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Re: I am five weeks pregnant and also have kidney stones

Posted By brandy on November 13, 1998 at 21:29:06:

In Reply to: Re: I am five weeks pregnant and also have kidney stones posted by HFHS M.D.-JJ on November 13, 1998 at 16:10:04:

I was wondering if this will affect my pregnancy in any way i was also told to avoid  calcium but being pregnant shouldnt i increase my calcium?I am not sheduled to see my OB doctor till Dec. 4 th and was wondering if you could ease my anxiety till then
Dear Brandy,
I am assuming that you were recently diagnosed with a kidney stone prior to finding out that you were pregnant, or afterward because of some symptom associated with the stone.  The differentiation is important because asymptotic stones (stones that were incidentally detected and not causing any symptoms such as pain and colic) found during pregnancy may not require intervention.  However, if the stone is obstructing any portion of the urinary tract drainage, this may cause colic (flank pain) which may lead to premature labor in a pregnant woman. Lithotripsy is a non-invasive method to crush stones in the kidney, but this contraindicated in pregnant patients.  Therefore, a stent is placed in the ureter on the side of the blockage to help the urine bypass the point of obstruction to prevent colic.  This can be done with minimal radiation to the fetus, and antibiotics may be used before and after the stent placement to prevent infection of the urinary tract.  The stent placement can be done in the clinic or the operating room, although most urologists would probably to prefer to have the support of an anesthesiologist monitoring the patient during this procedure.  The stent can remain in place until after the delivery, and the stone can be managed after delivery of the baby, and the stent can also be removed at that time.
Whether you take calcium or not will not prevent stone formation if you are a stone former.  Even if dietary levels of calcium are low, the body will reabsorb calcium from the bone in order to maintain a relatively constant concentration in the blood, which will then eventually spill into the urine and cause stone formation in those patients who have a propensity for making stones.  Therefore, recommendations on dietary regimens can be only made after the type of stone is determined (after you pass this stone, or based on the type of stones you may have passed in the past).  For example, for patients who for Calcium Oxalate stones (the most common type of stone) the oxalate concentration in the urine is far more responsible for stone formation than the calcium level is, and prevention can be based on a dietary regimen low in oxalate content.  The best dietary recommendation would be hydration with large quantities of water.  This not only prevents stone formation by causing a dilute urine, but may also help in flushing kidney stones.  I hope this answers your question, and recommend you see a urologist.
Wish you the best.
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only.  Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition. More individualized care is available at the Henry Ford Hospital and its satellites (1 800 653 6568).
*Keyword: renal calculus disease, pregnancy
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