Kidney stones are quite painful and troublesome, and those who have experienced that pain know the intensity of the waves of despair. When identified early, kidney stones can be taken care of easily with medication. 


However, in most cases, patients do not realize until it’s too late, and they are hit with truckloads of pain. In some cases, if the stone gets lodged in the urinary tract, it causes infection, and surgery may come into play. This adds all the more reasons to have a healthy lifestyle and follow certain practices that prevent kidney stones. 


Today, let’s learn in detail about kidney stones and how to prevent them. 

What are kidney stones?


As Harvard Medical School states, 


“Renal calculi, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis—kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys.” 


Urine contains dissolved minerals and salts. Trouble happens when these minerals are at high levels, which is the trigger for kidney stones.


Kidney stones are formed because of minerals such as calcium, oxalate, or urea that become concentrated and form crystals in the kidneys. Primarily, stones form when calcium combines with oxalate, accounting for 80 percent of kidney stones along with calcium phosphate. It can also form from the byproducts of the urine mechanism, such as uric acid stones, which account for 5 to 10 percent of stones. 


Struvite stones, also called infection stones, account for 10 percent of kidney stones. It is a comparatively rare occurrence, found on a large scale owing to chronic urinary tract infections. 


The least common type of kidney stone is cystine stones, accounting for less than 1 percent, which often starts in childhood. 


Causes of Kidney Stones


Although kidney stones do not have one single or definite cause, several factors make up the reasons for the formation of the stones. 


  1. Calcium Stones: Most kidney stones, as said above, are calcium oxalate stones. Oxalate is a natural compound found in our diet and also produced by our liver. Certain fruits and vegetables have relatively high amounts of oxalates, and dietary factors, high doses of vitamin D, and certain metabolic disorders are causes of calcium oxalate stones. 

  1. Uric acid stones: People who lose large amounts of fluid from their bodies due to chronic diarrhea or malabsorption or those who eat high-protein foods may develop uric acid stones. It may also be caused by being overweight and having type 2 diabetes. Certain genetic factors also play a role in uric acid stone formation. 

  1. Struvite Stones: Urinary tract infections are the primary cause of struvite stones. Some bacteria make the urine less acidic and more alkaline, resulting in the formation of ammonium phosphate (struvite). These stones are generally large and grow rapidly. People with tubes in their kidneys or bladders and people with poor bladder emptying conditions due to neurological problems such as paralysis, multiple sclerosis, and spina bifida are at higher risk. 

  1. Cystine Stones: Cytsine is an amino acid found in certain foods and is one of the building blocks of protein. These stones are caused by an inherited metabolic disorder that makes the kidneys excrete too much cystine, resulting in the formation of the stones. 


Prevention is Key: Tips to Avoid Kidney Stones

Lifestyle changes and incorporating a few changes can prevent the formation of kidney stones. Although it is not difficult, it may take some determination to lead a quite healthy life. 


We have listed some preventive tips to avoid kidney stones. 


  1. Drink plenty of fluids. Take approximately 2.5 liters of water every day, and the amount may vary depending on the physical activity of each individual. It doesn’t have to just be water; fluid in any form accounts for the intake. Drinking enough water lowers the risk of stone formation by diluting the substances in the urine. 

  1. Reduce the amount of salt intake. A diet high in sodium can trigger the formation of kidney stones by increasing the calcium in urine. Strive to include the ideal amount, not more than 2,300 mg, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Avoid processed foods high in sodium and foods like cheese, breads, pickles, dressings, condiments, etc. 

  1. Take enough calcium. Dietary calcium binds to oxalates in the intestines, thereby reducing the amount of oxalates that go into the bloodstream and are later excreted by the kidneys. Too much calcium from calcium supplements can also cause trouble, so ideally, consult your doctor before making drastic dietary changes.

  2. Incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables. Doctors suggest eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day for people with kidney stones. This is due to the fact that fruits and vegetables have potassium, fiber, magnesium, antioxidants, phytate, and citrate, which play a major role in preventing kidney stones.

  1. Take less oxalate-rich foods. Foods such as beets, chocolate, spinach, tea, and nuts are rich in oxalates, which increases the risk of calcium oxalate stones. This is especially important for people with oxalate stones. 


The Importance of Medical Treatments


Kidney stones are not a one-time occurrence. There’s a high probability that if you had a kidney stone once, you are more likely to get it again. So, always consult your doctor in case of any discomfort or pain, and follow along with your treatment plan with diligence. 


Medical treatments are crucial to avoid the reoccurrence and the expulsion of small stones. Also, if the stones are large, it is important to consult a urologist to look for nephrology treatment since these stones cause severe pain and kidney problems. 


Nephrology is the adult and pediatric study of the kidneys and their diseases. While looking for hospitals for your treatment, make sure to check out dedicated nephrology hospitals, as they will have newer technology, a wide spectrum of knowledge, and a specialization in kidney-related ailments. 




Kidney stones are painful when not discovered in a timely manner. So, it is every single person’s responsibility to take care of their health and place less stress on their body and organs. Although it may sound daunting initially, as one practices the preventive tips, it ends up being easy in the long run. 


We, Oxymed Hospitals, are pioneers when it comes to kidney-related ailments, with a team of experienced doctors and modern technology to aid in the treatment. 


If you are looking for a nephrology hospital in Chennai, we assure you that we are pioneers in the field, and we take pride in saying we are one of the best nephrology hospitals in Chennai. 


So, contact us or come directly to our hospital to check on your health.