Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Would somebody please invent a laxative for kidney stones?


I'm very fed up with my body at the moment.

As regular readers will know, I developed my first kidney stone (a milestone I wish I'd never experienced!) back in 2015.  I had two procedures that year, lithotripsy followed by an ureteroscopy, to get rid of it.  It wasn't fun, to put it mildly.  Thereafter, I had a hiatus for a couple of years, but in 2017 another kidney stone formed.  The local urologist was (in my opinion) very unprofessional in his approach, so I refused to proceed with treatment from him.  Fortunately, the problem eased off on its own within a week or two, presumably the result of the stone passing naturally.

Over the past year or so, I've passed three more kidney stones au naturel, as it were.  The pain's been severe enough to be a problem, but not crippling, so they were probably either small stones or fragments off a larger one.  However, about two months ago I was hit with another serious bout of pain, and had to ask my local health care provider to schedule an appointment with a specialist.  I wasn't prepared to trust the local urologist after my earlier experience, so I was referred to UT Southwestern in Dallas, where a very professional professor (there's a nice play on words!) checked me out.  We'd scheduled an ureteroscopy for next week.  However, my body, in a fit of independence, decided to act sooner.  After hanging on to the stone like grim death for weeks, it finally let go of it over the weekend.  My pain levels are now subsiding, and I'm beginning to feel like a human being again.

My question is:  why can't someone invent some sort of laxative for kidney stones?  If we could arrange to pass them at the first sign of trouble, think of how much pain and misery would be saved!  I'm getting fed up with my body doing its own thing and expecting me to put up with it.  On the other hand, I'm getting older, and I'm told I must expect more of that sort of thing as parts begin to wear out.

I think I need an internal organ mechanic.  A kidney rebore, valve grind and top end overhaul sounds like a very good idea right now!

Peter

19 comments:

McChuck said...

Good luck, Peter. Hopefully, you've passed the last of the sharp little buggers and are all cleared out.

Yeah, some sort of preventive kidney purgative would be nice. (Like cleaning the sink with vinegar.) Or maybe a rock-tumbler sort of thing to grind off all the sharp/rough edges before they pass. Maybe they could do that with ultrasound?

Wayne & Maria Johnson said...

I think you mean bottom-end overhaul...

Hope things improve soon.

taminator013 said...

I had suffered from kidney stones for decades. On one trip to the emergency room about 10 years ago the doctor there told me that drinking lemonade would help to prevent their formation. Lime is even better. It seems to work. I drink about a pint of lemon/limeade at least three days/week and haven't been much bothered by stones for years now. Hope this tip helps you.........

jen said...

Peter, definitely follow up with the urologist, even if you think it has passed. It could be an antler-shaped stone that is just breaking off bits. Also, urologist could treat, give meds and diet recommendations to help this. Drink lots of water, avoid colas, and find out what the chemical makeup of stone was, so you can modify diet. Some sites that could help you:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/kidney-stones/symptoms-causes/syc-20355755
https://www.webmd.com/kidney-stones/understanding-kidney-stones-prevention#1
https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneystones
Good luck, I hope you feel better soon!
Jen

Poodlehorde said...

At least your kidneys are still working. As someone on hemodialysis, which entails a 4 hour trip to a clinic twice a week, I would almost be pleased to have the stones

stencil said...

When you make the lemonade (or anything else) make sure you don't use tapwater.

Silent Draco said...

Laminate and stencil have it right. With the last kidney stone, I was told to drink more fruit juice or fruit ade, but the fruit needed a high acid content. Lemon, lime, orange, and cranberry are good: very tart juice or drink. The acid dissolves and breaks up the calcium oxalate in kidney stones.

If your tapwater has a high mineral content, use demineralized water for juice drinks - excellent point. Hard or mineral-rich water induces kidney stone building. After rechecking timelines, I realized that my kidney stone issues tied pretty closely to groups of trips to Utah and other places in the Great Basin or on the High Plains.

RocketmanKarl said...

My wife gets them too. She uses an herbal product called "Stone Breaker" aka Chanca Piedra. It works so well for her that I (a herbal agnostic) have recommended it to everyone that gets calcium-based stones.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Body functions have a mind of their own.
Forget any modicum of servitude. It's like we're born with innate parasites who want to conduct their own "lives" inside of ours. Often in an invasive manner.

Miguel GFZ said...

Scotch apparently dilates conduits and helps you pass the stones
And also reduces the pain

Unknown said...

A 'Fantastic Journey' tiny drone that you swallow, that locates a stone, pulls a net around it, and swims back upstream to leave by your lower intestine where the door is wider would be ideal.

Howard Brewi said...

I had a kidney stone once many years ago and the.muscle relaxer they gave me to help move it required large doses of laxitive the next couple of days to move other obstructions. I drink a gallon of water a day plus coffee etc and it seems to work including reducing gout crystal formation. You might try one of the apple cider vinegar/honey drink recommendations to acidify your system.

Stan_qaz said...

Not for everyone but if it is an option it is worth considering.

https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneystones_shockwave

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1021603

Me, I drink lots of softened and RO'd water and lime or cranberry juice. Hard to find cranberry without a lot of sugar so lime predominates.

Thomas W said...

I've also mentioned to doctors that instead of trying to prevent stone formation (diuretics) they need a way to have them pass at 1mm or smaller.

I remember seeing something talking about a roller coaster helping dislodge kidney stones -- makes sense, but once most of us are at an age to form stones we are no longer doing acrobatics.

I've also heard of lemonade for kidney stones. Not sure of the strength of the evidence and given that the lemonade acid has to be processed through the gut, bloodstream, and kidneys to affect your urine not sure if it's going to make a difference. Or it could be the sugar in the lemonade (see recent stories about how much damage soft drinks do) will kill you faster than the kidney stones would have.

B said...

Ultrasound to break it up works often. Still a stone, just smaller and(apparently) less painful.

have had several friends have this procedure and they were all less unhappy than before.

Evan Price said...

I think it's called Flowmax. It dilates your urethra to ease the passage of the stone. I;ve had to use it a few times.

Johnny Caustic said...

I just recently came across this paragraph by Robert F. Cathcart in "VITAMIN C, TITRATING TO BOWEL TOLERANCE, ANASCORBEMIA, AND ACUTE INDUCED SCURVY" from Medical Hypotheses 7: 1359-1376, 1981. He recommends megadoses of Vitamin C for many purposes, and says:

"It is my experience that ascorbic acid probably prevents most kidney stones. I have had a few patients who had had kidney stones before starting bowel tolerance doses who have subsequently had no more difficulty with them. Acute and chronic urinary tract infections are often eliminated; this fact may remove one of the causes of kidney stones. Six patients have had mild pain on urination; five of these patients were over fifty and none had stones."

("Bowel tolerance" may imply anything from 4 to 200 grams of ascorbic acid per day in divided doses, depending on how sick you are.)

Larry said...

It's used for cats, too, especially male cats, who can be prone to stones (leading cause of death for safe, indoor cats is kidney failure). My brother had a black cat who loved his vitamin C acidifier tablets. That's how we called him in for the night-- just step outside and shake the bottle loudly and he'd come racing to the door.

RobC said...

Beer... at least a glass a day or better still a quart a day.
Dad's advice to me after I had my first and only...