Atkins diets have led to the rise and prevalence of kidney stone formation (Siener, 2006).
Kidney stones are among the most painful and prevalent of urologic disorders. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease, a kidney stone can be defined as a solid crystallized piece of material that forms in the kidney from substances in the urine. It may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a pearl. The process of kidney stone formation is medically known as nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis. The most common stones contain calcium in combination with oxalate and/or phosphate. A less common type is caused by urinary tract infection known as struvite or infection stone. Apart from these, there are also other rare types made of pure uric acid stones, cystine stones etc (http://www.ucof.com/education
A number of risk factors like dehydration, improper diet, systemic disorders etc are suggested to be important determinants of stone formation. Stone formation usually results from an imbalance between factors that promote urinary crystallization and those that inhibit crystal formation and growth (Coe et al, 2005). Some of the known metabolic markers of kidney stone formation include increased level of calcium and uric acid excretion, and a decrease in urinary citrate (Curhan, 2007).