Kidney Stones: Who’s Most At Risk?
Passing a kidney stone is a painful experience that few people would ever forget, and although they are more common in men, it is important for everyone to be aware of what kidney stones are, how to prevent them, the signs of symptoms, and the treatment for this condition.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones (also known as “renal calculi”), are crystalline “stones” formed by dietary minerals in the urine. If they occur inside the kidney, the condition is known as “nephrolithiasis”. If they occur in the ureter (the tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder), the condition is known as “ureterolithiasis”. And if they occur in the bladder, it is known as “cystolithiasis”.
Most stones are made up of calcium, potassium, and several other minerals and electrolytes, but calcium appears to be the most common kidney stone constituent, however other types of stones are also relatively common.
What Causes Kidney Stones to Form?
Kidney stones form due to several factors. One major factor is low fluid intake, leading to very concentrated urine and decreased ability for the body to rid itself of these minerals through more dilute urine.