The answer is in our face.

India is home to a billion people, and a large percentage of them will form kidney stones in their lifetime. But what has perplexed doctors for centuries is why India is a stone belt? Why do indians form so many kidney stones?

India, especially North India is a stone belt. Formation of renal calculi especially kidney stones is extremely common and the lifetime risk of forming a stone is very very high.

There are several reasons for this.

1. Climate - North India has a severely hot Summers and this produces conditions of severe sweating, leading to passage of highly concentrated urine.

2. Water intake - India is essentially a dry area, with lack of potable water. This also affects people as intake of water is not commensurate with the amount of sweating.

3. Diet - Indian diet is rich in stone forming elements and poor in stone preventing elements

4. Dairy prominent diet - North Indians usually consume a lot of dairy rich in fat and calcium yet poor in protein. High intake of milk, ghee and curd is common

5. Oxalate rich foods - Indian food is rich in Green vegetables such as Bathua, Spinach etc.

6. Phosphate rich Wheat based diet - North indian diet is rich in Wheat and other cereals except rice.

7. Lack of protein - Indians usually are vegetarians and good quality protein is poor in our diet like eggs and white meat.

8. Long working hours - Indians are hard working people and work longer than normal hours which can lead to stress, water loss and erratic diets

9. Obesity and Diabetes - Indians are going through a epidemic of these two diseases which lead to production of acidic urine, again creating conditions perfect for urolithiasis.

All these conditions make Indians the ideal population for stone formation. And this can be seen in our statistics where many professional bodies continuously warn about such high prevalence of renal stones in our population.

This article originally appeared on

I will be happy to answer your questions regarding kidney stones.