Correlation between Kidney Stones and Bipolar?

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/27/2007 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband is currently being tested for bipolarism.  Both his mother and sister have the disease.  My question is, are there any known relations between the two.  I have read that some of the medications to treat bipolar people, has a risk of causing stones.  Well currently he isn't taking any med's for this, as he hasn't officially been diagnosed.  But, my understanding is that bipolarism is linked to calcification of cells. 
My husband passes kidney stones constantly and apparently has 3 distinct problems; too little citrate (which is a stone inhibiter), too much uric acid and too much calcium in his urine.  He is currently taking tons of medication to try to normalize the chemical composition of his urine.  This includes:
Urocrit-k - 1080 MG 4 times a day (this is potassium citrate)
Allpurinol - 1 time a day - This is actually a gout medication, this is an effort to control the uric acid in his urine
hydroc**** (can't remember the exact name) - 1 time a day but its a dieretic that is also something that helps calcium not bond together.
Magnesium - 400 mg a day
He also takes flomax when a stone is there, to help pass it.  He basically lives on lortab or tylox when he has stone.  He is only 26 years old and has been averaging 2 surgeries a year since the age of 18 for kidney stones.  Doctors have recently told him to cut out all red meat, eat low oxlate foods, and go on a low sodium diet.  Besides the surgeries he passes stones or sand on a constant basis, I would say at least a small stone or sediment a month.  It's crazy.  We can't seem to find anyone that has a name for his problem, as they say each problem is unique.  I feel they are treating a symptom which is stones but the root cause is something else which is metabolic or something. 
With what I am reading about bipolar is it also related to calcium.. seems related to me.  Anyone have any info?

olivia of course
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 6/27/2007 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello weturner,

First I would like to welcome you to the HW family. I hope you find the support you are looking for here.

No, I have not heard about relationship between bipolar and calcium. I will do some research and let you know about it.

Again, welcome!

~~~ Olivia  ~~~
Moderator, Bipolar

"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"
"The moon if always full, think about it."
Dx:  Bipolar I (mixed-episodes), PTSD, Anxiety/Panic Disorder 
Current Meds:  Lithium 900mg, Geodon 60mg 2x/day, Ativan 1mg

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White Tulip
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 6/27/2007 5:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Weturner,
I haven't heard of a correlation between calcium and bi-polar disorder . . . but there may be new research that I am unaware of. 
Sometimes people can encounter side effects to their kidney, liver & thyroid from long-term medications for bi-ploar disorder, but I can think that can mostly be avoided with on-going competent psychiatric follow up.  For example, I get annual tests on my kidney, thyroid & liver to monitor my functioning in these areas.  Every medication(s) has side effects . . . I think it is important for people who take long-term medication to be aware of what they are and have preventive testing done reguarly.  In addition, I think a good psychiatrist is essential in helping diagnostically as well as helping someone who deals with a mental health diagnosis over time. 
Here is a website that might be helpful to you:
Good luck with your husband's current assessment.  It is great that you are doing research . . . so smart.  Not all people take the initative. 
White Tulip

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/28/2007 8:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Weturner,

One of the medications I am on, topamax, does potentially increase the risk of kidney stones. I would hope your husband's doctor would take that into consideration when making any prescriptions, though.

I also haven't heard about any correlation between calcium and bipolar. I have heard about mental illness being linked to thyroid function and I definitely have heard about genetic inheritance.

Good luck,

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/2/2007 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I had read about topamax potentially increasing the risk of stones, I will keep that in mind if they do put him on a medication. The calcification of cell's theory is very new. They both just seem awfully related to me, just trying to maybe find a cause for his stones.

Thanks for your replies!


New Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/2/2007 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Here are a few links about calcium and bipolar disorder:

Calcium channel blockers (nimodipine, or Nimotop), typically used to treat angina and hypotension,have been found effective, in a few small studies, for treating rapid cyclers. Calcium channel blockers stop the excess calcium build up in cells that is thought to be a cause of bipolar disorder. They are usually used in conjunction with other drug therapies such as carbamazepine or lithium.

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