Kidney stones are formed when there are highly concentrated substances in the urine, such as oxalate, phosphorus and calcium. When individuals do not drink enough water or other fluids, they are at a higher risk for kidney stones because their urine is more concentrated. Kidney stones vary in shape and size. They can either be smooth or jagged and are typically brown or yellow.
There are four different types of kidney stones that can form in a person: calcium stones, cystine stones, struvite stones and uric acid stones. The most commonly found kidney stone in the body is the calcium stone, which is caused by high calcium and a high excretion of oxalate in the urine.
The cystine stone is a product of a genetic disorder, which forces cystine from the kidneys into the urine where crystals are created that become stones later on. Struvite stones are caused by kidney infections, while uric acid stones form from highly acidic urine.
Kidney stones are unpleasant, but can be avoided by drinking lots of water to help dilute the urine and by reducing sodium intake, which can be a trigger for stone formation. Additionally, limiting animal protein and ensuring that enough calcium is included in the diet can help prevent kidney stones.