Iced tea, instant noodles, and chips are great snacks for those who are always on-the-go, but you may want to consider munching on something else. Eating way too much of these too-sweet and too-salty treats can cause kidney stones, which in turn, cause infections that are twice as common in women.

With a recent rise in women affected by urolithiasis (kidney stones), researchers and experts from the Henry Ford Hospital decided to study the rate of infections caused by this illness. Featured on, the study gathered data from 400,000 hospital patients affected by urolithiasis from 1999 to 2009, looking at the frequency that participants were treated by retrograde ureteral catheterization (RUC) which uses a catheter to drain blocked urine in order to reduce pressure on the kidney and by percutaneous nephrostomy (PSN) which surgically pierces the patient’s kidney.

In a span of ten years, researchers found a dramatic increase in urolithiasis in women: from 15.5 to 27.6 per 100,000 patients. Sepsis (severe bodily response to bacteria) also rose from 6.9 percent to 8.5 percent in urolithiasis patients in general. Moreover, it seems that PSN may have also had a hand in the growing statistics, but more data is needed to firm up this hypothesis.

Researchers believe that the increase of urolithiasis cases in women may be related to bad diet and bad habits, which include drinking too much iced tea and smoking. Many women who live fast-paced lives usually forget to take balanced meals and, oftentimes, ignore bathroom breaks. Although sometimes there seems to be so little time to do so, it’s really important to take care of yourself. Be kind to your kidneys by drinking lots of water and avoiding too much salt. Most of all, if you need to go to the restroom, go. Too much work is never an excuse to ignore your body.


(Photo by Parker Michael Knight via Flickr Creative Commons)

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