Kidney stones, or renal calculi, are solid masses made of crystals. Kidney stones generally originate in your kidneys. However, they can develop anywhere along your urinary tract, which consists of these parts:
Not all kidney stones are made up of the same crystals. The different types of kidney stones include:
This type of kidney stone is more general in men than in women. They can happen in people with gout or those going through chemotherapy.
This type of stone develops when urine is too acidic. A diet rich in purines can raise urine’s acidic level. Purine is a colorless substance in animal proteins, such as fish, shellfish, and meats.
This type of stone is found mostly in women with urinary tract infections (UTIs). These stones can be large and reason urinary obstruction. They result from a kidney infection. Treating an underlying infection can prevent the development of struvite stones.
Cystine stones are rare. They happen in both men and women who have the genetic disorder cystinuria. With this type of stone, cystine — an acid that occurs naturally in the body — leaks from the kidneys into the urine.
Calcium stones are the most general. They’re often made of calcium oxalate (though they can consist of calcium phosphate or maleate). Eating fewer oxalate-rich foods can decrease your risk of developing this type of stone. High-oxalate foods include:
- potato chips
However, even though some kidney stones are made of calcium, getting enough calcium in your diet can prevent stones from forming.
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