Obesity and the Risk of Kidney Stones

Obesity and the Risk of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can become more likely if you are obese. Although the actual cause of this is unknown to experts, decreasing weight may help reduce your risk of having it.

Being overweight or obese is a chronic health condition that is typified by high body fat. According to data from health surveys, the rate of obesity in the US went from 30.5% in 1999–2000 to 41.9% in 2017–2020, indicating that the condition is becoming more common.

Obesity raises the risk of developing several illnesses. Diabetes, heart disease, and specific cancers are a few instances.

An increased risk of kidney stones may also be present in obese individuals. This article examines the relationship between kidney stones and obesity in more detail.

What’s the link between obesity and kidney stones?

Chemicals found in urine can cause hardened fragments of material to accumulate in the kidneys, known as kidney stones. An estimated 11% of people will experience them at some point in their lifetime, making them relatively prevalent.

Previous research has demonstrated that obesity raises the risk of kidney stones. This also applies to obese individuals who have healthy metabolisms. However, a study conducted in 2023 discovered that kidney stones were substantially more common in cases of metabolic failure associated with obesity.

The precise reason why obesity raises the risk of kidney stones is unknown to experts. Confirming the link is further complicated by the fact that many obese individuals also have other medical disorders.

Numerous suggestions have been put out by researchers to explain why obesity might be linked to the development of kidney stones, including the following:
  • Kidney stone formation may be more likely in obese individuals due to increased oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • Obesity can have an impact on urine composition and raise the risk of kidney stones.
  • In individuals who are obese, specific dietary habits, such as consuming more calories, may increase the risk of kidney stones.

What causes kidney stones, and who’s more prone to them?

When substances in your urine solidify and deposit as stones, kidney stones result. Although there are many different kinds of kidney stones, the most prevalent ones are formed of calcium phosphate or calcium oxalate.

Kidney stones can be caused by several different factors in addition to obesity. Among these are the following:
  • dehydration
  • kidney stones in one's family or on one's own
  • an obstruction in your urinary system
  • recurring infections of the urinary tract
certain medical conditions, like:
  • gout
  • cystic kidney disease
  • renal tubular acidosis
  • those in which there is an excess of calcium, uric acid, or cystine in your urine
  • a digestive ailment or a history of colon surgery
Additionally, certain drugs may make kidney stones more likely to occur. Diuretics and antacids with calcium bases are two such.

Consuming a lot of salt or animal protein in your diet may also make kidney stones more likely to occur. Reducing these can help reduce your risk of kidney stones, especially if you've already experienced one.


How does obesity increase the risk of kidney stones?

On the other hand, obese stone formers have higher quantities of uric acid stones. The main factor influencing this association is the low urine pH linked to obesity. Stone risk may be influenced by oxidative stress and inflammation that are known to be linked to fat.

Can weight loss trigger kidney stones?

According to a recent study, kidney stone disease is more common in obese people, and certain weight-loss techniques may even make the condition more likely.

What is the biggest risk factor for kidney stones?

Your risk of kidney stones may increase if you don't get enough water each day. Individuals who sweat a lot and live in warm, dry climates may be more vulnerable than others. certain diets. Consuming a diet heavy in sugar, sodium (salt), and protein can raise your chance of developing some kinds of kidney stones.


Kidney stones are more likely in those who are obese. Experts are unsure about the precise cause of this, though. Obesity's impacts on oxidative stress, inflammation, and urine composition are probably involved.

Apart from obesity, there are also other variables that increase the incidence of kidney stones. These comprise, but are not restricted to, a diet heavy in salt or animal proteins, a history of kidney stones in the family, and a variety of medical disorders.

Losing weight can help reduce the risk of kidney stones if you are obese. Make sure you discuss creating a safe and effective weight loss plan with your physician.

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