We’ve explored how gallstones can lead to gastrointestinal issues on the blog in the past, but can crystallized deposits in other areas of your body cause similar problems? Kidney stones send thousands of patients to the doctor’s office each year, and while they form in your kidneys, they can certainly end up causing problems for your gastrointestinal health. In today’s blog, we explore the connection between kidney stones and gastrointestinal problems.
Kidney Stones And Your GI Health
Kidney stones and your gastrointestinal health are closely related, even if GI issues are not the most common symptom of the condition. Most people dealing with kidney stones will mention the pain and discomfort when asked about their condition, and oftentimes this is housed in their abdomen, lower back or sides. Nausea is also a common side effect as your body works to pass the stone and react to your current state of discomfort.
However, other symptoms can begin to affect areas of your gastrointestinal tract and cause some related problems. Here’s a look at some ways a kidney stone can cause GI issues, and how previous GI problems can increase your risk of kidney stones.
- Vomiting – If your kidney stone is causing severe pain and nausea, this discomfort can be enough to cause vomiting. Vomiting can affect the health of the sensitive lining of your esophagus as stomach acid makes its way back up the esophageal canal.
- IBS – While the science behind the connection between kidney stones and irritable bowel syndrome isn’t abundantly clear, there does appear to be a link between the two. One study found that adults were more likely to develop IBS after having a kidney stone. The study found that more than 30 percent of new cases of IBS occurred within six months of having a kidney stone for the first time. The stress the kidney stone puts on the entire body could have an impact on your digestive health and trigger IBS.
- Diarrhea – While it’s unlikely that a kidney stone will lead to diarrhea, the opposite can be true. Dehydration is a known risk factor for kidney stone onset, and chronic diarrhea can leave you dehydrated. If you’re experiencing diarrhea and you’re regularly dehydrated, this can increase your risk of kidney stone formation.
- Nutrient Malabsorption – Similarly, if you are dealing with a gastrointestinal issue that inhibits healthy nutrient absorption, you may be at an added risk for kidney stone formation due to how your body processes nutrients.
Some people develop kidney stones and experience no related gastrointestinal problems, but for others, their kidney stone leads to irritable bowel syndrome and other uncomfortable GI symptoms. If you’re experiencing what you believe is a kidney stone, it’s probably a wise move to connect with your primary care physician or an urgent care doctor. Your gastrointestinal specialist won’t be able to do any hands-on treatment to assist with the kidney stone, but if you are dealing with GI symptoms related to your kidney stone, or you need to treat an underlying gastrointestinal issue that may be increasing your risk of kidney stone formation, they can be a great resource.
If you need help dealing with gastrointestinal issues whether or not they are related to a kidney stone, reach out to Dr. Bhatti and the team at Bhatti GI Consultants today at (952) 368-3800.