About 10% of people get a kidney stone in their lifetimes. They’re small, hard objects that form in your kidneys and travel through your urinary tract — and they can be excruciatingly painful.
While some people get one kidney stone and never have another, they can be a recurring nightmare for others. If you're wondering why you keep getting kidney stones, our team at PathMD in Los Angeles, California, is here to help answer your questions.
Read on to learn about common reasons for recurrent kidney stones and how advanced kidney stone analysis from our pathology team can help diagnose difficult cases.
Kidney stones are solid masses that form when crystals separate from urine and accumulate in your kidneys. There are four types of stones, and the types are determined by their material makeup:
Kidney stones vary in size from tiny grains to large, golf ball-sized stones. Tiny stones can pass unnoticed, but larger stones can cause extreme pain and block your urinary tract. A few possible causes of recurring kidney stones are:
Family history plays a significant role in your risk of kidney stones. If a parent, sibling, or other close relative has a history of recurring kidney stones, you’re at a higher risk of developing them.
When you don’t drink enough water, your urine becomes more concentrated, increasing your risk of crystal formation. Staying properly hydrated dilutes your urine and helps reduce your risk of kidney stones.
Certain foods can contribute to some types of kidney stones, particularly calcium oxalate stones. Eating many foods high in sodium or rich in oxalates, like spinach, nuts, or chocolate, can increase your susceptibility to stones.
Some underlying medical conditions, like Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disorder, and urinary tract infections, can increase your risk of kidney stones and other kidney problems. That means you may be more prone to recurring stones if you have one of these conditions.
Your medications could also increase your risk of kidney stones. Diuretics and antacids, among others, can make recurring kidney stones more likely, so discuss your medications with your healthcare provider if you suspect they may be contributing to your kidney stone issues.
If you keep getting kidney stones, it’s normal to want answers. Determining the exact cause of your stones is key to finding effective treatment, but traditional analysis isn’t always enough for difficult cases.
That’s where advanced kidney stone analysis from our experts at PathMD can make a significant difference. We use the latest techniques in urologic pathology to identify the precise composition of your kidney stones and any other factors that may be at play.
This information is crucial because different types of stones have different underlying causes. For instance, calcium oxalate stones may be linked to dietary factors, while uric acid stones could result from metabolic issues.
Armed with a clear understanding of the factors causing your kidney stones, you and your healthcare team can develop a targeted plan to reduce your risk of recurrence. This may involve dietary changes, hydration strategies, or medication adjustments.
Don't let kidney stones continue to disrupt your life — take proactive steps to understand and manage this painful condition. Learn more about advanced kidney stone analysis at PathMD. Call 424-245-7284 or send our team a message to get started.