The Link Between Gastrointestinal Issues and Kidney Stones

If you’ve been diagnosed with gastrointestinal issues, you may be surprised to know that they may increase your risk of kidney stones. Additionally, sometimes kidney stones can even cause symptoms that mimic gastrointestinal issues as well. 

That’s why it’s so important to know the relationship between these two types of health conditions. At Preva Surgicare - Surgery Center Of The Woodlands in Texas, our urology experts can help you understand your risk for kidney stones, while our specialized Stone Relief Center can help you treat them. 

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones are painful accumulations of minerals that form in your kidneys and can cause serious pain. Often smaller stones can pass freely through your urinary tract without symptoms, but larger stones can become stuck in the urinary tract causing severe abdominal or lower back pain and other symptoms.

GI issues caused by kidney stones 

Normally, kidney stones cause symptoms such as pressure and pain in your lower back, fever, frequent urination, discomfort urinating, and bloody or discoloured urine. However, sometimes kidney stones can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort. 

If you’re experiencing sudden low back pain and gastrointestinal discomfort, don’t ignore the possibility that it might be kidney stones. 

Links between GI issues and increased risk of kidney stones

While it’s possible to experience gastrointestinal symptoms due to your kidney stones, there’s another way these two types of conditions are linked: having a history of gastrointestinal issues can increase your risk of kidney stones. 

Inflammatory bowel diseases

If you have inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, you may experience frequent loose stools and diarrhea. On top of being uncomfortable, this can lead to dehydration which can lead to concentrated urine and kidney stone formation.

Additionally, you may experience malabsorption where your small intestine struggles to absorb nutrients. This could lead to fat in your small intestine binding to calcium, creating oxalates which then accumulate in the kidneys. 

Bariatric surgery

If you’ve recently had bariatric surgery for weight loss, it can affect the functioning of your GI tract. Normally, your GI tract absorbs particles called oxalates, which are the primary substance found in kidney stones. 

After a bariatric surgery, you can reduce your risk of developing kidney stones by drinking lots of water, reducing your sodium intake, and limiting foods with oxalates such as beets, spinach, nuts, chocolate, and tea. 

High protein diets 

If you’ve increased your protein intake with a diet such as the paleo diet or the keto diet, the increased animal proteins could increase your risk for kidney stones. These animal proteins can lead to an accumulation of uric acid in your urine. 

That’s why it’s important to discuss any new diets with your doctor and to make sure you limit your portions of meat to about the size of a deck of cards per meal. 

If we suspect you may have kidney stones, Preva Surgicare’s Stone Relief Center can help. Whether you are concerned about your risk of developing kidney stones or have already been diagnosed with one, call our office at 281-377-3706 or request an appointment online to get specialized support.

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