Gallstones and kidney stones often go unnoticed, but once they get stuck, they can trigger painful colic. Even during pregnancy, the little tormentors make themselves noticeable now and then. You will learn about the effects of bile and kidney stones on mother and baby during pregnancy, and how you can prevent it.
Painful little stones
Gallstones and kidney stones often go unnoticed, but once they get stuck, they can trigger painful colic. Even during pregnancy, the little tormentors make themselves noticeable now and then. An operation is usually not necessary during pregnancy; the stones can be removed after birth.
You will learn about the effects of bile and kidney stones on mother and baby during pregnancy and how you can prevent it. There is also an overview of the different treatment options.
Causes and symptoms of gallbladder and kidney stones
The formation of gallstones is due to clumping of components of the bile, such as cholesterol and protein. The small stones are yellowish and can become as big as a cherry.
Common symptoms of gallstone disease include nausea, abdominal pain and flatulence, which are common after eating greasy foods.
But foods such as legumes and coffee can cause these symptoms. Also, spasmodic pain in the upper abdomen, so-called biliary colic, which can radiate into the back and the right shoulder.
In rare cases, a gallstone may become stuck and prevent the outflow of bile. As a result, it comes to a bile blockage, the so-called cholestasis.
Typical symptoms include severe itching on the skin, jaundice with yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark urine and a light bowel movement. Especially for pregnant women and their unborn child cholestasis is dangerous.
Most people with gallstones, namely about 75 percent, do not notice these and are completely symptom-free.
According to medical experts, the risk of getting gallstones is increased with these “6 f”:
- fat (overweight)
- forty (forty years and older)
- fair (blond or fair-skinned)
- family (investment in the family)
Gallstones in pregnancy
Gallstones also occur more frequently in pregnancy: about 5 percent of pregnant women are affected by gallstones, to complaints it comes only at 1 percent. The cause of the formation of gallstones during pregnancy is not only related to the influence of estrogens. Due to the growing baby in the womb, the gallbladder can be displaced and the bile drain obstructed.
Treatment for gallstones
With an ultrasound examination is determined whether the patient suffers from gallstones. Acute biliary colic is extremely painful and is usually treated with medications that have an antispasmodic and analgesic effect. Inflammation of the gallbladder requires antibiotics. In pregnant women, care must be taken that the unborn baby tolerates the medication.
To prevent the painful and recurring bile colic in the long term, the removal of the gallbladder is the only option. The procedure is now performed endoscopically and only very small incisions are necessary.
Another possibility is to have gallstones smashed by ultrasonic waves. The downside: In this non-surgical method, gallstones can occur again and again. In pregnant women, surgery can usually be maintained until after birth.
The missing gallbladder does not cause any harm to those affected. However, high-fat foods should be avoided. If the gallstones are discovered accidentally and do not cause any discomfort, surgery is not required.
This is how you can prevent gallstones
The formation of gallstones is often difficult to prevent, for example, in a genetic predisposition. However, you can take a few tips to reduce the risk:
- Eat low fat and products with lots of fiber
- Avoid being overweight
- Avoid fast weight loss (fasting, zero diets)
- Have your cholesterol levels checked regularly
Kidney stones in pregnancy
Kidney stones are formed from crystalline deposits of urine. Affected are about 5 percent of the population, with men being more common than women. Small kidney stones usually cause no discomfort and can be flushed out with an increased amount of drinking urine.
Painful renal colic occurs when a large kidney stone blocks the urinary tract. Typical symptoms include a pulling pain in the kidney area, which can radiate into the genitals and the groin area. Other features include nausea, vomiting, fever and blood in the urine.
The risk factors include frequent urinary tract infections, various metabolic disorders, high meat consumption and genetic predisposition. But also foods that contain a lot of oxalic acids, such as beetroot, Spinach and rhubarb can promote the formation of kidney stones.
To prevent kidney stones, women should regularly drink plenty of fluids, about 1.5 to 2 liters a day, during pregnancy and look for a low-fat diet.
Depending on the size of the kidney stones and the symptoms, there are different treatment options:
- Drink a lot to sweat the stones
- Lots of exercise and jumping
- Shattering of the Nierentsteine
- Endoscopic removal
If kidney stones occur during pregnancy, surgery is performed only after birth.
- Clotted bile causes gallstones`
- Symptoms: Nausea, the feeling of fullness, spasmodic pain in the upper abdomen
- Around 75 percent of people with gallstones do not notice it
- Gallstones occur in about 5 percent of all pregnant women
- In rare cases, pregnancy cholestasis may occur
- Gallstones and kidney stones are removed after pregnancy