Calcium Citrate Kidney Stones – Reasons & Causes
Our kidneys perform the much required balancing act within our body. They adjust the mineral and water contents within and maintain them at appropriate levels at all times. Hence, when there is synchronization noted between all body functions, very seldom will bodily disorders be perceived by any individual. But in a situation where the body functions fail to coexist in a proper manner, then malfunctions take root in a gradual manner. One such disorder of the kidney is the development of kidney stones.
A kidney stone normally take years to progress from its crystal form into a fully developed calculus. There are several forms of kidney stones with calcium stones being generally encountered. Calcium stones form when the calcium content in produced urine has reached a level of supersaturation. Our body has several mechanisms that assist in controlling calcium levels within. One for example is the release of a specific hormone that regulates calcium levels within the human body. In case, this hormone fails to perform its functions adequately, of when the hormone production gets out of control, calcium buildup will occur which will eventually lead to calcium stones in the kidneys.
Water is a vital component in our body that is essential to dissolve mineral elements normally found in urine. When available water molecules fail to break down these mineral salts, because of them being more in number compared to water content, then crystals begin to take form in urine. Calcium stones are of two categories, namely calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate stones. Citrates on the other hand are salt or esters of citric acid and actually work towards inhibiting stone formation. Thus, calcium stones can never be made up of calcium citrate.
Genetics plays an important role in the development of calcium stones. The existence of particular genes makes an individual more prone to developing this form of kidney stones. In other words, a particular genetic material that promotes increased calcium urinary excretion is dominant in that person. So, if a parent or any other close family member is suffering from this kidney condition, he or she is most likely to develop this problem anytime during their lifespan.
The other common causative factor for calcium stones is consuming calcium supplements for over a long period of time. The surprising fact remains that increasing dietary calcium actually cuts down the risk of forming calcium stones. This is because calcium is absorbed by the body well from food sources. The remaining unabsorbed lot combines with another mineral element (mostly oxalate) and gets expelled out of the system along with stools. It is only during the absence of intestinal oxalates that excess calcium is reabsorbed by the kidney and secreted in urine. Calcium got from supplements, on the other hand, is not absorbed well by the body and usually leads to excess calcium urinary excretion.
High salt intake in the absence of inadequate water intake cause excess calcium to be excreted in urine. To be more specific, increased sodium levels within the body increases calcium levels in urine promoting kidney stone formation. Salt is made up of chloride and sodium.