Passing Kidney Stones in Pregnancy
Kidney stones occur when the urine has more of crystal forming substances and deficient in those that hinder the clumping of these crystals to result in solidified stones. Though kidney stone development is common among the male population, women too can get affected, but to a lesser degree. However, chances of developing kidney stones while pregnant is relatively high than when women are not pregnant.
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Developing kidney stones during pregnancy will only add to the already existing woes that a pregnant woman will be suffering from. During pregnancy the body goes through a multitude of changes including hormonal, vitamin, and mineral imbalances. While prenatal vitamins are prescribed to set this right, sometimes the recommended dosage will be too high for the body to handle it. Also, during the third trimester, the size of the uterus become large to the extent of hampering normal flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder leading to incomplete voiding of urine. All these bodily changes can bring about kidney stone formation.
Determining the type of kidney stone while pregnant is difficult, for the battery of tests that can be performed on a pregnant woman is limited. If by any chance the stone type has been able to be diagnosed, then successfully eliminating them by employing medical procedures will not be possible. Often a pregnant lady with kidney stones will be given pain meds throughout the course of the pregnancy to handle the pain better, which is usually experienced while the stone attempts to move through the urinary tract. It is only after the baby is born that drug therapy, medical techniques or surgical procedures will be attempted at.
Ureteral stents will need to be inserted meanwhile, to help tiny stones pass by. The ureters are narrow ducts that connect the kidneys to the urinary bladder, and most often stones get stuck in these ureters causing urine blockage and the resulting pain. At often times, the stent will need to be left in place for the remainder of the woman’s pregnancy for passage of stones, and the pain from the stents is usually referred as worse than labor pains.
It is recommended that safe methods be employed to get rid of stones from the kidney while pregnant. First step to be taken is to increase water intake, go up to 2.5 liters a day, for a pregnant body requires more than adequate amounts of water. Increased water input at frequent intervals will flush out the urinary system time and again, enabling small stones to move out of the body along with the increased urine volume.
The next step would be to avoid a high-sodium and high-oxalate diet for highly salted foods and oxalate rich berries, nuts, leafy vegetables, and chocolates promote stone formation. Increased salt intake will also influence loss of calcium from bones which eventually enter the urinary stream. Squeeze out juice from fresh lemons, blend them in pure drinking water, sweeten it with honey and drink on a regular basis to prevent as well as help dissolve tiny kidney stones. For the purpose of dissolving existing stones, try drinking lemon juice at every one-hour interval until the stone gets eliminated. You will know this when the waves of pain cease to occur.