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Causes of Kidney Stones

Family History

People with a family history of kidney stones may be more likely to develop stones themselves.
 

Genetic Diseases

More than 70 percent of people with renal tubular acidosis, which is a rare hereditary disease, will develop kidney stones.
 
More than 50 percent of people with hypercalciuria, which is also a hereditary disease, will develop kidney stones. Hypercalciuria occurs when there is too much calcium buildup in the urine, which causes crystals of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate to form in the kidneys or urinary tract.
 
Two other rare, inherited metabolic disorders that often cause kidney stones are cystinuria and hyperoxaluria. In cystinuria, there is an excessive amount of cystine that cannot be dissolved, which can lead to the formation of cystine stones. In hyperoxaluria, the body produces too much salt oxalate. When the salt oxalate cannot be dissolved in the urine, the crystals settle out and form stones.
 

Drug-Related Kidney Stone Causes

Certain diuretics, which are commonly called water pills, or calcium-based antacids, may increase the risk of forming kidney stones because they increase the amount of calcium in the urine. People who take the protease inhibitor indinavir, a drug used to treat HIV infection, are also at risk of developing kidney stones.
 

Other Causes

People who have a chronic inflammation of the bowel or who have had an intestinal bypass operation or ostomy surgery may also be at risk of developing calcium oxalate stones.
 

Final Thoughts

People who think that they may be at risk of kidney stones, or who have already had kidney stones, should discuss this concern with their doctor. Doctors can suggest ways to reduce the risk and can help plan an appropriate schedule for checkups.

Information on Kidney Stones

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