What are kidney stones and is there any valid reason for the body to create them?


What are kidney stones and is there any valid reason for the body to create them?

In: Biology

Kidney stones are deposits of minerals that build up in the kidneys. The body doesn’t create them so much as the laws of physics cause minerals to come out of solution from urine and build up in the kidneys.

Take a spoon of salt and put it in a glass. The salt is in a crystal form. Then pour water in it. The salt dissolves into the liquid. Then let the water sit in the sun and evaporate. The water leaves and the salt turns back into crystal form. Kidney stones work the same way. But instead of sodium and chloride, they are made out of other salts and minerals that crystalize, such as calcium.

Your kidneys are the part of your body that remove excess salts and minerals from your blood (among other things) and make urine. These salts and minerals are fine when dissolved in a lot of water, but if there isn’t enough fluid, they clump together and form kidney stones.

The valid reason for your body to expel these crystalizing substances is that your body has too much of them in the blood and needs to get rid of them ASAP in order to damage to other parts of your body. But you also need to retain water. So your kidney stones send out concentrated amounts of crystallizing substances and they form kidney stones.

There are a few other reasons why kidney stones form. Sometimes there’s urinary tract infection and the bacteria help stones form. And there are lots of reasons why you blood might have too much of a crystal forming substance (e.g., you are missing an important enzyme from birth, you are eating too much protein, etc.)

We have minerals in our blood (calcium for example) and sometimes they can clump together to form small crystals in the kidneys. These are kidney stones. There’s no “valid reason” for them. Your body doesn’t make them on purpose any more than there’s a valid reason for a headache or cancer. It’s just a thing that happens.