What are the causes and treatment options for hypercalciuria?

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Hypercalciuria is a condition characterized by the excessive excretion of calcium in the urine. This can lead to the formation of kidney stones and other urinary stone diseases. Understanding the causes and treatment options for hypercalciuria is crucial for managing this condition effectively.

Causes of Hypercalciuria

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of hypercalciuria:

  • Genetic Factors: In some cases, hypercalciuria can be inherited. Certain genetic mutations can affect the regulation of calcium excretion in the kidneys, leading to high levels of calcium in the urine.
  • Dietary Factors: Consuming a diet that is high in calcium and oxalate can increase the risk of hypercalciuria. Oxalate is a compound found in many foods, including spinach, rhubarb, and chocolate, and it can bind with calcium to form kidney stones.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as hyperparathyroidism and renal tubular acidosis, can disrupt the normal balance of calcium in the body and contribute to hypercalciuria.
  • Medications: Some medications, including diuretics and calcium supplements, can increase urinary calcium excretion and potentially lead to hypercalciuria.

Treatment Options for Hypercalciuria

Managing hypercalciuria involves addressing the underlying causes and implementing lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of kidney stone formation. Here are some treatment options that can be considered:

Dietary Modifications

Adjusting your diet can play a significant role in managing hypercalciuria:

  • Reduce Sodium Intake: High sodium levels can increase calcium excretion in the urine. Limiting your sodium intake by avoiding processed foods and reducing the use of table salt can help decrease urinary calcium levels.
  • Control Oxalate Consumption: Since oxalate can bind with calcium to form kidney stones, it is important to moderate your intake of oxalate-rich foods. This includes limiting the consumption of spinach, rhubarb, and chocolate.
  • Ensure Adequate Fluid Intake: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help dilute the urine and prevent the concentration of calcium and other substances that contribute to stone formation.
  • Consider Calcium Intake: While it may seem counterintuitive, consuming an adequate amount of dietary calcium can actually help reduce the risk of kidney stone formation. Calcium from food sources binds with oxalate in the intestines, preventing its absorption into the bloodstream.


In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage hypercalciuria:

  • Thiazide Diuretics: These medications can reduce urinary calcium excretion by increasing calcium reabsorption in the kidneys. They are often used in combination with dietary modifications to effectively manage hypercalciuria.
  • Phosphate Binders: Phosphate binders can help reduce the absorption of dietary phosphate, which can indirectly decrease urinary calcium excretion.
  • Allopurinol: This medication is primarily used to treat gout, but it can also be beneficial for individuals with hypercalciuria. Allopurinol reduces the production of uric acid, which can contribute to the formation of certain types of kidney stones.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to dietary modifications and medication, certain lifestyle changes can help prevent kidney stone formation:

  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day is essential for maintaining urinary tract health and preventing the concentration of calcium and other substances that can lead to stone formation.
  • Exercise Regularly: Engaging in regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.
  • Avoid Excessive Vitamin D Supplementation: While vitamin D is important for overall health, excessive supplementation can increase urinary calcium excretion. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage.

It is important to note that the treatment approach for hypercalciuria may vary depending on the underlying cause and individual circumstances. Consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial for accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment recommendations.

In conclusion, hypercalciuria is a condition characterized by high levels of calcium excretion in the urine, which can lead to kidney stone formation and urinary stone disease. Understanding the causes and treatment options for hypercalciuria is essential for effectively managing this condition. By making dietary modifications, considering medication, and implementing lifestyle changes, individuals with hypercalciuria can reduce their risk of kidney stone formation and improve their overall urinary tract health.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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