Boy. You want to talk about pain. I'll tell you what. I would not wish kidney stones on the most foul human being ever to live. This was the most
indescribably intense, unremitting, excruciating, long lasting pain I have ever felt, imagined, or conceived of. My (female, mother) doctor told me,
"The only men who can ever begin to understand the pain of labor are those who have had kidney stones." I believe her. I cannot begin to describe how
bad this experience was.
I've had three attacks, with the first and third being the worst, since February. According to CT and sono, that SHOULD be all of them. I never had
them before, and it appears they were caused by an overconsumption of oxalate, sugar, sodium, calcium based antacids, and antihistamines over December
and January (believe it or not, stones can form in as little as 3 months apparently.) So first and foremost, the lessons learned that I hope will save
others from this agonizing experience.
I am not a physician and the following should not be construed as professional medical advice. It should not take the place of a physician's care or
instructions. You are solely responsible for choosing to follow, research, or ignore the following points. They reflect solely my own personal
- *Hydration, hydration, hydration. If you're like me, you probably need far more than most ever imagine. For stone formers, 2 liters a day is
recommended. But that's an AVERAGE, not a rule. I personally need between 4 and 6 liters of water a day for my urine to be the color it should be when
healthy, rather than dark. I dehydrate easily. So look at your urine. It should be hay colored, and clear, without particulates in it. If it's darker,
drink more. If it's pale or completely transparent, drink less. Your happy median will vary depending on many factors. Pay attention throughout the
- *Most stones are calcium oxalate based. Not all. So you have to be careful with this one. But in my case, raising my urinary pH to be more alkaline
has been beneficial (and was recommended by physicians.) Alkaline foods, and acidic foods which counter intuitively result in increased urinary pH
upon being metabolized (e.g. diluted lemon juice in water) can achieve this.
- *Along the same lines, limit or eliminate oxalate containing foods from diet. Major culprits include chocolate, coffee, nuts, and certain dark
leafy green vegetables. Look them up online. This is a major pain, as it means getting sufficient magnesium is very difficult. And that's very
critical, as you need to maintain your magnesium and potassium for a variety of reasons, not least of which fluid balance which as you can imagine, is
a concern anytime you have kidney health related issues.
- *Limit sodium to 2,000 mg or less a day.
- *Reduce your sugar intake to healthy levels. Reduce further if you have any kind of kidney function issues. Discuss with your physician and a
dietician, especially if you have any blood sugar related health problems, or symptoms thereof. Don't do this willy nilly on your own.
- Don't artificially reduce your dietary calcium intake, but don't consume it to excess. Hover around 100% DV if you can.
I sincerely hope those tips help someone out there suffering from this problem, or to avoid ever having to.
Now on to the experience itself.
I was just getting over the flu. Literally the day I started to recover from it, I awoke with excruciating left flank pain. I thought it was the worst
gas pain ever initially, but upon drinking fluids and Epsom salts in hope of provoking a bowel movement to relieve the pain, it only intensified. I
was doubled over in pain which came in waves and was so intense I was hyperventilating and screaming at the top of my lungs. Then I began to violently
vomit. This relieved some of the pressure, but not much. This lasted for 12 hours, non-stop. All I could do during this period was lay in bed with a
heating pad on the affected side, writhing in pain, and begging the universe to let it pass. Between vomiting bouts.
After 12 hours, it passed, and I hoped I was alright. However after 4 hours of sleep, I awoke with the same pain again. This time it lasted 17 hours,
and I decided it was time to go to the ER. I feared I had an intestinal obstruction. By the time I got to the ER, the pain had passed. Unenhanced CT
confirmed the diagnosis of a single 4 mm stone lodged in my left ureter, and moderate hydronephrosis (a backup of fluid in the kidney itself, which
along with the ureter dilating, was the cause of the pain and the nausea as my body tried to expel fluid it couldn't. They said it was "on its way
out," at the narrow junction of the ureter and the bladder.)
Horror of horrors, though: it wasn't the only one! There was another stone on the same side, though a bit smaller. And another on the right side which
was a full half centimeter. Stones that are inside the kidney itself generally do not produce symptoms. It's only when they drop into the ureter that
symptoms occur, due to obstruction. Once they pass into the bladder, there is usually relief. The urethra is far wider than the ureter, so if it was
small enough to pass through the ureter, generally you can pass it without even feeling it after that within a few days through normal voiding.
That's exactly what happened. The stone had broken up into fragments, and I passed it in several pieces over the next week or two.
edit on 7/29/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)