Kidney stone formation: Acid vs Alkaline

Acidic vs Alkaline Urine: What promotes kidney stone formation?

By: Arlene Gentallan

Acidic vs Alkaline Urine: What promotes kidney stone formation?
Acidic vs Alkaline Urine: What promotes kidney stone formation?

        The kidney filters the blood, removing unwanted wastes, excess water and minerals. Kidney stones form when theses minerals and wastes hardens and forms a compact mass in the kidneys. Kidney stone sizes can vary from minute to large.

        A urine's acidity or alkalinity significantly affects formation of a specific kind of stone.

Acidic vs. Alkaline & Types of kidney stones

        An acidic pH promotes the formation of uric acid and cystine kidney stones, while an alkaline pH promotes deposits of calcium and struvite stones.

Alkaline (pH above 7): Calcium & Struvite kidney stones

1. Calcium stones is the most common form of kidney stone. It forms from calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate. Risks for developing calium stones includes a high oxalate intake in the diet, vitamin D deficiency which causes dimineralization of bones, and parathyroid disorder which causes blood calcium level to rise.

2. Struvite stones is formed by the precipitation of the mineral "struvite." Struvite is formed by certain bacteria that produces ammonia as a by-product. Factors like urinary tract infection increases the risk of it's development.

Acidic (pH below 7): Uric acid & Cystein kidney stones

3. Uric acid stones are formed from precipitation of uric acid crystals. Risk factor for it's development includes having gouty arthritis, and eating a high purine diet.

4. Cystine stones is a rare form of kidney stone resulting from a genetic disorder in which a high amount of protein "cystine" accumulates in the urine and precipitates into stones.

How to determine which specific kind of kidney stone you have?

        Make sure to consult your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe tests such urine, blood test, and kidney stone analysis.

What is pH?

        A urine's pH level determines if it's acidic or alkaline. The neutral pH is 7. A pH of less than 7 is acidic, while a pH of more than 7 is alkaline.

What is the normal pH or urine?

        Urine is normally slightly acidic in the morning then becoming less acidic or more alkaline as the day progresses. The normal pH range of urine is between 6.5 to 8.0.

        If the urinary pH is below 6.5, that means urine is too acidic, while a pH beyond 8 means it's extremely alkaline.

How to know your urine's pH?

        Urinary pH is one of the components tested in urinalysis. When you undergo urinalysis, a sample of your urine will be tested for several parameters like pH level.

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