Kidney Stones

What Causes Kidney Stones?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of kidney stones we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow kidney stones to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind kidney stones consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to kidney stones.  Here are five possibilities:
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Excess Protein Consumption
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Potassium Need
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
significant abdominal pain
occasional unexplained fevers
moderate left iliac pain
mild right iliac discomfort
swollen cervical nodes
excessive thirst
history of broken bones
multiple swollen axillary nodes
frequent stools
hoarse voice
severe vision disturbances
... and more than 40 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of kidney stones:
Cause Probability Status
Sarcoidosis 96% Confirm
Ulcerative Colitis 15% Unlikely
Hyperparathyroidism 3% Ruled out
Excess Protein Consumption 3% Ruled out
Potassium Need 2% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Urinary Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about kidney stones:
Have you suffered from kidney stones?
Possible responses:
→ Never had one / don't know
→ Probably had one/minor episode(s) now resolved
→ Major episode(s) now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either history of kidney stones or kidney stones, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Excess Protein Consumption

High protein intakes may lead to loss of calcium, leading in turn to the development of kidney stones.


Increased calcium and phosphorous excretion in the urine may cause kidney stones.

Potassium Need

When potassium levels fall too low, urine citrate also drops, decreasing your protection against stones.


Kidney stone formation can be a sign.

Ulcerative Colitis

When the immune system triggers inflammation in other parts of the body because of ulcerative colitis, kidney stones may result.  This influence is usually mild and stones may not be a problem once the colitis is treated.

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