Dr. Vishnuvardhan B R

Consultant - Nephrology

Book Appointment

Subscribe to our blogs

Reviewed by

Dr. Vishnuvardhan B R

Consultant - Nephrology

Manipal Hospitals, Whitefield

Kidney Stones: Why Do They Occur? Types & Symptoms

Posted On: Dec 18, 2023

blogs read 3 Min Read

Kidney Stones: Why Do They Occur? Types & Symptoms

Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that develop within the kidneys. They are also referred to as kidney stone disease, renal calculus disease, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis. Kidney stones occur due to the concentration and crystallisation of certain substances. These structures vary in size. It can either be tiny particles or larger, more obstructive formations. They not only cause bodily discomfort, but it also disrupts kidney function. It affects the urinary health! Small kidney stones often pass through your urinary tract unnoticed. However, larger ones can cause pain and lead to complications if left untreated.


Why Do Kidney Stones Occur?


Kidney stones may occur for various reasons, starting from lifestyle choices to inherent metabolic issues. A few factors that cause kidney stones symptoms are listed below: 


  • Dehydration


Dehydration is perhaps the most important factor that causes kidney stones. If there is a lack of adequate fluids in your body, the urine becomes concentrated. When your body is dehydrated, it reduces the urine volume. This allows minerals to clump together and form stones. So, staying well-hydrated holds paramount importance in preventing kidney stones. Aim to consume at least 2-3 litres of fluids per day.


  • Dietary Factors


  • Your diet may contribute to increasing the risk of kidney stones. It includes:
  • Oxalate-rich food, like beets, nuts, and certain leafy vegetables bind with urine calcium that may form crystals, resulting in kidney stones. 
  • High sodium intake increases calcium levels in the urine, promoting calcium-containing stones. 
  • A very low-calcium diet may also contribute to kidney stones.


  • Metabolic Factors


Excessive levels of calcium, oxalate, and uric acid in urine heighten the risk of kidney stones. These issues can be the result of genetic disorders, dietary choices, or certain medical conditions. Consult an expert nephrologist for the right dietary modifications to reduce the risk factors.


  • Medical Conditions


  • Some prevalent health issues may make you more susceptible to developing kidney stones.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) create a kidney stone-friendly environment in your body. These infections alter the urine composition. This, in turn, promotes the crystallisation of minerals.
  • A genetic disorder called Cystinuria increases the cystine levels in the urine. This condition poses a higher risk for recurrent kidney stones. 
  • Renal Tubular Acidosis disrupts your kidney’s ability to acidify the urine effectively. Such an altered urinary environment may contribute to the formation of stones. 
  • Other conditions may include hypocitraturia (low citrate levels), Vit-D deficiency, gout, Hypercalciuria (excessive calcium excretion in urine), and inflammatory bowel disease (chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract).


Symptoms of Kidney Stones


The warning signs of kidney stones may vary from person to person. It usually depends on the severity of the condition. 

We suggest you consult a top nephrologist in Whitefield immediately if you notice these symptoms persistently.


Types of Kidney Stones


There are different types of kidney stones, typically characterised by their composition. Understanding them is necessary to manage the issue accordingly.

Calcium Oxalate Stones

Composition: Primarily calcium combined with oxalate. It is the most prevalent type.
Causes: High oxalate diet, inadequate fluid intake, and certain metabolic conditions.


Calcium Phosphate Stones

Composition: Mainly calcium combined with phosphate.
Causes: High pH in urine, underlying metabolic disorders, or renal tubular acidosis.


Uric Acid Stones

Composition: Uric acid.
Causes: High purine diet, dehydration, gout, and certain metabolic conditions.


Struvite Stones

Composition: Composed of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate. This type is more common in women.
Causes: Urinary tract infections (UTIs).


Cystine Stones

Composition: An amino acid called Cystine. It is the least common type. 
Causes: Often hereditary (cystinuria).


Mixed Composition Stones

Composition: Combination of different minerals.
Identifying this type is quite challenging. It may require specialised analysis.

Diagnosing the right type of kidney stone is crucial for accurate treatment methods. Diagnosis can be by a urine sample test, CT scan, abdominal X-ray, or ultrasound.


Treatment for Kidney Stones


  • Medications that will relax the muscles in your ureter. These assist in passing the stones through urine.
  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) is the most suitable option for smaller stones. ESWL breaks the stones into smaller parts for easier passage.
  • Ureteroscopy involves passing a thin tube through your urinary tract. The doctor will check the stones and remove or break them.
  • Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is a minimally invasive procedure that helps remove larger stones.
  • Surgical Intervention (Open Surgery) is the traditional surgical procedure to treat complex conditions.


Visit Manipal Hospitals Whitefield, Bangalore to consult the best nephrologist in Whitefield and treat your kidney stones effectively.




Yes, stay hydrated and follow a diet low in oxalate and sodium to prevent kidney stones. Please consider these as precautions and not a guaranteed method of not getting kidney stones.

Certain genetic disorders, underlying health conditions, and dietary habits may make people more susceptible to kidney stones. Consult a top nephrologist in Whitefield for proper guidance.

The diagnostic measures include testing urine samples, CT scans, abdominal X-rays, and ultrasounds.

Share this article on:

Subscribe to our blogs

Thank You Image

Thank you for subscribing to our blogs.
You will be notified when we upload a new blog