Kidney stones are painful urinary and bladder conditions that can affect people for various reasons.
Some people are at more risk of developing kidney stones due to lifestyle and diet choices. But are kidney stones hereditary? Keep reading to find out!
Kidney stones are solid mineral deposits that develop in the kidneys. They cause extreme pain when they pass through the urinary tract.
Over 12% of Americans are affected by kidney stones. Additionally, if you develop a kidney stone, your chance of developing another one within the next ten years increases by 50%.
If you are suspicious you have kidney stones and may have questions like what are kidney stones? What are the symptoms and treatments of kidney stones? Are Kidney Stones Hereditary?
In this article, we’ll discuss some facts about kidney stones. Let’s get started!
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Kidney stone (also known as nephrolithiasis, urolithiasis, or calculi) refers to solid crystals that develop in the kidneys. A calcium oxalate stone is the most common kind of kidney stone.
This type of kidney stone occurs when calcium and oxalate mix in the urine. Also, It can happen when you have insufficient fluid consumption, a low amount of calcium, and high quantities of oxalate.
Uric acid can also cause stones. Uric acid comes from a naturally occurring substance called purine, a byproduct of animal proteins (fish, chicken, and meat).
Others contain cysteine or other common minerals, including calcium carbonate, magnesium, and phosphate.
Kidney stones can affect the urinary tract, including the kidneys and bladder, and can sometimes cause blockages that can be extremely painful. Passing kidney stones can be very painful. Some kidney stones easily pass out, while others might require medical treatment.
Below are some symptoms of kidney stones:
- Painful urination (dysuria)
- Smelly urine
- Blood in the urine (Hematuria)
- Frequent and urgent urination
- Frequent and persistent urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Severe pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in the belly and groin
Now that we know the meaning and symptoms of kidney stones, let’s answer the next question: Are kidney stones hereditary?
One of the most frequently asked questions about kidney stones is: Are kidney stones hereditary?
Yes, kidney stones are hereditary. If your parents or family had kidney stones, you also have a risk of having them.
With a family history, it is crucial to change your diet to prevent kidney stones, which includes drinking enough water, eating a healthy diet low in fat, red meat, sugar, sodium, and oxalates, limiting caffeine consumption, and adding lemon juice to water.
Other risk factors besides family history can raise your risk of developing kidney stones. They include:
If you don’t take enough water every day, your risk of kidney stones may increase. People who sweat a lot and those who live in warm, dry climates may be at more risk than others.
Gastric bypass surgery, chronic diarrhea, or inflammatory bowel disease can cause changes in the digestive process, affecting the absorption of calcium and water, which increases the amounts of stone-forming substances in the urine.
Eating diets high in protein, sugar, and salt (especially salt) may increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Excess salt in diets increases the amount of calcium the kidneys must filter, which significantly increases the risk of kidney stones.
Medications used to treat depression or migraines, and supplements like dietary supplements, vitamin C, calcium-based antacids, and laxatives (when used in excess), can increase the risk of kidney stones.
Large waist sizes, high body mass index, and weight gain can increase the risk of kidney stones.
Below are possible ways you can prevent kidney stones.
When water levels become too low, mineral crystals form and cause kidney stones. One of the best ways to prevent kidney stones from developing is by drinking enough water, especially if you live in a warm environment or sweat a lot during the day.
Increasing your fluid intake by drinking soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages may be tempting, but doing so can increase your risk of developing kidney stones. Water is the best fluid for hydration.
Kidney stones may develop due to vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplementation, especially in men. Men who take a high dosage of vitamin C supplements increase their risk of developing kidney stones,
Numerous benefits of exercise include improved sleep, better moods, and stronger muscles and bones. Exercise can also aid in weight loss and maintenance, which can help prevent kidney stones from forming.
Kidney stones are more prone to occur in those who eat diets high in protein, sodium, and sugar. Diets high in oxalate can also increase the risk of kidney stones; therefore, reducing your consumption of foods high in oxalate may be beneficial.
Below is the list of foods that are high in oxalate:
People also find it beneficial to reduce animal protein consumption, such as eggs and dairy.
By eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking, and treating underlying diseases, you can maintain the health of your kidneys. Remember, healthy kidneys are happy kidneys!
Treatments of Kidney Stones Hereditary
Both small and large kidney stones can be treated in various ways.
Small kidney stones can be treated at home. It often leaves the body through urine.
Kidney stones can be difficult and painful to pass and may take up to two days. Doctors may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help relieve pain.
Large kidney stones may require surgery.
A person may undergo any of the following surgeries depending on the size and location of the stones:
Shock wave lithotripsy is the most common method for treating large kidney stones. A healthcare professional performs an ultrasound examination to check the area of the kidney.
After that, the kidney stone is broken into smaller pieces using a device that sends ultrasound shock waves. As a result, the stones are easily passed through urine.
A medical professional uses a thin, telescopic instrument called a nephroscope to locate the kidney. The kidney stones are removed or broken into tiny pieces using laser energy.
It involves passing a small telescope into the urethra and bladder, which goes up to the ureter, where the stones are located.
FAQs on Are Kidney Stones Hereditary
What Are the Biggest Complications of Kidney Stones?
The biggest complication of kidney stones is ureteral constriction (blockage) and kidney infection. Blockage of the ureter caused by kidney stones can lead to kidney infection. That is because the blockage prevents waste products from passing, which may lead to a build-up of bacteria.
Do Kidney Stones Cause Kidney Disease?
If you’ve had kidney stones, you’re at high risk of developing more kidney stones and chronic kidney disease. Urinary obstruction from kidney stones can result in infection, kidney damage, or even kidney failure.
What Happens if Kidney Stones Are Not Treated?
If kidney stones are not treated, they may restrict or block the ureters, which increases the risk of infection, or urine may accumulate, thereby adding strain to the kidneys.
However, these issues are rare because most kidney stones are treated before they can lead to complications.
Can Stress Cause Kidney stones?
Yes. Stress can cause kidney stones. Stress can generally affect your kidneys. Stress can cause high blood sugar and high blood pressure, harming the kidneys and the heart.
Kidney stones are hereditary and run in families, but various lifestyle choices and traits can also increase your risk.
Kidney stones can be discomforting and may need medical attention if they become severe. However, most kidney stones don’t cause permanent damage, and you can pass them out without knowing.
Do not hesitate to get an appointment with your doctor if you suspect any symptoms of kidney stones. They could recommend treatment options to help reduce your risk of developing kidney stones.