Cystine kidney stones form because of a rare inherited genetic disorder called “cystinuria.” Cystinuria impacts the reabsorption of the amino acid cystine which leads to the formation of kidney stones. Cystine kidney stones impact about 1-2% of the population (roughly 1 in 7,000 people worldwide). Unfortunately, cystinuria is a life-long condition that can be controlled. But, not cured.
Struvite kidney stones represent ~4% of the stones formed. They are not the most rare stone type. But, they are unique because the kidney stone former has almost no control over their formation. Struvite kidney stones form primarily as a result of specific ammonia-producing bacteria and certain types of yeast.
Uric acid kidney stones represent roughly 15% of stones formed and almost always form in individuals with abnormally acidic (low pH) urine. Abnormally acidic urine is commonly found in people suffering from obesity, diabetes, gout, or kidney disease. Fortunately, the solution to stop these stones for good is very simple!
Calcium Phosphate stones are the third most common type of kidney stone. They form when calcium atoms combine with phosphoric acid (instead of oxalic acid). Urine pH has a significant impact on stone formation; as calcium phosphate kidney stones only form in alkaline urine.
Calcium Oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stone. Roughly 70% of people who form kidney stones form calcium oxalate stones. Calcium oxalate crystals form when calcium combines with oxalic acid. Calcium Oxalate stones can form for many reasons. Some are results of systemic disease such as bowel disease, primary Hyperparathyroidism, or primary hyperoxaluria. Outside of systemic disease, most people form calcium oxalate stones due to diet, inheritance, and from other aspects of daily living.