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What Is the Connection Between Calcium and Kidney Stones?

A urinalysis may be conducted to detect kidney stones.
Bananas contain calcium.
Many people get vitamin D through artificially fortified products such as milk.
Kidney stones next to a ruler to show the size.
A kidney with a kidney stone.
Article Details
  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Calcium and kidney stones are related to each other because some types of kidney stones are caused by a buildup of calcium in the kidneys. When calcium crystallizes in the kidneys, kidney stones tend to form. The type of kidney stones that are caused by calcium buildup are typically called calcium oxalate kidney stones. Oxalate is a substance the liver produces and also exists naturally in some foods and can attach itself to calcium molecules inside the body, and these occasionally crystallize and form painful stones inside the kidneys. A person who is concerned about calcium and kidney stones may believe that he needs to limit his calcium intake, but there may be some other ways to prevent the stones without cutting back on calcium.

Before a person tries to deal with the problem herself, she should first see a doctor about her kidney stones. It is possible that the stones are forming for some other reason not related to calcium crystallization, and if this is the case some other type of treatment might be necessary. A doctor will likely be able to make a diagnosis of kidney stones and advise his patient on the best methods of treatment, including what can be done at home to help prevent further occurrences of the stones. If the stones are calcium oxalate kidney stones, a number of things can be done to prevent them forming again.

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Some people are more prone to stone formation than others, but getting in adequate amounts of water tends to lessen the frequency of stone formation for everyone, even people who get stones often. The recommended amount of water for the average person is a minimum of eight glasses per day. A person who frequently gets kidney stones might want to take in more than that. The oxalate in a person's body is generally less likely to cause calcium to crystallize if a person is properly hydrated.

Some people believe that the way to deal with calcium and kidney stones is to eliminate lots of calcium from their diets. This is not typically recommended because calcium is actually very important for maintaining good health. Instead of eliminating or cutting back on calcium, many doctors advise cutting back on food or drinks that contain oxalates. Some things that contain oxalates are dark green vegetables, chocolate, and coffee. It may additionally be a good idea for a person to increase his calcium intake while he decreases his oxalate intake, but the calcium will likely be of more benefit if it is derived from foods rather than taken in supplement form.

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