I recently had a kidney stone, for the second time. It was extremely painful, far worse than the first. I was lucky though, there was a nine year gap between the first and the 2nd. Mine ended up being a more common kidney stone, a calcium stone, the problem was, it was 6mm, which was too large to pass by itself. I ended up having to do lithotripsy. This is where shock waves are sent through my body to break up the stone into tiny pieces. The most painful part of this was having a stint placed in my kidney to allow the urine to go around the blockage.
Surprisingly, the pain from a kidney stone is not always from the stone itself, but from the blockage and back up of the urine in your kidney. Kidney stones are created by crystals that build up on the inner surface of the kidney. Usually the urine is supposed to prevent these crystals from developing by a natural chemical in the urine. However, in some patients, stones form either by bad diet or genetic history. The crystals usually are supposed to travel through the urinary tract in the urine, but when a kidney stone develops, they are not released but build up in the kidney or urinary track.
Calcium stones are typically the most common stones in people. Calcium is a normal part of a healthy diet and is used by bones and muscles. In the case of a kidney stone, the calcium that is not used by the body goes to the kidneys where it is supposed to be flushed out with the rest of the urine. In people like myself, the calcium that stays behind combines with other waste products to form a stone.
Another type is a Struvite stone. This is a type of stone can form after an infection in the urinary system. It contains the mineral magnesium and the waste product ammonia.
Uric Acid stones are another type of kidney stone. These stones may form when there is too much acid in the urine.
Cystine stones are stones that consist of cystine. Cystine is used by the body to make muscles, nerves, and other parts of the body. It can build up in the urine and form a stone. Cystine stones are rare. Cystien stones can be genetic.
Some of the symptoms of kidney stones can be:
– Extreme, sharp pain in the back or side that does not go away
– Blood in the urine
– Nausea and vomiting
– Cloudy or odorous urine
– Frequent urination
– Burning feeling when urinating
– Fever and Chills
When you feel these symptoms, go to your doctor or emergency room as soon as possible. In my case, I had to go to the emergency room because the pain was so intense, that drugs (Toradol) were the only way to help me. Toradol is used in the management of moderately severe pain that requires treatment using an IV. When I finally received the drugs, I was so happy not to feel that incredible pain. My recovery took a lot of time. It took about a month for me to be completely back to normal again. Changing my diet and the amount of water I drink daily will hopefully deter any future kidney stones.