Kidney Stones (cont.)
Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is a kidney stone?
- What causes kidney stones?
- What are the different types of kidney stones?
- Who is at risk for kidney stones?
- What are the signs and symptoms of kidney stones?
- How are kidney stones diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for kidney stones?
- What is the prognosis for kidney stones?
- Can kidney stones be prevented?
- Pictures of Kidney Stones - Slideshow
- Pictures of Kidney Stones - Image Collection
- The 7 Wonders of Water - Slideshow
- Find a local Urologist in your town
What are the different types of kidney stones?
Calcium oxalate is by far the most common type of kidney stone. Less frequently, uric acid can cause stones. (This is the same chemical compound that is the cause of gout.) Struvite, xanthine, and other types of stones are rare. Some stones are combinations of these minerals and chemicals.
Who is at risk for kidney stones?
More than 80% of patients with kidney stones are men.
There is a genetic component as well, and stone formers run in families, especially when it comes to difficulties metabolizing chemicals like cysteine, oxalate, and uric acid.
Geographically, there are “stone belts” in the United States and geography may play a part forming stones. There are both northern and southern belts. In the south, the hot climate may cause relative dehydration, especially in patients who do not drink enough fluids.
Excess vitamin D may be associated with increased risk of calcium kidney stones, but high calcium diets may or may not be a risk factor. In patients who are susceptible to forming stones, increased calcium in the diet may increase the frequency and number of stones formed.
Certain medications have been implicated in kidney stone formation. Patients taking diuretics or water pills increase calcium concentration in their urine. Patients who take calcium containing antacids and calcium supplements also increase their urinary calcium. Other medications associated with increased risk of stone formation include Dilantin, ceftriaxone, and ciprofloxacin.
Underlying medical conditions can be associated with stone formation including renal tubular acidosis, medullary sponge kidney, inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, and hyperparathyroidism (a hormonal condition causing high levels of calcium in the bloodstream).
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