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Kidney stones. My experience and lessons learned.

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posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 09:55 AM
Greetings, all.

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 experience.

  • *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 day.
  • *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. (Continued...)
edit on 7/29/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 09:58 AM
It's important to catch the stones for analysis (your doctor can provide a stone strainer to pee into, but I went in a urinal and strained it myself.)

By the end of this experience, I had lost 10 lbs in 3 days time from vomiting and the inability to keep anything down. My potassium was low. I had to have IV fluids and it took quite some time, and a lot of effort, to get my physical strength back.

Exactly 24 days later, it happened again, on the same side. It seems the next stone decided to pass (probably due to my following the above tips, a process known as hydroexpulsive therapy, in which increased fluid intake dilates the ureters and flushes the kidneys, promoting passage of stones small enough to pass.) This time was slightly less intense, though no less excruciating. This time it lasted only one day, and then promptly passed. To my huge relief.

Three months later, in June, it happened again. This time on the right side. This time was particularly bad. Fortunately, my doctor had prescribed a medication called Tamulosin, which dilates the ureter and relaxes the prostate, promoting easier passage. Nevertheless, the process took three days. And the pain was the worst of all three episodes. It continued without cessation for three entire days and nights, and the vomiting and weakness were even worse this time around. I was feverish and delirious. Toward the end, I feared it wouldn't stop and that I would have to go in for surgery.

When a stone cannot pass on its own, and is obstructive, it can actually be quite serious. Kidneys can rupture. Kidney failure can occur. Sepsis can happen. All sorts of things can go wrong. So never ignore these symptoms hoping for the best for too long. But I was fortunate. That morning when I peed, the stone came out, and the pain immediately ceased. Just like that. It must have once again been stuck in the narrow junction of the ureter and the bladder, and must have flown out all in one go.

This one was larger than the first two, more round, like a BB. A friend joked upon seeing it that I had "peed buckshot."

The worst damage from this latest bout was mental, though. I've always suffered from anxiety and I'm on the autistic spectrum, so I notice and respond to and fixate on things naturally to a far more intense degree than neurotypical people might. After it was over, the fear of it recurring was so intense, and my anxiety so severe, I didn't sleep for SIX DAYS due to heart palpitations and panic keeping me awake.

Finally I managed to sleep for a couple of hours. Then four. Then the next day 6. Now, weeks later, I am sleeping well again, and finally able to relax. Turns out this isn't uncommon. The pain of renal calculi (the technical term) is so severe, it's often literally traumatic.

So, that's my experience. I encourage everyone to be mindful of what they put in their bodies, and take care of their kidneys. And if you have or are experiencing this... my PROFOUND sympathies!


edit on 7/29/2015 by AceWombat04 because: Typo

edit on 7/29/2015 by AceWombat04 because: Typos

posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 10:08 AM
Thanks for posting your experience. You've included some good advice.

I haven't had kidney stones - knock on wood - but my dad had them once. It's laughable now, but I think he had decided to conduct an experiment on himself, which involved drinking a lot of Coke and little water. Obviously, the experiment didn't last long and didn't go well.

According to my mom, they had come home from a trip to the store and when he got out of the car, the initial pain from the kidney stones hit and he was doubled-over in the front yard from the pain. He felt like he was giving birth alright!!

posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 11:17 AM
I forgot to add, to those for whom giving up coffee is absolutely anathema:

Turns out research indicates a single cup a day is actually protective against stone formation, because caffeine has an effect on antidiuretic hormone that increases voiding and kidney clearance. It's only if you drink multiple cups a day that the oxalate content and potential impact on hydration (caffeine can promote dehydration) outweighs that benefit.

So having a single cup in the morning of your favored brew should be safe. Apparently. (Again, not a physician, and this should not be construed as medical advice.)


posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 12:02 PM
a reply to: AceWombat04
Consult with your medical professional about a tea made from queen of the meadow's root. It is a natural herb .I was in the same shape you were when I was about 22 years old. My uncle's grandparents made a gallon for me . It soothed the pain and I havent had any more issues (knock on wood) since. And that was ....well , many years ago.

posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 12:13 PM
I'm no doctor. So caveat lector.

I've never had stones and thank God for that. I do drink coffee, and I'm a big proponent of cider vinegar as a supplement. I use Bragg's and can't say for sure it keeps me from getting stones, but it hasn't hurt.

Also, we have wellness meeting at work periodically, and at one of the recent ones, the instructor told us your daily water requirement is your weight in pounds divided by two and that gives you the ounces. So, if you weigh 100lbs you should drink 50 oz of water per day.

I don't follow that, but that's apparently the latest finding.

Good luck.

posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 12:19 PM
a reply to: AceWombat04
Samuel Pepys would agree about the pain.
He was so relieved on the day when he had his own operation, that he "did resolve while I live to keep it a festival".

posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 01:20 PM
I take medication that includes possible kidney stones as one potential side effect. I've been on it for years now. You better believe I almost always have a drink to hand and am constantly sipping, sipping, sipping.

posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 02:07 PM
a reply to: AceWombat04

I've never felt that pain, but I did have a kidney problem of my own, and I've felt the sickness aspect of it. I lived with a upj obstruction for -19- years before it was discovered. Yes, 19.

posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 02:31 PM
Sounds painful! Glad you're better!

posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 04:53 PM

Harvard researchers found that 180 mg of magnesium and 10 mg of B6 taken daily can actually prevent 92.3% of kidney stones. Other studies show huge reductions with magnesium alone at 500mg a day.
Diet is crucial

A Powerful Remedy for Dissolving Kidney Stones
Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

1 glass of water (12-16 oz.)
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 dash Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Avoid Soft Drinks
edit on 29-7-2015 by gmoneystunt because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 11:59 PM
a reply to: AceWombat04

Always take Gum Turpentine to clear the kidney stones out of you, the stones can be made from the rubber we all breathe in from the tyres it combines with calcium also turmeric, lemon and lime (with the skins on) aloe vera as it contains citrate and asparagus all work on them

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