JUL 07, 2017 7:19 AM PDT

What Causes Stones to Form in Your Body?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Kidney stones are relatively common - if you haven't had it, you probably know of someone who did. Most of all, we probably associate great pains with passing these stones through countless horror stories told by people who have gone through the experience.

Kidney stones form due to high calcium and other mineral deposits to the organ. The stones range in size, with bigger stones causing more extreme pain. In some cases, when waiting for the stone to pass naturally is no longer an option, doctors can use lithotripsy to break the stone into smaller fragments. Fortunately, for the majority of the time, patients can pass the stones through their urine tract naturally. If people don't want to wait though, researchers at Michigan University have claimed that riding certain roller coasters could help patients pass the stones with 70 percent success rate.

Of note, some people may be more prone to getting kidney stones. Risk factors include obesity, consuming foods or supplements high in calcium, gout, hyperparathyroidism, and not drinking enough water. As such, one easy way doctors recommend to prevent kidney stones is to drink enough water so that more than 2 liters of urine is produced per day.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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