Obesity can increase your chance of kidney stones. Experts don’t know exactly why this is, but losing weight may help lower your chance of developing them.
Obesity is a chronic health condition characterized by having a high amount of body fat. Its prevalence is increasing in the United States, with health survey data finding that the rate of obesity increased from 30.5% in 1999–2000 to
Having obesity increases the chance of a range of health conditions. Some examples include diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
People with obesity may also be at higher risk of developing kidney stones. This article takes a closer look at the link between obesity and kidney stones.
Kidney stones are hardened bits of material that can form in your kidneys from chemicals present in urine. They’re quite common, affecting an estimated
Previous studies have shown that having obesity increases kidney stone risk. This
Experts don’t know exactly why obesity increases the chance of kidney stones. Additionally, the fact that many people with obesity have other health conditions as well makes the connection harder to confirm.
Researchers have proposed several theories about why obesity may contribute to kidney stone formation, including the following:
- Increases in inflammation and oxidative stress associated with obesity may increase the likelihood of kidney stone formation.
- The effects of obesity may affect
urine composition, increasing kidney stone risk.
- Certain dietary patterns, such as a
higher intake of calories, in people with obesity may elevate the chance of kidney stones.
Kidney stones happen when chemicals in your urine harden and form pebble-like deposits. There are several types of kidney stones, but those made from calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate are the
In addition to obesity, several other factors can increase your chance of kidney stones. These include having:
- a personal or family history of kidney stones
- a blockage in your urinary tract
- repeated urinary tract infections
- certain health conditions, such as:
Eating a diet high in animal proteins or salt may also increase your likelihood of kidney stones. Cutting back on these can lower your chance of kidney stones, particularly if you’ve previously had them.
The following are some commonly asked questions about obesity and kidney stones.
Can losing weight get rid of kidney stones?
It’s possible that losing weight could help reduce kidney stone risk. For example, a
Does cutting weight cause kidney stones?
It’s also possible that losing weight may elevate your kidney stone risk in some cases. However, research on this topic is limited. Using
Can weight loss medications cause kidney stones?
Can kidney stones make you lose weight?
Kidney stones themselves don’t lead to weight loss. However, certain lifestyle changes — such as those to your diet — can help prevent additional kidney stones from forming as well as promote weight loss.
Obesity increases the chance of kidney stones. However, experts don’t know exactly why this is. It’s likely that the effects of obesity on inflammation, oxidative stress, and urine composition play a role.
In addition to obesity, several other factors also elevate kidney stone risk. These include, but aren’t limited to, a personal or family history of kidney stones, a diet high in salt or animal proteins, and various health conditions.
If you have obesity, losing weight may help lower your chance of kidney stones. Be sure to talk with your doctor about developing a weight loss strategy that’s safe and that meets your needs.