Recurrent Nephrolithiasis

What is Recurrent Nephrolithiasis?

Recurrent nephrolithiasis is a condition in which a person has repeated kidney stone formation. Kidney stones form when dissolved substances in the urine crystallize in the kidneys. When these stones cause symptoms or block the flow of urine, they are referred to as nephrolithiasis. Most kidney stones pass on their own, although medical attention may be necessary if the stones are too large to be passed. People with recurrent nephrolithiasis experience increased stone formation more than two times per year.

Causes of Recurrent Nephrolithiasis

There is no single known cause of recurrent nephrolithiasis, but the condition appears to be linked to several factors, including:

  • Dehydration
  • Genetics
  • Diet (high intake of certain proteins, sodium, and sugar, or a low intake of calcium or water)
  • Inherited metabolic disorders
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Risk Factors for Recurrent Kidney Stones

Factors that may increase the risk of developing recurrent kidney stones include:

  • Family history of stones
  • Obesity
  • Undergoing certain types of bariatric surgery
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Inadequate fluid intake
  • Taking certain medications, such as diuretics or calcium channel blockers
  • Eating a diet high in animal proteins, salt, and sugar

Symptoms of Recurrent Nephrolithiasis

Common symptoms of recurrent kidney stones include:

  • Pain in the side or back, which may come in waves
  • Pain when urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Urinating more frequently than usual
  • Chills and fever
  • Nausea and vomiting

Treatment of Recurrent Kidney Stones

Treatment for recurrent kidney stones typically involves a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and in some cases, surgery. Common treatments for recurrent kidney stones include:

  • Drinking plenty of water and other fluids
  • Limiting consumption of proteins, salt, and sugar
  • Increasing dietary calcium intake
  • Taking medicines to dissolve or break down larger stones
  • Surgery to remove large or stubborn stones

The treatments will vary depending on the type, size, and location of the stones. It is important to speak to a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment for your specific needs.