Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Different Types of Kidney Stones

You may have heard of kidney stones and know they can be incredibly painful. But did you know this condition sends more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year? There’s more than one type, and certain factors can increase your chances of developing them.

Kidney stones form in your kidney when certain substances build up in your urine and clump together in a solid mass. They can be anywhere in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. And, while they start in your kidneys, they can cause problems anywhere in your urinary tract, all the way to your bladder and urethra. 

Jaspreet Singh, DO, of Premier Medical Group in New Windsor and Kingston, New York, helps both men and women suffering from kidney stones. In this blog, he explains the types of kidney stones and what can put you at risk of developing them.

Calcium stones

When it comes to kidney stones, calcium stones are by far the most common. These deposits can either contain calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate. 

Calcium oxalate

Oxalate comes from the foods you eat and also gets made by your liver. Several factors can increase your chances of having high levels of calcium or oxalate in your urine, including consuming a diet high in calcium or oxalate, having bypass surgery, or having metabolic disorders.

Calcium phosphate

These calcium stones are less common and usually develop in people who have certain conditions, such as hyperparathyroidism or urinary tract infections, or who take medications to treat migraines or seizures.

Uric acid stones

Another common kidney stone can develop due to having high levels of uric acid. In most cases, having high levels of uric acid is due to consuming a diet rich in purines.

Purines are a natural byproduct from animal proteins, such as organ meat, red meat, and shellfish. When you eat a diet high in purines, your body produces more uric acid, which means more waste for your kidneys to process.

As the acidity in your urine increases, it makes it easier for stones to form.

Struvite stones

These stones contain magnesium ammonium phosphate, and they usually occur if you have an infection in your upper urinary tract, where the bacteria can make ammonia. While these stones are far less common, they can develop quite quickly and grow very large, sometimes with little warning or symptoms.

Cystine stones

By far the least common kidney stone, cystine stones are due to a genetic condition known as cystinuria. When you have cystinuria, you end up with high levels of cystine in your urine, which can clump together to form stones.

Knowing your risks can help you ward off kidney stones

While there are several types of kidney stones, they all share the same first line of defense: hydration. In fact, dehydration is a common factor in kidney stone formation. That’s because not drinking enough water on a daily basis can allow these waste substances to build up in your kidneys and form stones.

Other factors that can increase your chances of developing kidney stones include:

Taking certain dietary supplements or medications — such as laxatives, calcium-based antacids, vitamin C, or drugs used for migraines or depression — can also increase your risk of developing kidney stones, 

If you struggle with kidney stones, Dr. Singh can help. To learn more about your treatment options, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Medical Group today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Am I a Good Candidate for UroLift?

Do you need to use the bathroom more often than usual? This may be a common problem for men as they age, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. Keep reading to learn about UroLift® and whether it’s right for you.

Frequent Urges to Urinate: Causes and Solutions

Have you been rushing to the bathroom more often than usual lately? Does the urge come on suddenly and feel uncontrollable? Read on to learn about the potential causes along with some of the treatments.

Signs of an Enlarged Prostate

Believe it or not, your prostate gland continues growing over your entire lifetime. So how do you know if yours becomes enlarged? Keep reading to learn to spot the signs, so you can get relief.

Reduce Your Risk for Kidney Stones

Nothing compares with the pain that comes from kidney stones. Unfortunately, once you have them, you’re more likely to get them again. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid kidney stones in the first place. Keep reading to learn more.

Is a Penile Implant Right for You?

Living with erectile dysfunction can be distressing and frustrating, but there are several treatment options that can restore your sexual vitality. So how do you know when to consider a penile implant? Here’s what you need to know.

4 Myths About Erectile Dysfunction

There's plenty of misinformation out there about erectile dysfunction (ED). Read on to learn the truth about ED and find out how the condition can be treated.