How do kidney stones form?
- Crystals can be found within the urine of almost all humans. These crystals are thought to be a normal body response to get rid of excess dietary mineral and to conserve water. Instead of being harmlessly excreted, stone formers’ urinary crystals nucleate (grow) and aggregate (stick) within the kidney, resulting in a cascade of events that lead to stone formation. The exact biological mechanisms remain unclear, but one way to prevent urinary crystals is to decrease the amount of acid, calcium, and oxalate in the urine OR to increase the amount of citrate and magnesium.
How do I prevent kidney stone recurrence?
- The best proven method of stone prevention is to increase the amount of urine that you make. By the simple process of urinary dilution, crystals are unable to collect within the kidney and pass in the urine without forming a stone. As many stone formers have “metabolic” risk factors for kidney stones (see Section II), talk to your urologist about obtaining a metabolic profile to better understand the reason for your stone disease, in particular if you’ve had more than 2 or 3 stones in your lifetime.