Kidney Stones Linked to Higher Risk of Diabetes

People who suffer from kidney stones are more likely to go on to develop type 2 diabetes, suggests a new study. Previous studies had found that diabetes patients were more likely to suffer kidney stones compared to normal people. This new study suggests the reverse is also true.

The Study
Researchers monitored greater than 94,000 Taiwanese adults and found that those who suffered kidney stones were 30% more likely to develop diabetes in the future. More than 23,000 of the participants had suffered kidney stones and 12.4% among them developed diabetes, compared to 9.6% of the remaining 70,700 adults who were free from kidney stones.

Same Risk Factors
Kidney stones and diabetes have the same risk factors such as older age and obesity. But, even after accounting for these and other factors, kidney stone patients were more at risk of contracting diabetes. The researchers at Taipei Medical University could not zero in on the exact reasons.

Insulin May be the Key
The hormone insulin which regulates blood sugar can cause kidney stones. Research reveals that high levels of insulin changes urine composition and can lead to the formation of kidney stones. Type 2 diabetes occurs when our body loses insulin sensitivity, which raises this hormone’s levels.

Study Limitations
The researchers admit to the study’s limitations as it depended upon medical records, that may not always be accurate. Key information on exercise habits, family history and diet were also lacking. Still, the research is important for kidney stone patients as they can now beware of their diabetes risk. Kidney stone patients should make healthy lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and a nutritious diet to reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

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