A new study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that there's an uptick in cases of kidney stones in the U.S.
If you've ever had a kidney stone or know of anyone who's suffered from the condition, you're well aware of how painful it is. These small crystal-forming substances, which are usually no bigger than a grain of sand, can wreak havoc on your body.
To everyone's dismay, there are four different types of kidney stones we need to be aware of. This article will discuss how you can develop any one of these stones, and how you can reduce your chance of ever getting one.
1. Not drinking enough water
Dehydration is one of the main causes of uric acid stones. If you notice that you're peeing only one or two times a day, you may be at a high risk for developing a kidney stone.
2. Certain diets
Another cause of uric acid stones are diets that predominately consist of protein or sodium. Red meat, in particular, contains a compound known as purines, which causes urine to become more acidic. Sodium will also mimic the effects of dehydration if you're not drinking enough water.
In addition, high concentrations of calcium or oxalate, a chemical compound found in food, in the urine can cause calcium stones, which are the most popular type of kidney stones.
According to Diabetes In Control, people who are overweight have more salt and animal protein in their diet, which goes back to the former point.
4. Family history
People have a greater likelihood of getting a kidney stone if they've already had one before. Unfortunately, people who have family members that have suffered from the condition in the past also have a greater chance of developing one some time in their life. This may be caused by a hereditary disorder that leads to cystine stones.
5. Certain medical conditions
Urinary track infections or other medical conditions that cause problems with the kidney, like renal tubular acidosis, can cause struvite stones. This is particularly dangerous because these stones can grow quickly and become very painful.