Monday, May 6, 2013

Women and Kidney Stones

Any human is able to develop kidney stones. While women have a lower rate of the condition than men do, it is possible for the stones to develop.

Kidney stones are a painful problem that develops in the urinary tract. The most common location for the stones to develop is around the kidneys, which ultimately results in an obstruction that prevents the fluid and waste processed by the kidneys to drain properly. Any woman can develop the condition, though some women are more likely to face the painful dilemma than others are.

Young Women

While women can develop the condition, young women historically face a much lower risk of developing the problem. Despite the historical facts, more young women and girls are facing the condition than previous generations. As more young women are eating diets that a high in processed foods, the rate of kidney stones is increasing.

Older Women

Estrogen helps to inhibit the condition. Women who are 50 years old or older are more likely to develop the stones than younger women are. After women reach menopause and start seeing hormonal changes in the body, the risk of developing the stones is increased. Also women who have had their ovaries removed are also at an increased risk.

If a woman develops a kidney stone once, then she has a higher risk of developing them again in the future.

Diet Plays a Role

Dietary habits also play a role in the development of kidney stones. For example, diets high in animal proteins such as meat and eggs increase the likelihood of stone formation. Excessive salt intake is another dietary risk factor so it is important to avoid highly processed foods. Foods high in oxalate are detrimental as well and include such items as nuts, spinach, rhubarb, and wheat germ. Increased fluid intake can help to flush out the system.

Additional Increased Risk Factors

Though any woman can potentially develop these stones, some women are at a higher risk of developing the problem. Caucasian and Asian women are more likely to develop the stones due to genetic factors. Women who are likely to face dehydration due to climate or low water intake might develop the stones. Furthermore, a diet that is high in sodium or processed foods can increase the risk of developing the problem. Women who eat a healthy diet and drink enough water to retain hydration are less likely to develop the condition.

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