Pregnancy can be a wonderful and exciting time for many women, but it can also come with its own set of health challenges. One such challenge that may arise during pregnancy is the development of painful kidney stones. Moonstone Stone Stopper™ is a doctor-created supplement that is vegan, low sugar, and safe to use throughout pregnancy to reduce kidney stone risk!
WHAT ARE KIDNEY STONES
Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that form in the kidneys and can cause severe pain and discomfort when they move through the urinary tract. They can affect any part of your urinary tract, from your kidneys to your bladder. The minerals and salts in the urine crystallize and stick together when urine becomes more concentrated.
They typically do not elicit any symptoms until they move around within the urinary tract, often becoming stuck and blocking the flow of urine. Symptoms to look out for include:
- Severe, sharp pain below the ribs in the back and side
- Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin
- Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- A persistent need to urinate, urinating more often than usual or urinating in small amounts
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills if an infection is present
According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s also important to note that this pain can increase or decrease in intensity, and even move to a different part of the body, because the stone is moving through the urinary tract.
Because there are some similar symptoms with pregnancy and kidney stones (eg: change in urination, nausea and vomiting), it increases the risks of complications to the pregnant mother and the unborn child. If left untreated, kidney stones can cause significant complications – from a UTI to preeclampsia or even pre-term labor.
WHY DOES PREGNANCY INCREASE THIS RISK?
The risk factors that can increase the chances of developing kidney stones include:
- Dehydration: Pregnant women are at a higher risk of dehydration due to the increased fluid needs of the growing baby. This can lead to a buildup of calcium and oxalate in the kidneys, which can increase the risk of kidney stone formation.
- Calcium: Pregnant women are often advised to increase their calcium intake to support the growth and development of the baby's bones. However, a high intake of calcium can also increase the risk of kidney stones.
- Oxalates: These are antinutrient compounds found naturally in plants – they can turn up in foods such as spinach, nuts, chocolate, and more. They can reduce the body’s ability to absorb the same food’s essential nutrients, so consuming these foods in large amounts can also increase the risk of kidney stones. (Read this blog to learn which oxalate foods to avoid!)
- Genetics: Some women may also simply be more genetically predisposed to developing kidney stones, or having urinary tract issues in general.
Kidney stones occur most often in the second or third trimester. This is due to an increase in Vitamin D levels over prior months which increases calcium in the urine and leads to an increased risk of developing kidney stones. If you do develop kidney stones during pregnancy, treatment options will depend on the size, location of the stone, as well as the severity of your symptoms. In some cases, the stone may pass on its own without treatment. However, if the stone is causing severe pain or damage to the kidney, your healthcare provider may recommend surgery or other treatment options.
In addition to drinking plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day, steps to take to decrease your likelihood include:
- Limiting certain foods. Watch your intake of foods that are high in calcium and oxalate (talk to your healthcare provider about any specific dietary recommendations).
- Regular prenatal care. It’s crucial to monitor your health and detect any issues early on, including monitoring kidney function and urine analysis to check for any abnormalities.
- Take magnesium. Your doctor will advise you on the correct amount, but adding magnesium rich foods into your diet is where to start.
- Increase your intake of alkali citrate. Alkali citrate reduces the ability of calcium in the urine to bind with oxalates. Moonstone Nutrition has a pregnancy safe daily dose of alkali citrate recommended by doctors to help prevent the crystallization that causes kidney stones.
MOONSTONE + ALKALI CITRATE
Moonstone was specifically formulated by kidney stone specialists – including nephrologists and urologists – to contain clinically significant amounts of alkali citrate to help prevent kidney stone formation.
While alkali citrate can be found naturally in citrus fruits, they are often missing other key nutrients that help prevent stone formation: sodium, potassium, or magnesium. The latter is exactly what Moonstone provides!
From ready-to-mix powder beverages to gummies and capsules, Moonstone also contains other key ingredients known to prevent kidney stones: potassium, sodium, and magnesium citrate salts. Other benefits of Moonstone include:
- High in vitamin B6
- Low in calories
- Low in sodium
- Low in potassium
- Kosher certified
- Contains no added sugar
Overall, kidney stones can be a painful and uncomfortable experience for pregnant women, but with the right preventative measures and prompt medical attention, it can be managed effectively. If you are already experiencing any symptoms that may be indicative of a kidney stone, don't hesitate to seek medical attention!
If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, check to see if Moonstone Stone Stopper™ could be the right supplement to add to your daily routine.