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Can Stress Cause Kidney Stones?

Renal lithiasis, commonly known as kidney stones, is defined as hard deposits or crystallization of minerals; these stones are formed in the kidneys. Deposits occur when minerals, acids, and calcium cannot dilute in your urine. When this concentration is carried out, then the substances crystallize and form stones in the kidney. According to a study conducted by the International Association of Epidemiology, people suffering from extreme stress are more likely to develop kidney stones than people with a less stressful lifestyle.

Can Stress Cause Kidney Stones?

Can Stress Cause Kidney Stones?

Stress manifests itself in individuals in different ways. For many, stress can directly affect their health, in some cases with serious medical problems. When the International Journal of Epidemiology reports that, “stressful lifestyles have been shown to increase calcium and uric acid,” they are referring to an increased risk of developing kidney stones.

Symptoms occur once the kidney stone has worked its way into your ureter, a tube that connects the bladder to the kidney. Once a stone in the kidney has entered the ureter, you may begin to experience pain during urination, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, blood in the urine (known as hematuria) and back pain, which sometimes is very intense. In addition, frequent urination and a smell when urinating will become evident in some individuals.

According to the experts, if you have a family history of kidney stones, or if you have had kidney stones in the past, you are more likely to develop them in the future. On the other hand, they report that this condition most often happens to people who are between 20 and 70 years of age and those men are more at risk than women. Besides, people who drink large amounts of water are less susceptible because drinking water throughout the day helps to break down the concentrations that form kidney stones. But more susceptible are those who have a diet rich in protein and sodium.

Treatment for Kidney Stones

In most cases the kidneys stones are eliminated naturally through the urine, this usually occurs without the person noticing; however in some cases the stones can clog the urinary tract causing great pain and discomfort, being necessary to go to the hospital as quickly as possible.

The treatment for kidney stones is usually done at home and includes rest, a high intake of fluids and the use of medications indicated by the doctor as analgesics or antispasmodics.

In addition to this, whoever has kidney stones should also be careful with feeding, avoiding salt and drinking a glass of lemonade every day. The fruit that contains more citrates is lemon, which is why it is recommended to drink lemonade, to acquire citrates naturally.

In some cases, patients can opt for laser surgery, which can remove stones up to 5 mm, preventing them from being imprisoned and causing pain. However, in the most severe cases, the hospitalization of the patient may be indicated to inject intravenously analgesic drugs such as Tramadol or perform surgery to remove the kidney stones.

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a procedure used to administer shock waves to the general area of the kidney stone. The shock waves help to break the stone so that it can pass more freely.

Prevention of Kidney Stones

According to doctors, kidney stones can be prevented in many cases. If you know you are at risk for any of the reasons listed here, drink at least 14 glasses of water a day. In addition, you can decrease the risk of developing kidney stones with the withdrawal of oxalate-rich foods. Some of these include sesame seeds, spinach, cabbage, refried beans, and sweet potatoes.


Stress itself can worse renal lithiasis, diverse researches have demonstrated that people who carry a very stressful lifestyle experience an increase in their calcium and uric acid levels, which are some of the compounds of the kidney stones. This can be due to unhealthy diet habits, and lack of physical activity.


  1. “Kidney Stones” – Mayo Clinic [https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/kidney-stones/symptoms-causes/syc-20355755]

  2. “Preventing Kidney Stones” – National Kidney Foundation [https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneystones_prevent]

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 12, 2023

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