Kidney stones

Posted by Gary, Alumna Mentor @gman007, Mar 9, 2018

I am usually trying to help folks understand their symptoms, but need some myself now. I have chronic pancreatitis and have had it long enough that the way that pain manifests itself is pretty familiar. I have been experiencing a pain that is about an 8 on the typical 1-10 scale, but is more in my flank and lower than where my pancreas pain is. It is also very tender to the touch and if I move in any way that involves my torso the pain screams at me. I take pretty stri=ong opiates for my pancreatitis, so the pain is not being affected by those meds or if it is, I would be crying without them. Anyone have any thoughts? I already have had a urinalysis and it is not an infection in kidneys, bladder, or urinary tract. I am thinking kidney stone, but have never had the pleasure, so that is simply a guess.

Liked by Leonard

@lagrange5

I have been at stage 3, close to 4, for 8 years. First and foremost is diet, consisting of limited sodium and trying to save protein for dinner. Forget the salt shaker. Protein it is mostly chicken breast and fish, usually salmon or tuna. My wife is good at preparing chicken all kind of ways. I’ve discovered plant protein, especially eggplant. Very infrequent redmeat, organ meat, turkey, or pork is OK as long as it’s not heavily salted. We also get sushi from time to time, which can be a good source for unprocessed healthy protein. But I stay away from shellfish and heavily salted fish, like hearing. Cheese is another thing to watch out for and alcohol must be rare. I hope this helps.

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@lagrange5 Good morning! Like you, I am in Stage 3b, hovering around eGFR of 34, due to an ultra-rare disease where my body is choking off the filtering components of my kidneys. Formal diagnosis was early 2015, and confirmed again Oct 2019.

Red meat maybe three or four times a year, and then it is a good steak. One morning I am sure to wake up clucking, I eat so much chicken! Fish is also good. I have gout/uric acid issues, so shellfish is off the table. As you mentioned, sodium is a no-no, as is watching potassium and phosphorus. Thank goodness I like apples, but I do miss oranges and bananas; sometimes I have a couple slices of banana if my husband has some with cereal. Fresh veggies, watching refined sugar. You're so correct, our diet and lifestyle choices play such a factor in keeping healthy as possible!

What is the cause of your kidney disease, if I may ask?
Ginger

Liked by fiesty76

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Ginger, my chronic kidney disease was caused by hypertension. I was prescribed amlodipine and metoprolol. I have taken the amlodipine ever since. I had to stop the metoprolol, because of the drugging affect and preventing me from working. I was diagnosed by an excellent nephrologist at the Mayo Clinic and have been under that and other Mayo care ever since. In my view, they are the best medical people in the world.

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With regard to the hypertension, I have consciously reduced stress, both physical and mental. I try to get a good night’s sleep. I joined a health club for exercise. All these measures, even one at a time, are helpful. I hope it helps you.

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My husband had kidney stones twice and first time was off the wall painful for him the second time I gave him fresh lemon juice water 3 times a day and he passed it pain free . You need an ultrasound . It is rare lemon juice would be a problem but so worth a shot

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There is anecdotal evidence that tart cherry juice reduces inflammation, particularly gout. I have been taking it for several months. That, and a diet of avoiding food purines, has worked to avoid a gout recurrence for me, without medications. You may wish to consider it.

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Having had three kidney stones, two of them (uric acid) had to be removed surgically from the left ureter, what I recommend is a visit to the emergency room for a CT scan to make an accurate diagnosis.

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@lagrange5

There is anecdotal evidence that tart cherry juice reduces inflammation, particularly gout. I have been taking it for several months. That, and a diet of avoiding food purines, has worked to avoid a gout recurrence for me, without medications. You may wish to consider it.

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@lagrange5 Yes, in addition to following a preferred kidney diet, I follow guidelines for taming my gout issues. Actually, I take medication to control the uric acid!
Ginger

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@lagrange5

Ginger, my chronic kidney disease was caused by hypertension. I was prescribed amlodipine and metoprolol. I have taken the amlodipine ever since. I had to stop the metoprolol, because of the drugging affect and preventing me from working. I was diagnosed by an excellent nephrologist at the Mayo Clinic and have been under that and other Mayo care ever since. In my view, they are the best medical people in the world.

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@lagrange5 It never ceases to amaze me how underplayed the kidney disease connection to high blood pressure is handled by doctors! That and diabetes seem to be the big players for chronic kidney disease. My husband had high blood pressure, took meds for almost 10 years before it was too much for his kidneys, and he started dialysis. Transplanted almost 4 years ago now, he says he would have made more significant changes earlier if he had known how critical the situation.
Ginger

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@gingerw In my personal non-medical opinion, I believe that medication, that is drugs, should be a last, not first option. There are so many medications focused on so many specific medical issues that are so effective. However, we do not know the long-term effects of those medications, nor do we know how they interact with all other medications. We know some, but far from all, interactions. I try to treat food as medicine. Exercise is medicine too, but that is easier said than done especially during COVID-19 time. Sleep is also important, particularly the older you get. I personally review my prescribed medications from time to time, and with the assistance of competent physicians I have self titrated.

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Hi, @lagrange5, I agree so heartily that appropriate diet can make a wonderful difference in improving many chronic health conditions. It takes years after going on the consumer market for some medication interactions and long term effects to become known. I like your idea of "treating food as medicine". We really are what we eat and food is so much tastier than gulping down meds whenever possible. Thanks for your post.

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@gingerw

@tracilynn0418 Hello, and thank you for joining us here at Mayo Connect! How did you find us? You no doubt have a lot of experience to share with us, learning to live with recurrent kidney stones. Have they ever researched what type of stones they are, that is, what the stones consist of? I know there are several types, calcium phosphate, calcium oxylate, uric acid, struvite. If they know what type, it may be of use to your medical team for treatment, especially if they are recurring.

My dad was prone to kidney stones, and had lithotripsy several times before his spine surgery. From then on, he could only do a medication. My sister had lithotripsy once for a stone. Several decades ago I had one stone, but passed it.

Having Stage 3 kidney disease usually means some form of medication, dietary restrictions, and a careful watch on bloodwork every 3months or so. Your atrophic kidney highlights the need to be careful. If you are comfortable, would you share what you are doing to manage your disease, and tell us how we can support you? We are not medical professionals, but will share support and experiences!
Ginger

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Hi, honestly I just found this my looking things up online! Currently I take potassium citrate four tabs daily for now is what he is using to hopefully slow down the progression of kidney disease because he believes due to frequent stones and surgeries that what lead to kidney disease. I've been maintaining low salt diet way before I ever had kidney disease due to the stones etc and I try to make sure I am drinking 2-3 liters a day if possible. Anyways just looking for advice at times. Has anyone had a kidney transplant before they needed to start Diaylisis? Or do most places or doctor's wait til you are so bad mostly because I struggle dealing with getting out of bed daily to go to work even……since being diagnosed the depression can be overwhelming at times. So if I were to have a living donor would they be willing to even consider it since having the only one kidney makes it life threatening if I get stones anymore at all if it were to become blocked or maybe I am just overthinking everything……well anyone let me know your thoughts thanks

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@tracilynn0418 if what you’re doing works, keep doing it. Try to remain vigilant about diet, sleep, exercise, and medications. It can be very easy to let your medical condition overwhelm you. You need to remember that you are more than your kidney issues. The more symptom-free you can be, the better you will feel about everything else. When you get a negative thought, think of a good thing that has happened to you and smile. Remember too, that laughter is a good source of oxygen.

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@tracilynn0418

Hi, honestly I just found this my looking things up online! Currently I take potassium citrate four tabs daily for now is what he is using to hopefully slow down the progression of kidney disease because he believes due to frequent stones and surgeries that what lead to kidney disease. I've been maintaining low salt diet way before I ever had kidney disease due to the stones etc and I try to make sure I am drinking 2-3 liters a day if possible. Anyways just looking for advice at times. Has anyone had a kidney transplant before they needed to start Diaylisis? Or do most places or doctor's wait til you are so bad mostly because I struggle dealing with getting out of bed daily to go to work even……since being diagnosed the depression can be overwhelming at times. So if I were to have a living donor would they be willing to even consider it since having the only one kidney makes it life threatening if I get stones anymore at all if it were to become blocked or maybe I am just overthinking everything……well anyone let me know your thoughts thanks

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@tracilynn0418 It is good to think of all these things, honestly! Any one with a chronic disorder will tell you they have good and bad days mentally and emotionally, so you are certainly not alone there!

Do you know what your eGFR is? That is the percentage of function of your kidney. Talk to your Dr's and get their thoughts on preemptive kidney transplant. I know several people who have received a kidney before starting dialysis. I don't believe it is ever too early to look for a donor, and the search can take quite a while.

Watching your sodium intake is critical, and also watch your emotional health. Remember, we are here for you.
Ginger

Liked by fiesty76

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@tracilynn0418

Hi, honestly I just found this my looking things up online! Currently I take potassium citrate four tabs daily for now is what he is using to hopefully slow down the progression of kidney disease because he believes due to frequent stones and surgeries that what lead to kidney disease. I've been maintaining low salt diet way before I ever had kidney disease due to the stones etc and I try to make sure I am drinking 2-3 liters a day if possible. Anyways just looking for advice at times. Has anyone had a kidney transplant before they needed to start Diaylisis? Or do most places or doctor's wait til you are so bad mostly because I struggle dealing with getting out of bed daily to go to work even……since being diagnosed the depression can be overwhelming at times. So if I were to have a living donor would they be willing to even consider it since having the only one kidney makes it life threatening if I get stones anymore at all if it were to become blocked or maybe I am just overthinking everything……well anyone let me know your thoughts thanks

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@tracilynn0418, Hi, Tracy, Like you, I started looking for information and help online when first diagnosed with stage 3 chronic kidney disease (ckd). It was a wonderful experience to find and join the Mayo Connect group about 10 mos ago. As a result, I've learned so much about how to better manage my life with this diagnosis. Making big diet changes based on my lab reports and learning to understand my labs and becoming much more proactive in dealing with the condition and the docs I see has improved my confidence and helped me past the very scary early diagnosis. I was diagnosed with kidney stones but was told mine were too small to treat at this stage. Of course, your situation is much different and I haven't yet needed to consider kidney transplant or dialysis but I can identify with how overwhelming finding answers can be. Are you a participant in the kidney/bladder forum? Are you seeing a doc or nephrologist regularly? I am so glad Mayo started the COVID-19 forum and the offshoot interest threads because they help keep me interested in things other than my several chronic health issues. I follow the walking, caregivers, just want to talk, and gardening threads. Are any of these of special interest to you? That you are continuing to work even with the discomfort of kidney stones tells me you are one strong individual willing to use the right tools to help your condition. This is a supportive, understanding group so hope you'll post again and that others more knowledgeable about your specific questions will respond.

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@fiesty76

@tracilynn0418, Hi, Tracy, Like you, I started looking for information and help online when first diagnosed with stage 3 chronic kidney disease (ckd). It was a wonderful experience to find and join the Mayo Connect group about 10 mos ago. As a result, I've learned so much about how to better manage my life with this diagnosis. Making big diet changes based on my lab reports and learning to understand my labs and becoming much more proactive in dealing with the condition and the docs I see has improved my confidence and helped me past the very scary early diagnosis. I was diagnosed with kidney stones but was told mine were too small to treat at this stage. Of course, your situation is much different and I haven't yet needed to consider kidney transplant or dialysis but I can identify with how overwhelming finding answers can be. Are you a participant in the kidney/bladder forum? Are you seeing a doc or nephrologist regularly? I am so glad Mayo started the COVID-19 forum and the offshoot interest threads because they help keep me interested in things other than my several chronic health issues. I follow the walking, caregivers, just want to talk, and gardening threads. Are any of these of special interest to you? That you are continuing to work even with the discomfort of kidney stones tells me you are one strong individual willing to use the right tools to help your condition. This is a supportive, understanding group so hope you'll post again and that others more knowledgeable about your specific questions will respond.

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Yes my next appointment is due in August on the 19th and I'll have my regular 24 hour urine I must do before and I have to check to see if he wants bloodwork again he changes that sometimes right now he has me at every 6 months to be seen but Everytime I go in he reevaluates and of course if I have any problems I must go in sooner last visit I had ultrasound done because of the creatinine being higher then it should be but nothing different there was seen. I forgot to mention it's nephrologist I see I would only go back to urology if I needed a surgery I assume at this point because nephrology took over everything which I'm happy with because the urologist where I live I've used since they discovered my first stone and he was never really a nice man to me, so the less I see him the better because his partner that I liked moved and ya! I'll stick with no stones and liking my nephrologist! He does explain all my labs well so I can understand them. I work in assisted living so yes some of those groups would be of interest to me, I've learned so much about what all my residents are going through or will eventually of they are still better than me which some of them are!

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