causes kidney stones in women? Passing the stones, crystalized hard deposits
derived from certain minerals inside the kidneys, would be so painful. Even
this is probably the worst pain after active labor & childbirth. The bad
news, it seems the incidence in women is increasing steadily, according to the
Mayo Clinic study 2018 .
kidney stone disease (nephrolithiasis)
is more common in men. It is twice as often in men (especially at 30s of age)
as women . But since it’s on the rise in
women, it’s not bad idea to understand more about how to prevent and reduce the
risk of developing the condition.
Poor hydration is one of the main culprits
There are many types of kidney stones. The major types include calcium oxalate (CAOX, which is the most common type), calcium phosphate (CAP), uric acid, magnesium ammonium phosphate (also called as struvite), and cystine (sulfur-containing amino acid).
kidneys need water (fluid) to flush out unnecessary things from the body
properly. Keeping hydrated is important to dilute them in the urine, making
crystalized stones more difficult to form.
other hand, without enough fluid, you’re likely to have low urine volume. As a
result, you would make stones more likely to form in the urinary tract and
provoke kidneys dysfunction.
dehydration is a risk factor for all types of kidney stones. In people who’ve
already had stones, drinking adequate water would help reduce their risk of
stone recurrence by about half — one randomized trial suggests .
sure to keep hydrated throughout the day. It’s recommended to drink at least
2.5 liters of water per day, especially for people with a personal medical
history of kidney stones, according to the American Urological Association
Your diet plays a big role
genders (men and women), diet does have an effect to increase the risk of nephrolithiasis.
This makes sense since what you eat can affect your blood properties.
common culprit is urine containing high level of calcium. Calcium stones are
the most common types of kidney stones. They form when calcium bonds together
with oxalate (mostly) or phosphate in the urine .
remember, many times calcium stones are not associated with how much calcium
you consume. However, it’s also important to not get calcium intake too high
(higher than normal).
calcium diet rarely prevents the stones from forming. Instead, blame it on high
you restrict foods containing oxalate? For people who have had kidney stones,
especially calcium-oxalate stones, diet low in oxalate is a must (ask a doctor
for more guidance). However it’s hard to avoid oxalate entirely since many
foods (including healthy ones such as vegetables) contain oxalate.
But if you’re really at high risk of developing calcium-oxalate stones, restrict
the following foods since they have much more oxalate than others: grits, okra,
raspberries, spinach, cashews, beets, cocoa powder, French fries, stevia
sweeteners, bran cereals, and rhubarb.
people with kidney stones, diet to deal with the problem during recovery and
after treatment may vary, depending on the type of stones you concern. Work
with a professional dietitian for more guidance!
you just want to keep the risk at bay (let’s say you haven’t had any stone
before) — a golden rule is to eat everything in moderation. Also, say “NO’ for
salty foods and highly sugary drinks. Furthermore, restrict animal-protein rich
foods (red meats for example).
How about obesity?
people may tend to have imbalance properties in their blood, including some
that provoke nephrolithiasis. Obesity is definitely bad for your heart health.
This is also bad to the kidneys since both the heart and kidneys can affect
excess pounds (higher level of BMI), including larger waist size, can increase
the risk of developing kidney stones. And the bad news, women are probably more
vulnerable to get the stones from this added risk factor, according to one
study published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association .
study showed that the weight scale of more than 220 pounds in women might have
higher risk by about 90 percent than women with 150 pounds or lower. Weight
gain also increases the risk in men, but probably it’s not as significant as
study, researchers have adjusted other variables (e.g. age, how much they drink
(fluid intake), and other dietary factors). And the results showed that excess pounds
of weight gain were quite significantly linked to the increased risk of kidney
Would post-menopausal hormones increase your risk?
typically occurring at late 40s to early 50s, is a normal part of aging in
which menstrual period has completely stopped. We can say it is the end of a
woman’s reproductive years.
phase drives lots of changes in the body, which some may affect your urinary
system. For example, it’s quite common for women with menopause experience
problems associated with bladder control (urinary incontinence).
are a few reasons why menopause may cause bladder control issues. One of them
could be changes of estrogen level. Estrogen is not only important to regulate
your menstrual periods, because it also plays a role to keep the lining of the
urethra and bladder healthy.
about post-menopausal hormones? Do they have an effect to make kidney stones
more likely? It’s not clear yet. One meta-analysis study showed there was no
strong connection between the risk of nephrolithiasis and post-menstrual
Other medical conditions
health conditions would cause kidney stones more likely to form in the female
urinary tract . These include: