Kidney Stone Linked To Gallstones

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According to a new study, people with kidney stone also have a greater risk for developing gall stones, and vice versa. The researchers said that obesity, diabetes mellitus and unhealthy lifestyle practices place a great risk for both classes of stones. Although the said risks were taken out of the picture, the link still persisted.

According to Dr. Brian Matlaga, Urologist at the Johns Hopkins University School in Baltimore, Maryland, the report “raises our antenna to this shared relationship between these two disorders.”

“From an anecdotal standpoint, certainly it’s not an uncommon scenario that a patient would have had both,” said Matlaga, who wasn’t part of the new research. He further said, however that, “I’m a little bit at a loss trying to define what that relationship would be.”

Stones of the kidney and gall bladder have separate and distinct pathologies and these are made of two entirely different things. Kidney stones are made of calcium and gallstones of cholesterol, in most cases. The conclusion was arrived at after analyzing statistics from three different long term studies of nurses and physicians who accomplished health and lifestyle questionnaires. New medical conditions were reported by these individuals after every two years afterward. All in all, more than 240,000 individuals were followed in a span of 14 to 24 years.  For the entire period, a total of 5,100 new cases of kidney stones and 18,500 cases of gallstones were discovered.

Either gender, older or younger, people with gallstones are 26 to 32 percent more likely to suffer from kidney stone compared to people who haven’t had gallstones. The link was also true in the other direction. Of the histories of patients with kidney stones, it was observed that participants with the said stone were 17 to 51 percent more likely to have gallstones too. The said percentage of risk was ascertained after taking into consideration the person’s age, presence of diabetes, high blood pressure, weight and other aspects of diet and lifestyle which may be present in both stones.

According to the lead researcher Eric Taylor of the Maine Medical Center in Portland, it might be possible that there is a shift of bacteria inside the intestines which might predispose people to both kidney and gall stones. He said that, “the fairest thing is that we just don’t know why the two would be linked.”

In the report of the researchers in the Journal of Urology, they also have echoed Dr. Matlaga’s call for a more detailed research and explanations of the common cause of this link. Determining the exact cause will greatly help the doctors in treating and preventing either or both gall stones and kidney stones.

“They are really two different kinds of stones, so the relationship is not going to be simple between the two conditions,” according to Taylor.

“You’d like to try to minimize those common risk factors and work on things like weight loss and cholesterol control,” Matlaga also said.




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