4 Types Of Kidney Stones You Need To Know About

4 Types Of Kidney Stones You Need To Know About

When we have kidney stones, it can feel like some of the most intense pain of our lives. It's important to become educated of the types of kidney stones we can have and how they occur, so that we can play an active role in our own health for our lives.

Let's start with defining what kidney stones are in the first place. They are basically solid masses of crystals originating in your kidneys, but can actually develop anywhere along your urinary tract. The crystals they are made up of include different types.

What follow are the 4 different types of kidney stones:

1. Calcium. These type of stones are the most common and they're often made up of calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, or calcium maleate. When we eat foods that are too high in oxalate, oxalate begins the processes of binding to calcium and causing stones. Too little calcium in our diets can cause oxalate levels to rise and cause stones as well. So it's actually good to eat calcium rich non-animal protein foods while decreasing high-oxalate foods such as potato chips, peanuts, chocolate, and beets.

2. Uric Acid. While these types of kidney stones are more common in men, women can be prone to these stones as well. Animal protein can cause the urine to because too acidic since purine (a colorless substance found in animal proteins like fish, shellfish, and meats) increases uric acid. High uric acid leads to kidney stones, so reducing animal protein can help in preventing and reducing the severity of symptoms of kidney stones.

3. Struvite. These types of stones are mostly found in women with urinary tract infections (UTIs) and can be large, possibly causing a urinary obstruction. They result from a kidney infection, so treating the underlying infection can actually prevent the development of these type of stones.

4. Cystine. While these kidney stones are rare, they may still occur for both women and men who have a genetic disorder called cystinuria. For this type of stone to occur, an acid that naturally occurs in the body called cystine leads from the kidneys into the urine.

Having clarification of what type of kidney stone you have can play a very important role in obtaining the correct treatment and dietary modifications to help you become healthy and pain-free!