Risk factors that contribute to the formation of kidney stones can be divided into 2 groups; modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors.
- Modifiable risk factors
Some biochemical abnormalities and characteristics of the urine can predispose one to develop kidney stones. Examples of these abnormalities include low urine volume, high urine calcium, high urine uric acid, high urine oxalate, low urine citrate and urinary stasis. Certain urine pH can also contribute to the formation of different stone types.
Each abnormality above is also associated with certain conditions. For example, certain types of diet or certain medical conditions can promote high urine content of some substances, low urine content of some substances or altered urine pH.
This is an important factor of stone formation. Low intake of fluid, calcium and potassium can promote calcium stone formation whereas high oxalate, sodium, vitamin C, can promote it.
High intake of animal protein can increase the risk of uric acid stone formation.
Certain medications such as topiramate, acetazolamide, indinavir, triamterene etc. can raise the chance of stone formation.
- Non-modifiable risk factors
Examples are gout, hyperparathyroidism, diabetes mellitus, short gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, bowel resection, gastrointestinal bypass surgery, distal renal tubular acidosis, urinary tract infection, medullary sponge kidney, obesity, cystinuria.
- Genetic factors and family history