flood the kidneys with calcium, and bypassing parts of the intestines affect how calcium and oxalate are absorbed and excreted. However, follow your doctor’s recommendations for staying hydrated and supplementing calcium and oxalate.


Overactive parathyroid glands produce too much parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium levels. It can lead to high calcium in the urine and calcium stones. Furthermore, treatment focuses on controlling hormone levels through medication or surgery.

  • Other risks: Conditions like renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, and hypercalciuria can also increase the risk of specific kidney stones. The great news is there are steps you can take to lower your risk, even with an underlying medical condition. Be sure to get specific advice from your doctor on prevention and treatment.

By understanding certain conditions’ role, you can work closely with your doctor on the best ways to avoid kidney stones. For example, preventing and managing underlying conditions, staying hydrated, and making dietary changes can all help stop stones from forming or recurring.


So there you have it, the truth behind what causes those painful kidney stones. While some elements are out of our control, many are directly related to the foods and drinks we consume and our lifestyle choices. The great news is you can reduce your risk in several ways and avoid becoming another kidney stone statistic. moreover, Staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting excess salt, animal protein, and sugary or high-oxalate foods are all steps in the right direction. Make a few changes, and your kidneys will thank you. No one wants to experience the agony of passing a kidney stone, so take action now to avoid them in the first place!

What do you think?

Written by Vitals Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings


Kidney Failure: The Facts You Should Know to Stay Healthy

Chronic Kidney Disease: Risk Factors and Warning Signs

Chronic Kidney Disease: Risk Factors and Warning Signs