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Kidney Stones in Women

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Posted by on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 6:39
This news item was posted in K, Kidney, Pain category and has 1 Comment so far.

The kidney acts as a filter for blood, removing waste products from the body and making urine. It also helps regulate electrolyte levels that are important for body function. Urine drains from the kidney through a narrow tube called the ureter into the bladder. When the bladder fills and there is an urge to urinate, the bladder empties to the outside through the urethra, a much wider tube than the ureter.

In some people, chemicals crystallize in the urine and form the beginning, or nidus, of a kidney stone. These stones are very tiny when they form, smaller than a grain of sand, but gradually can grow over time to 1/10 of an inch or larger. Urolithiasis is the term that refers to the presence of stones in the urinary tract, while nephrolithiasis refers to kidney stones and ureterolithiasis refers to stones lodged in the ureter. The size of the stone doesn’t matter as much as where it is located and whether it obstructs or prevents urine from draining.

Kidney Stones in Women
Kidney Stones in Women

When the stone sits in the kidney, it rarely causes problems, but when it falls into the ureter, it acts like a dam. As the kidney continues to function and make urine, pressure builds up behind the stone and causes the kidney to swell. This pressure is what causes the pain of a kidney stone, but it also helps push the stone along the course of the ureter. When the stone enters the bladder, the obstruction in the ureter is relieved and the symptoms of a kidney stone are resolved.

Kidney stones are stone-like lumps that can develop in one or both of the kidneys. The medical name for stones in the kidneys is nephrolithiasis. If the stones cause severe pain, this is known as renal colic.
The kidneys

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that are roughly four inches in length. They are located towards the back of the abdomen (stomach) on either side of the spine.

The kidneys remove waste products from the blood and transfer them into the ureter, along with excess fluids. The ureter is the tube that attaches each kidney to the bladder. From there, the waste products and excess fluid are disposed of as urine. The clean blood is then transferred back into the body.
Kidney stones

The waste products in the kidneys can occasionally form crystals that collect around the inside of the kidney. Over time, the crystals may build up to form a hard stone-like lump. This is a kidney stone.

There are four main types of kidney stone. See Kidney stones – symptoms for more information about the different types of kidney stones.

Kidney Stones Symptoms in Women

Unfortunately the signs and symptoms of kidney stones in women are not always easily detected. This is because the lower abdominal pain in women experienced due to the kidney stones is often overlooked as menstrual cramps. However, here are some of the kidney stones symptoms in women.

* As mentioned earlier, one of the first signs of kidney stones in women is experiencing abdominal pain of varying degrees. This pain may be radiated towards the back and also be felt like kidney pain.
* Another of the symptoms of kidney stones is noticing pinkish or red urine due to the presence of blood. Some women may also experience a frequent urge to urinate and a burning sensation while urinating.
* In case of the presence of kidney infection some women may also experience moderate to high grade fever, nausea induced vomiting, and chills.

How common are kidney stones?

Kidney stones are quite common and usually affect people who are between 30 and 60 years of age. They affect men more than women. It is estimated that renal colic (severe pain caused by a kidney stone) affects about 10-20% of men, and 3-5% of women.

After a kidney stone has formed, your body will try to pass it in urine, so it will often travel through the urinary system. The urinary system produces, stores and removes urine. The urinary system is made up of the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder and the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body).

While small stones may be passed out in the urine, it is fairly common for a stone to block part of the urinary system, such as the ureter or the urethra. If this happens, it can cause severe pain in the abdomen or groin. A blockage in the urinary system can also lead to:

* infection
* kidney damage
* kidney failure

There are several procedures to remove, or break down, larger kidney stones. Around half of people who have had kidney stones will experience them again within the following 10 years.

Kidney Stones in Women Treatment

It is essential to diagnose and treat kidney stones before they become an irreversible condition, leading to kidney failure. The diagnostic tests may include a physical exam, urine tests and sonography. The doctor may also advice the patient to undergo an MRI or CT scan to determine the exact location and size of the stone. The previous medical history of the patient may also be evaluated before administering treatment. Painkillers may be prescribed to relieve the inflammation and pain caused due to this kidney disease. The patient may also be required to undergo lithotripsy, where sound waves are employed to break the kidney stones for kidney stone removal. In some cases, the doctor may opt for kidney stone surgery if the kidney stone is too big and cannot be passed out of the body. The doctor may also chalk out a kidney stones diet plan for the patient to treat this kidney disorder.

The kidney stones in women diet must consist of lots of fruits and vegetables. Calcium rich foods must be completely avoided. Drinking plenty of water and fluids will prevent the accumulation of calcium salts in the kidneys. A routine visit to a health care provider will also help diagnose this condition in the initial stages and prevent it from becoming severe. Hope you found this article on what causes kidney stones in women useful and informative.

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1 Response to “Kidney Stones in Women”

  1. [...] This news item was posted in K, Kidney, S category and has 0 Comments so far. Advertisement Kidney stones are more common in men than in women. Your little pair of kidneys play a big role in your body. [...]

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