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Kidney Stones - What Increases Your Risk

Several risk factors (things that put you at risk) for kidney stones make it more likely that you will get them. Some of these things you can control, and others you cannot.

Risk factors you can control

Things you can control include:

  • How much fluid you drink. The most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water. Try to drink enough water to keep your urine light yellow or clear like water (about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day).
  • Your diet. Diets high in protein, sodium, and oxalate-rich foods, such as dark green vegetables, increase your risk for kidney stones. If you think that your diet may be a problem, schedule an appointment with a dietitian and review your food choices.
    actionset.gif Kidney Stones: Preventing Kidney Stones Through Diet
  • Being overweight. This can cause both insulin resistance and increased calcium in the urine, which can result in a greater risk for kidney stones.
  • MedicineMedicine. Some medicines, such as acetazolamide (Diamox) and indinavir (Crixivan), can cause kidney stones to form.

Risk factors you cannot control

Things you can't control include:

  • Age and gender.
    • Men between the ages of 30 and 50 are most likely to get kidney stones.
    • Postmenopausal women with low estrogen levels have an increased risk for kidney stones. Women who have had their ovaries removed are also at increased risk.
  • A family history of kidney stones.
  • A personal history of frequent urinary tract infections.
  • Other diseases or conditions, such as Crohn's disease, hyperparathyroidism, or gout.
  • Intestinal surgery or gastric bypass surgery.
  • Insulin resistanceInsulin resistance, which can occur because of diabetes or obesity.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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