Does Stress Cause Kidney Stones? Risk Factors Causing Kidney Stones


Stress has become a common condition found in a majority of individuals in the modern-day scenario. People experience stress due to a variety of reasons such as finances, family issues, relationship struggles, conflicts at the workplace, parenting issues, and so on. These causes resulting in stress can be beneficial if it is only experienced for a short period of time.

But, things take a different turn when the stressful condition persists for a time period that is more than expected. Stress may affect different systems and functions of your body, and they are termed stress responses. The stress responses may affect the heart rate of the individual, the blood circulation, the respiratory system, and so on.

But have you ever thought that chronic stress may result in a stress response resulting in kidney stones? If not, this article will clear your doubts and enlighten you regarding every possible association between stress and kidney stones. 

The Relationship Between Kidney Stones And Stress

When you are undergoing stress for a prolonged duration, it may result in the accumulation of toxic chemicals in the body in greater quantities than usual. The beginning stage of the association between stress and kidney stones can be seen in the production of certain hormones by the endocrine system of the body. When these hormones start to affect the body, the blood calcium level may undergo a spike.

The Relationship Between Kidney Stones And Stress

It may also result in the reduction of the volume of the urine and the transformation of the urine to a hypertonic state. In such a hypertonic state, the mineral wastes that are usually found in the urine may bind to each other resulting in the formation of kidney stones. If your body becomes capable enough to tackle the stressful situation meanwhile, it may naturally prevent the formation of kidney stones, even after the transformation of the urine to a concentrated or hypertonic state

If you are experiencing chronic stress, the processes mentioned above will continue in a loop. That is, with prolonged stress, the mineral levels in your body may increase along with the concentration of the urine, all these contributing to the formation of kidney stones. Since these may take a longer period of time, you may not be aware of developing a kidney stone inside you.

Dehydration, Stress, And Kidney Stones

While dealing with chronic stress, your body’s natural urge to have water and food may subside. The body does this in order to prioritize other physiological functions that may help it to deal with the stressful condition and overcome the same.

Without the urge, we may hydrate ourselves way lesser than before. Lack of proper hydration is an obvious reason for concentrated urine and the gradual formation of kidney stones. 

Hypertension, Stress And Kidney Stones

Individuals with a higher blood pressure rate are also more prone to having kidney stones. A higher blood pressure rate is an obvious stress response by the body. People suffering from hypertension may have a high risk of having cellular damage or injuries. When the cells of the urinary tract get damaged or injured, it may lead to the accumulation of waste particles on there. Thus it may slowly develop into kidney stones. 

Weight Gain, Stress, And Kidney Stones 

Stress can also lead to weight gain, again in a more obvious way. People suffering from chronic stress would be the least concerned about their health and healthy dietary habits. Hence, they may consume food with high caloric value and low in nutrition. Cravings for sugary food items and processed foods would also be comparatively higher. These unhealthy habits and routines may result in an undesired weight gain.

Weight gain can lead to a range of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. These diseases are again proven to put an additional burden on the kidneys, resulting in the formation of kidney stones and other kidney-related diseases. 

Wrap Up

To put it in a nutshell, there is no direct relationship between stress and kidney stone formation. However, the stress responses of the body may result in the disruption of various physiological functions, gradually leading to the illnesses affecting kidney and urinary tract, including kidney stones. Since most of these symptoms, and stress responses took more time than expected to turn up, we may not be able to suspect the underlying cause of kidney stones, that is chronic stress.

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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