home

How could we improve it?

close
chevron
This article contains false or inaccurate information.
chevron

Please tell us what was incorrect.

wanring-icon
Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
chevron
This article doesn't provide enough info.
chevron

Please tell us what was missing.

wanring-icon
Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
chevron
Hmm... I have a question.
chevron

We’re unable to offer personal health advice, diagnosis, or treatment, but we welcome your feedback! Just type it in the box below.

wanring-icon
If you're facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.

Or copy link

Why Do I Have Bladder Stones?

Why Do I Have Bladder Stones?

Bladder stones are crystallized minerals that come from hardened, concentrated urine, but do you know what causes them to happen? Here is a quick look at what causes bladder stones.

What Causes Bladder Stones?

1. Concentrated Urine

The main reason for bladder stones is concentrated urine that is left in your bladder.

More than 90% of urine is water, while the rest consists of waste products (like protein) or minerals (such as salt). Concentrated urine can be dark in color, brown or dark amber; it mostly depends on what kinds of minerals and wastes it contains.

2. Not Fully Emptying Your Bladder

If you do not fully empty your bladder, the urine becomes concentrated then crystallizes to create stones. The leftover urine in the bladder can crystalize and build up, causing bladder stones to form.

3. Dehydration

Dehydration can cause concentrated urine, which in turn causes bladder stones. If the body does not get enough fluid, it can lead to concentrated urine.

4. Infections

An infection of the urinary system, often called a urinary tract infection, can be a common cause of bladder stones.

Additionally, bladder stones could also cause repeated urinary tract infections.

what causes bladder stones

5. Bladder Inflammation

Radiation therapy to treat a pelvis or a urinary tract infection can cause bladder inflammation. The bladder inflammation can lead to bladder stones.

6. Damaged Nerves

In some cases, what causes bladder stones are damaged nerves.

Typically, your body’s nerves send messages to the brain to an organ for it to perform certain functions. Damaged nerves (from injuries, stroke, etc) may keep your bladder from emptying completely.

Damaged nerves in the bladder is a condition called a neurogenic bladder. When the brain has trouble telling your bladder muscles when to expand and contract, some urine can get left in the bladder and this turns into concentrated urine.

7. Prostate Gland Enlargement

An enlarged prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), can be a common cause of bladder stones for men. Enlarged prostates can block urine flow, keeping the bladder from fully emptying itself.

In addition, the enlarged gland tends to pinch and press on the urethra, making the bladder wall thicker. This can weaken the bladder, making it lose its ability to fully empty itself and increasing the risk of concentrated urine.

8. Underlying Conditions

As stated earlier, damaged nerves can cause a neurogenic bladder. Similarly, an underlying condition can damage the nerves of the bladder.

For instance, let’s say that you had a stroke. If the stroke affects the muscles of the pelvic area, it could impair how your body functions and become the root cause of bladder stones.

9. Medical Devices

Certain medical devices, particularly bladder catheters, can cause bladder stones. Other objects that can move to the bladder, like a urinary stent or a contraceptive device, can cause bladder stones as well.

Mineral crystals can develop on these medical devices, which can eventually grow into bladder stones.

10. Damaged Urethra

The urethra can get damaged from an injury, trauma, disease, or illness. Infections could also make the urethra narrow, blocking the urine flow when you try to urinate.

11. Kidney Stones

Just like bladder stones, you can develop stones in the kidney. If the stones from your kidney move down to the bladder, it can cause bladder stones.

Kidney stones are considered different because of how they develop; however, they may change into bladder stones once they reach the bladder.

12. Weak Bladder

The bladder walls can be weak in some places, forming pouches that often bulge outward. These pouches can store urine, letting it crystalize and turn into bladder stones.

What Causes Bladder Stones: Risk Factors

Lifestyle and previous health conditions are all factors that may increase your risk of getting bladder stones. Some groups of people are also more susceptible to bladder stones.

1. Men

Men are more likely to develop bladder stones than women. In particular, men who are 50 years and older are much more likely to develop bladder stones.

As stated earlier, enlarged prostates can cause bladder stones. Men who are 50 and above are more likely to have enlarged prostates, making it more difficult to fully empty their bladders and causing bladder stones.

2. Nerve Damage

Anyone who has nerve damage may get bladder stones. For instance, if you have a spinal cord injury that affects the bladder nerves, it can increase your risk for bladder stones.

3. Bladder Surgery

Specific kinds of surgery on the bladder, like enlargement of the intestine with the bladder, can increase your chance of developing bladder stones.

4. Dehydration

Children in poorer nations are more likely to get bladder stones because they often do not have access to enough water. Those in developed countries are still at risk of bladder stones if they are generally dehydrated.

Alcohol can also raise your chances of getting bladder stones. This is because alcohol is a diuretic, a substance which increases the amount of water excreted, and this can dehydrate you. Dehydration can cause calcium oxalate stones to form in the bladder.

Additionally, dehydration generally causes concentrated urine, which leads to bladder stones.

Knowing what causes bladder stones and what the risk factors are can help you learn how to prevent bladder stones. If you are at risk of bladder stones, consider lifestyle changes and consult your doctor.

Learn more about bladder disease here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Bladder stones – Symptoms and causes,  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bladder-stones/symptoms-causes/syc-20354339, Accessed 29 December, 2020

The characterization of feces and urine: a review of literature to inform advanced treatment technology, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4500995/, Accessed 29 December, 2020

The importance of hydration,  https://www.bladderandbowel.org/news/importance-of-hydration/#:~:text=To%20My%20Bladder%3F-,Becoming%20dehydrated%20can%20lead%20to%3A,frequently%20or%20suffer%20from%20incontinence, Accessed 29 December, 2020

Bladder stones – symptoms and causes, https://www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/patient-information/conditions-treated-a-to-z/bladder-stones, Accessed 29 December, 2020

Prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia),  https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/prostate-problems/prostate-enlargement-benign-prostatic-hyperplasia, Accessed 29 December, 2020

Bladder stones: causes, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment,  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16312-bladder-stones-bladder-calculi, Accessed 29 December, 2020

Can alcohol cause kidney stones?,  https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment/kidney-stones, Accessed 29 December, 2020

Picture of the author
Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos
Updated Feb 12
x