Cystine stones are a type of kidney stone made from a chemical called cystine. This chemical is often a product of a condition called cystinuria. A large part of treatment is to prevent the cystine stones from forming. This is often done through diet changes and increases the amount of water you drink.
Cystine stones are a type of kidney stones. Kidney stones happen when collections of chemicals come together to create a hard mass. These stones can be formed by several different chemicals in the body. Cystine stones are made of a chemical called cystine, a product of a condition called cystinuria. Stones can be a variety of sizes. Cystine stones tend to be larger and sometimes need to be removed surgically to prevent damage to the kidneys or urinary tract. This is a rare condition that is passed down through families (an inherited condition).
Cystinuria is an inherited condition that causes the chemical cystine (an amino acid in your body) to build up in the urine. Collection of cystine in your urine can cause a type of kidney stone. This condition can cause multiple stones to occur throughout your life.
Cystinuria is an inherited condition (runs in families) that impacts people in all age groups. Children, teens, people in their 20s and 30s, as well as older adults can all develop cystine stones.
Cystine stones are caused by a collection of the amino acid cystine. This occurs in people with a condition called cystinuria. Cystinuria is passed down through a family.
Cystine forms crystals that combine to create stones in the urine.
The symptoms of cystine stones are similar to those of kidney stones.
Symptoms can include:
In some cases, a urinary tract infection (UTI) may occur because a cystine stone is stuck. Cystine stones tend to be larger than other types of kidney stones, causing complications like UTIs.
Cystine stones can be diagnosed in several ways, including:
A major part of treating cystine stones is preventing stones from forming in the first place. Dietary changes such as drinking plenty of liquids, limiting the amount of sodium in your diet and cutting back on alcohol can all help prevent cystine stones from forming. Your doctor may also give you a medication to alkalize your urine. This may help prevent cystine from forming together into a stone.
Because cystinuria is an inherited condition, multiple stones can form throughout your life.
If a stone does form, treatment options can include:
Cystinuria is an inherited condition (passed down through a family) that cannot be prevented. However, you can prevent the formation of cystine stones by drinking plenty of liquids, reducing the amount of sodium in your diet and limiting alcohol consumption. Maintaining a healthy diet may reduce the chance of developing future cystine stones.
Cystine stones can happen multiple times in your life. If you have cystinuria, dietary changes and medication may be needed to prevent the formation of cystine stones. Cystine stones must be treated and monitored to prevent damage to your urinary tract, kidneys and bladder.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/30/2019.
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