What is Hypocitraturia?

Hypocitraturia is a condition in which the citrate concentration in the urine is low. Citrate is a compound produced naturally in the body that helps keep calcium in solution in the urine. When citrate levels are too low, calcium can bind together, forming calcium oxalate crystals and causing a condition known as renal calculi. This can lead to pain, blockages in the urinary tract and infections. In severe cases, kidney failure may result.

Common Causes of Hypocitraturia

Hypocitraturia is commonly caused by a number of dietary and lifestyle factors. These factors include:

  • Low intake of citric-acid-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and other fruits
  • Excessive glucose in the urine (high blood sugar)
  • High levels of uric acid in the urine
  • High levels of protein and fat consumption
  • Lack of exercise
  • Dehydration

Treatment of Hypocitraturia

Treatment of hypocitraturia often begins with changes to your diet and lifestyle. A diet rich in citric acid foods and low in animal proteins, fats, and refined sugars can help to reduce the risk of calcium oxalate buildup in the kidneys and bladder. Increasing water intake and physical activity can also help to reduce the risk of kidney stones forming.

If lifestyle changes are not enough to prevent stone formation, your doctor may recommend medications that can help to increase citrate levels and reduce your risk. These medications can help to dissolve or prevent the formation of calcium oxalate stones.