As per recent reports, an estimated 12% of the Indian population suffer from kidney stones and the incidence of kidney stones in women is steadily increasing due to factors such as obesity, recurrent urinary tract infections, high-salt diet, increased sugar in the diet, and diabetes.
The changes in diet to lose weight such as opting for high protein and low carbohydrates diets also increase the risk of kidney stones.
A kidney stone is a solid mass made of minerals and salts that forms in the kidney. Kidney stones can grow to the size of a golf ball while maintaining a sharp, crystalline structure. A kidney stone may stay in the kidney or may also travel down the urinary tract including the ureters, bladder, and the urethra.
Let us go over sigs and symptoms of kidney stones in women, risk factors, complications, prevention tips
What are the signs and symptoms of Kidney Stones in women?
Signs and symptoms of kidney stones may include:
- Severe pain in the back, side, lower abdomen, or groin
- Blood in the urine
- Pain while urinating
- Unable to urinate
- A constant need to urinate
- Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
- Fever and Chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Urinating small amounts of urine
Are you at risk for developing kidney stones?
Factors that increase the risk of developing kidney stones include:
- Not drinking enough liquids.
- Family or personal history of kidney stones.
- Repeat urinary tract infections.
- Blockage in the urinary tract.
- Health conditions such as:
- Hypercalciuria, high calcium levels in the urine
- High blood pressure
- Kidney cysts
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hyperparathyroid disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Chronic diarrhea
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Certain diets such as diets high in:
- Animal protein
How can kidney stones be prevented?
Kidney stones can be prevented by the following ways:
- Drink liquids. In most cases, drinking enough liquids each day is the best way to help prevent most types of kidney stones. Drinking enough liquids keeps the urine diluted and helps flush away minerals that might form stones.
- Avoid high salt intake. High sodium intake increases calcium in the urine which increases the chances of developing stones. Low salt diet is also important to control blood pressure.
- Avoid high intake of animal protein. High protein intake will cause the kidneys to excrete more calcium therefore this may cause more stones to form in the kidney.
- Limit foods with high oxalate content such as spinach, berries, chocolate, nuts, beets.
- Lose weight in case a person is overweight or obese.
- Take Medications prescribed by the doctor
What are the treatment options for Kidney Stones?
Treatment options include:
- Drinking enough fluid.
- Medications to relax the ureter to allow stones to pass.
- Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL), shock waves are used to break the stones into very small particles that can be passed through the urine.
- Ureteroscopy, an endoscope is inserted through the ureter to retrieve or obliterate the stone.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy involves surgically removing a kidney stone using small telescopes and instruments inserted through a small incision in the back.
What are the complications of Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones can be extremely painful, and if left untreated can lead to
- Hematuria, or blood in the urine
- Severe pain
- UTIs, including kidney infections
- Loss of kidney function
- Chronic kidney disease
Eremedium blogs are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice or as a substitute for consulting a physician. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment from a healthcare professional.
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