A question that many clients ask us is: “Does hard water cause kidney stones?”
Kidney stones have been described by patients as more painful than giving birth! Surprisingly, hard water and kidney stones have been linked since the early ’90s, and research is continually confirming that if you drink hard water, your risk goes up significantly. As much as 300%! Whether you’ve been touched by the pain of kidney stones or not, we’d like to shed some light on how your water quality could be increasing your risk of kidney stones.
How Do Kidney Stones Form?
Imagine kidneys as high powered filters for your body. They remove toxins from your blood and return essential nutrients into your bloodstream.
Your kidneys naturally use urine to remove the toxins from your blood. However, urine contains a few crystal-forming substances like calcium, oxalate, sodium, phosphorus, and uric acid.
When these are high in concentration, they begin to calcify in the kidneys. Dehydration can be the perfect breeding ground for calcification because there are more crystal-forming substances present in your kidneys when dehydrated than your urine can dilute. Additionally, some people lack the substances needed to prevent crystals from sticking together. Both of these scenarios, high or low concentration of substances, create an ideal environment for kidney stones to form.
In the United States, 9% of adults are at risk of getting kidney stones in their lifetime.
The most common type of kidney stone comes from the combination of calcium and oxalate in the kidneys.
When calcium and oxalate come into contact with the intestines, the body usually purges them before they become a problem. However, when oxalates do not have enough bioavailable calcium, the body doesn't purge them and allows them to rebelliously move towards the stomach. Once they reach the stomach, they combine with non-organic calcium found in hard water, forming painful kidney stones.
Hard water is notorious for the build-up of sediment and dirt, and studies show that if you drink hard water at 10 grains per gallon, the urinary calcium concentration increases by 50%.
Not only are kidney stones painful but they leave you penniless. With increases in health care costs, surgery, emergency room visit, and medication, the costs can run anywhere from $8,000 to $12,000 after insurance.
Some procedures require patients to undergo anesthesia using shockwave therapy to break up the stone. Others require scoping through the urethra and breaking up the stone with a laser. A third option includes a small incision that's made to the patient's back from which the stones are removed. These surgeries are merely treating the symptoms of improper kidney function and don’t necessarily mean you won’t ever have a kidney stone again. Attacking the root cause(s) is the most effective way to solve this problem, and one root cause is the water you’re drinking!
In place of hard or tap water, bottled water has become the drink of choice for most Americans due to the decreasing water quality. However, there’s another, more cost-effective option – a water treatment system!
Kinetico K5 has revolutionized the field of high-quality drinking water for your home. It’s like having a bottled water factory at your kitchen sink that removes contaminants and hardness completely. Purified water decreases the risk of calcium-citrate and calcium-oxalate buildup in your body, thus decreasing your risk of kidney stones.
Kidney stones have many causes and are not only due to water quality. However, studies have shown a significant risk increase when consuming hard water. Research also says that staying hydrated is one of the best ways to reduce your risk. So, making every effort to drink the highest quality water could make a huge difference in your life and the lives of your loved ones!
If you’re interested in purifying your water today, we’d love the opportunity to test your water for free. Your water test results will determine what kind of treatment you need, and there’s nothing we love more than helping you find a solution that fits your need.