Most women don’t know that they have kidney stones until they experience pain. You should look for certain symptoms in women to take appropriate steps in time. You can learn about Causes Kidney Stones In Women: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes, and Treatment.
Kidney stones usually do not cause problems as long as they settle on the kidneys. But you may experience severe pain when these stones move through the urinary tract, which usually includes the urethra or ureter. Learn more about what are the early signs of the appearance of kidney stones, food causes, to features.
What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are hard objects such as pebbles that can form inside the kidneys. These kidney stones are formed from minerals and salts. You’ve probably heard doctors call it kidney stones, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis.
Kidney stones are small, usually as big as corn kernels or a grain of salt. They can form when your body has too many certain minerals, and at the same time does not have enough fluids. Stones can be brown or yellow, smooth or coarse.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones in Women
There is usually no difference regarding the symptoms of kidney stones in women and men. One thing to know, that women are more likely to develop problems related to kidney stones in their 50s.
It is important to mention that kidney stones alone do not cause any symptoms at all, especially when they are small enough to pass through your urinary tract. However, you need to pay attention to certain symptoms when the kidney stones begin to move.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of kidney stones in women:
- You will experience severe pain out of nowhere. This will get worse and make you feel pain in the abdomen, back, genitals or groin. The pain is usually quite excruciating.
- You may see blood in the urine, it is usually the result of stones passing through the ureter.
- You will experience urination more often and painfully, and it usually occurs when the stone remains in the ureter or reaches the urethra. It can also cause urinary tract infections.
These are the most common symptoms of kidney stones in women, but you may experience the same in other conditions such as hernias, appendicitis, prostatitis, and ectopic pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor to identify the true cause of the symptoms you are experiencing. Early diagnosis will help you recover quickly.
You should seek medical help immediately if the pain is so severe, especially if you cannot sit in a comfortable position, accompanied by fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. It is also a good idea to see your doctor if you have difficulty urinating or have blood in the urine.
Where is kidney stone pain?
Kidney stone pain often comes suddenly, when the stone moves. The pain can get worse as the ureter contracts to push the rock out. The pain can be felt in the waist, back, lower ribs, and spread to the abdomen to the groin.
How to diagnose kidney stones in women?
In diagnosing kidney stones, the first thing the doctor will do is try to get information from the patient about the symptoms, history of the disease, and the history of kidney stones in his family.Furthermore, a physical examination will be carried out to strengthen the suspicion that leads to kidney stones. To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor needs to perform a series of follow-up tests that include:
This examination is done by collecting urine samples to find out if the urine contains a lot of calcium or uric acid.
This test aims to determine the function of the kidneys and the levels of certain substances in them, which lead to the formation of kidney stones.
Examination thorough scanning is done to determine for sure the presence of kidney stones. Scans to diagnose kidney stones in women can be done with a CT scan, X-ray, or ultrasound.
Analysis of kidney stones that come out
In this type of examination, the patient will be asked to urinate on a filter so that the kidney stones that come out can be filtered out. After that, the kidney stones that managed to pass will be analyzed in the laboratory.
Causes of Kidney Stones and Their Risk Factors
Both men and women can get kidney stones, but men’s chances of getting kidney stones are about twice that of women.
It is often difficult to know what causes kidney stones. It happens when your urine has a high level of certain minerals, including:
- Uric acid
If you do not have enough urine in the body to dilute a high concentration of minerals, stones can form.
Things that can increase the risk of kidney stones include:
- Food consumed
- Diarrhea (which can leave you dehydrated)
Things that can cause kidney stones to include:
- Medical conditions include gastric bypass surgery, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), kidney medullary sponge, gout, diabetes, Dent disease.
- Vitamin C Supplements
- Lack of calcium from food
- Excess oxalate or protein in food
- Some drugs such as triamterene (Dyazide, Maxzide), a diuretic that can treat high blood pressure, anti-seizure drugs, decongestants, corticosteroids, and protease inhibitors such as indinavir sulfate (Crixivan) for HIV.
What foods can cause kidney stones in women?
Kidney stones can occur due to the accumulation of minerals and salts in the kidneys. Certain foods and beverages contain ingredients that can cause crystals in the kidney organs and are sometimes painful.
A study mentions that once you get kidney stones, then there is a 50 percent chance kidney stone disease will re-attack. Usually within 10 years.
Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid excessive consumption of some foods and beverages that cause kidney stones such as the following:
Kidney stones are formed when urine contains a lot of calcium oxalate and uric acid which can then form stones inside the kidneys. As many as 80 percent of kidney stones are formed from calcium oxalate. It turns out that calcium oxalate is found in black tea. Therefore, excessive consumption of black tea can trigger kidney stones.
Salty foods are also a food that causes kidney stones because they have high levels of sodium. Increased levels of sodium in urine can inhibit the absorption of calcium into the body. As a result, there is a build-up of calcium in the urine.
So, it’s a good idea to keep crisps and salty snacks away from your daily life. Turn those kidney stone trigger foods into healthy snacks, such as fruit or nuts.
The next kidney stone-causing food is processed foods, such as fast food, canned, and packaged. Therefore, limit the consumption of processed foods as your daily menu.
In addition, fast and canned foods have a high sodium content. As explained earlier, high levels of sodium can lead to the formation of stones.
Meat contains animal proteins that have benefits for the body. However, meat also includes foods that cause kidney stones.
Consuming too much meat can cause urine to become acidic. This condition can then make you vulnerable to gout.’
There is no prohibition on consuming foods with this animal protein content. However, meat intake also needs to be limited, especially if you already have a history of kidney stones.
In addition to meat, eggs become another source of animal protein. Therefore, eggs include foods that cause kidney stones whose consumption you should limit. If consumed too much, eggs can lead to the formation of kidney stones. Because high protein animals are generally high in purines.
Fizzy drinks are one of the causes of kidney stones. This drink contains high phosphoric acid that makes the kidneys go the extra mile to process it. Phosphoric acid can also react with calcium and trigger kidney stones.
For those of you who often consume fizzy drinks, change the habit. Start living a healthy lifestyle by consuming more water every day to prevent kidney stones from performing.
Treating Kidney Stones in Women
Usually, no invasive treatment is required to treat kidney stones in women. These stones often pass through the urinary tract within 48 hours or so. However, it is important to drink enough liquid so that the stone can pass easily. Drinking up to 2.8 liters of water a day will greatly help cleanse the urinary system and shed stones as well.
Sometimes you need medication to cope with kidney stones. Ketorolac is usually the best choice. Injectable anti-inflammatory drugs have a remarkable effect on pain control. Your doctor may recommend it when over-the-counter painkillers don’t work.
You need to avoid aspirin, ketorolac, and NSAIDs if going through lithotripsy, as these drugs increase the risk of excessive bleeding. You may need intravenous painkillers when experiencing vomiting and nausea.
You should undergo surgery when the kidney stones are too large and cannot pass through the urinary system. Your doctor can choose from a variety of procedures to treat your kidney stones. For example:
- They may choose extracorporeal lithotripsy which involves applying shock waves to break kidney stones until they become small granules. These smaller stones can then pass through your urinary tract easily.
- Lithotripsy ultrasonic percutaneous is another option that involves making small incisions in the back and inserting instruments such as small tubes in the kidneys to break down stones.
- Lithotripsy laser is another effective way to break down rocks with the help of laser beams.
- A ureteroscopy involves inserting a small telescope into your bladder through the urethra to break the stones in the kidneys. The stone is then removed or broken down for easy release.
In addition to kidney stones, another disease that can attack the kidney organs is cysts. this is common especially for people aged 50 years and above. Not only that, but kidney cysts can also appear in people with diabetes. Learn more about kidney cysts in Cysts in Kidney When to Be Concerned: Diagnosis and Treatment
Tips to Maintain Kidney Health
Here are some tips to help maintain kidney health that you must follow:
Meet Water Needs
Drinking plenty of fluids will help the kidneys function properly. If the urine is colored like straw, or even darker, it may be a sign of dehydration. When the weather is hot, when traveling in hot countries, or while exercising heavily, you also need to drink more water than usual to replace the fluids lost due to sweating.
Eat Healthy Food
A balanced diet will ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Eat more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, as well as wheat paste, bread, and rice. Avoid eating too many salty or fatty foods.
Don’t Smoke or Drink Excessive Alcohol
Try quitting smoking completely and limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Both men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week regularly. Drinking too much alcohol and smoking have an impact on increasing blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney disease.
Maintain Ideal Weight
Being overweight or overweight will increase blood pressure, which is bad for the kidneys. Try to keep your weight healthy by staying active and not overeating.