Risk Factors for Developing Kidney Stones

Nobody wants to deal with kidney stones, but there are risk factors that make someone prone to developing them. These factors are not guarantees that a person will develop kidney stones, but they can help a person take preventative measures to lower their chances. 

Family History
People with a family history of kidney stones are more likely to develop them than someone without a history. 

Hydration is a key factor for kidney stones. Dehydration is the most common cause of kidney stones. Without enough liquid to dilute toxins and other substances in the urine, kidney stones can easily form when those substances crystallize. Drinking plenty of water each day can significantly lower your chances of kidney stones and keep your body hydrated. You can even add lemon juice throughout the day to boost your citric acid intake. 

Diets high in protein, sugar, and salt can put a person at a greater risk of kidney stones. Salt leads to the creation of calcium in the kidneys which is a main component of most kidney stones. Sugar and protein in excess create the conditions for kidney stones, especially if the person is also dehydrated. Those who know they have kidney stones or have other risk factors may want to try a diet low in protein, sugar, and salt. People should be careful adopting a preventative diet like this since not everyone is at risk of kidney stones, and a diet limiting certain things could be detrimental. 

People who are obese or overweight have a higher chance of kidney stones. Reducing your weight if you are overweight can help lower your risk. 

Medical Conditions
There are certain medical conditions that make a person predisposed to kidney stones. Renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, hyperparathyroidism, and recurrent urinary tract infections are the main risk conditions. All of these impact the kidneys and make them more vulnerable to kidney stones. Additionally, these conditions can make the kidney stones larger and more difficult to pass. 

Supplements and Medication 
Too much vitamin C can increase your risk of kidney stones. Vitamin C turns into oxalate when it reaches the kidneys. Oxalate combines with calcium to form the kidney stones. Many foods naturally have vitamin C, so a supplement of the vitamin may be unnecessary. Calcium-based antacids and diuretics are also a risk factor for kidney stones. A person should be careful with their vitamin and mineral intake to reduce the chances for kidney stones.