Prevention Advice I've Learned After I Lost My Kidney to a Staghorn Kidney Stone

Updated on March 12, 2018
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Mary is always interested in ways to improve her health. She likes to learn of new and innovative ways to accomplish this.

Kidney stones cause a great deal of pain, especially when urinating, and can even cost you one or both kidneys. In this article, I want to discuss how to prevent kidney stones from forming and keep you from losing a kidney, as I did.

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How Are Kidney Stones Formed?

Kidney stones are formed in the kidneys from dietary minerals in the urine.

The kidneys work like filters for your blood. They keep your body liquids balanced by removing waste, excess water, and excess solutes, like glucose and minerals, in urine. If you don't drink enough water (i.e. enough to have the excess removed), the urine will become overly concentrated with solutes and begin to form crystals called stones. Most of these stones are small and are passed completely unnoticed.

However, if you consistently drink an insufficient amount of water, the crystals can become large enough to get stuck in the kidneys or along the urinary tract. If they are able to make it down the urinary tract, they will cause excruciating pain along the way. Men tend to suffer more with kidney stones than women. As someone who has worked in the medical field, I can tell you first-hand that I have seen grown men cry like babies when they try to pass a kidney stone in the emergency room.

Kidney stones are small, but so is the ducts in your urinary tract. The jagged edges can scrape the walls and cause a great deal of pain as the stone is passed.
Kidney stones are small, but so is the ducts in your urinary tract. The jagged edges can scrape the walls and cause a great deal of pain as the stone is passed. | Source

My Experience With Kidney Stones

White men between the ages of 20-50 are the most likely to suffer from kidney stones. Obese women are also at risk. I am not an obese woman, but I have had three separate bouts of kidney stones, each about five years apart. Each bout started with lower back pain.

With the first bout, when the pain wouldn't go away, I went to my doctor who sent me to a urologist. After looking at my X-rays, my urologist confirmed that I had a stone in my right kidney. It was small but still too large to pass. He recommended I get a lithotripsy, a common procedure that uses sound waves to break the stone into smaller pieces that can be easily passed. The procedure itself is generally not painful, but passing the stone fragments after the procedure may be very painful, depending on how well the procedure worked.

My third bout started similarly to my first bout, but this time, X-rays revealed that I had developed a large Staghorn stone in my right kidney. In fact, it was so large that it completely filled my kidney and stopped it from functioning. At this point, my only option was to have the kidney removed.

I now live with one kidney—and I have to take good care of that one. If it should fail, I would need dialysis, when you are hooked up to a machine that performs the same function as a kidney. To avoid damaging my only remaining kidney, I now live by my doctor's precautions to prevent new kidney stones from forming.

Source

Dos and Don'ts to Prevent Kidney Stones

These are the strategies recommended to me to prevent new kidney stones from forming:

Dos:

  • Eat healthy food. A proper diet can help prevent stones from forming.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Your risk is greater if you are overweight.
  • Avoid stress. When the body is stressed it releases the hormone vasopressin that concentrates urine.
  • Keep other medical conditions under control: Conditions such as high or low blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gout, and recurrent urinary infections should all be treated properly and brought under control.
  • Drink lots of water. Drinking a lot of water throughout the day is the single most important thing you can do to keep from developing stones. There are also a few tips for drinking water:
    • Drink a full glass of water with each meal.
    • Add some lemon juice to your water. My doctor informed me that the citrate in lemon juice prevents calcium from crystalizing.
    • Carry water with you everywhere you go and sip it regularly.
    • Drink two glasses of water before bedtime. Yes, you may have to get up at night to go to the bathroom, but you don’t want concentrated urine sitting in the bladder overnight.
    • If you sweat a lot in hot weather, drink more water than usual.
    • Drink sugar-free cranberry juice (about 8 ounces per day). This will help prevent urinary tract infections, and it helps cleanse the urinary tract.

Drink water with each meal, and add some lemon juice to help prevent stone formation.
Drink water with each meal, and add some lemon juice to help prevent stone formation. | Source

Don'ts:

  • Don't eat a lot of salt. The more sodium you eat, the more calcium your body tries to get rid of. This is because they are both positive ions, and as we mentioned in the beginning, your kidneys want to balance your fluids. The calcium will be concentrated in the urine, where it is likely to form crystals. Check the labels on foods and drinks for the sodium content. We should not have more than 2,000 milligrams a day.
  • Don't eat an excess amount of meat. Protein from meat increases uric acid, calcium, and oxalates in the urine. This can lead to an increased risk for kidney stones. I’ve tried to cut back on meat for general health reasons. My doctor says to limit the meat to 12 ounces of fish, poultry, beef, or pork a day. That’s about the size of a deck of cards.

  • Don't drink too many sugary or caffeinated beverages. Soda is the biggest culprit—not only does it lower urine citrate levels, but it also increases oxalate levels. Caffeine will increase the concentration of calcium in the urine. All of these effects promote stone formation.

A Final Word of Advice

If you have persistent lower-back pain, it may not be your mattress; you may have kidney stones. You should go see a doctor to get a urinalysis and perhaps some X-rays. This will tell you if there is blood present in the urine. Your doctor may also do a complete blood count to check to see if there is any infection; the white blood cell count would be high, in this case. There are several diagnostic tools that can be used to determine if you have kidney stones.

I used to think that by having the occasional glass of tea, a Coke, or some other beverage, I was getting enough liquids in a day. I was wrong. In order to keep yourself and your kidneys healthy, you must drink water—and lots of it. Drinking water is the single most important thing you can do to prevent kidney stones.

I hope it won’t be too late for you to follow my doctor’s advice on prevention.

Have You or a Loved One Ever Had Kidney Stones?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Mary Hyatt

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      • profile image

        Jayne Wilder Carman 

        5 months ago

        Hi Mary, I too lost a kidney to a Staghorn stone. I had the flu in mid March 2017 and begin to have a cough that wouldn't go away. I thought I had bronchitis but after 2 rounds of antibiotics it still did not go away. I then became anemic and was getting weaker and weaker. Had blood test for hemoglobin to find that my hemoglobin was 10 but I had a high white count. Then was prescribed a z pack and b-12 shots. Follow up test showed hemoglobin had dropped to 9 and white blood count still up and still coughing so badly that I could not talk without coughing. I was sent to a hematologist as well as a pulmonary doctor. After having the b-12 shots the symptoms improved slightly. By this time it was getting to be July. I go to an endocrinologist for my diabetes and my numbers there were looking good because I was so sick that I couldn't eat nor did I want to eat. I was loosing weight. I am obese and needed to loose the weight but I would sometimes loose 5 lbs in a week as I got sicker. I lost 50 lbs. I was getting sicker and weaker daily it seemed. I did have symptoms of what I believed to be an ordinary UTI and was treated 2 times for that at a convenient care type clinic. I was treated in July and September. My anemia continued to get worse and I was dying and didn't even know it. My brain was getting foggy. I could hardly function and could not remember anything in addition to the fact that I could hardly take 20 steps without being out of breath. Finally the blood doctor had me have a pelvic and abdominal CT scan at the same time the lung doctor was having one done for chest. The blood doctor suspected that I might have a problem with my spleen and had said that the next step after one more blood test and CT scan would be a bone marrow test. Keep in mind the only symptoms I was having was the breathing and coughing. By this time I had a sharp pain on my left side around my rib when I would breath deep or cough. Still no symptoms of kidney stones or serious kidney infection. I was a little unsure whether even the second treatment for the UTI had gotten rid of it. The last visit for the UTI, I was treated for my breathing and coughing by the convenient care clinic because I just could not wait for an appt with my family doctor. The lung doctor that I was seeing in a neighboring town seemed to be more interested in my allergies and the possibility that I might have sleep apnea than she was my coughing and breathing. Finally the CT scan was done and the results came back to the blood doctor almost a week after having it done. Albany GA has a reputation for having a less than desirable hospital that has a monopoly going on but the hematologist is on staff there and she sent me to the ER. I had no paper work from the CT scan nor from the Dr. only her nurse saying " the doctor said go to the ER you have a very large kidney stone." She didn't tell me any details about size or whatever. I kind of think they thought I was a nut case because I had no paper work no kidney complaints only breathing complaints and I am telling them that the doctor told me to go to the ER for Kidney stones. After waiting for hours and hours at the ER, I had breathing treatments, lung xrays and finally a ultra sound of my kidneys and then finally another CT scan. I left out the part about running fever for some time before the ER visit. I was admitted to the hospital with a 16 mm Staghorn stone, a 7 mm stone and a 2.5 mm stone. I later found out the the duct was full of stones as well. My white blood count was 17,000 and my hemoglobin was 8.5. I was literally knocking on heaven's door. My kidney was so infected that the urologist took a picture of it beside a six inch ruler and it was an inch or two bigger than the ruler. It was 2 or 3 times the normal size. I was admitted at 4 am WEd. and they gave me antibiotics by IV and took me down to surgery that night to put a stint in to drain out the infection. That was on Wednesday and they were not able to do surgery until Saturday morning. The first time I saw the urologist which was in the OR on Wed. he said" I don't know who found this but it is a good thing The mortality rate is 80 percent. Your kidney is very, very infected and no longer working and has to come out. I am putting a stint in tonight and Saturday morning we will take it out." Of course it took that long to get the infection down and my white blood count up. I had 3 units of blood prior to surgery and 3 units of iron after the surgery and 9 days in the hospital. He informed me that my recovery would take 3 to 4 months and that I would feel like a new woman. I have an extremely large scar about half way around my body that I am guessing is maybe 15 or 16 inches long. I have done very well with my recovery but after having been sick from mid March until Oct. 21st and then recovery time after that, I find that my muscles have atrophied and I have no strength in my limbs. After all, for months I would go to work 3 or 4 hours per day and come home and go to bed. The same when I had Dr. appointments. I was blessed to have a 24 year old daughter living at home who could take care of me and the household. Through this ordeal I found out that the coughing was caused because the kidney was so big that it was pressing on my lung. That also caused the shortness of breath. The anemia also contributed to the shortness of breath. I had a lesson in anatomy. I did not know that your kidneys produce a hormone that your bone marrow uses to make red blood cells. My kidney was not functioning and not producing the hormone and I guess the one kidney wasn't producing enough or the infection was interfering. The odd thing to me is that when one kidney is bad the kidney test can show good function. My test at the ER indicated that I had good function. I guess the one good kidney was working itself to death. I do have a small stone in the other kidney that we will monitor. I had never known before that I had stones and he said that there is no telling how long the stones had been there. He explained that I had felt no pain nor had I seen blood because the stone was not moving. It was attached to the kidney. I am new to the "one kidney club" and hope that even with diabetes I can guard that one kidney and keep it closely monitored. I have had several people to tell me that they lost a kidney many years ago and did fine with one kidney. One was 47 years ago. I have to admit that I am very nervous about it. My brother is 79 yrs. old also diabetic and dialysis 3 times per week. I am 61 and as most folks do, I hope to live a long life to see my grandchildren grow up. The urologist has refereed me to a nephrologist. I know that I have experienced a miracle and am thankful that God chose to keep me here a while longer. Thanks for the advice.

      • profile image

        Ainsleyjohn422 

        15 months ago

        thanks for a very good advise for kidney patients.

      • profile image

        Alice 

        18 months ago

        Since October I have been having issues with my right kidney. I found in January I have a complete staghorn and my kidney is blocked 100%. The 1st specialist said he and his colleagues didn't feel comfortable doing multiple procedures and Felt I needed open Gary. The 2bd urologist said he thought he could do PCLN procedures. The 1st one is scheduled April 18th. Should I be concerned bc thar is over 2 months away?

      • profile image

        Holly Powell 

        19 months ago

        I also lost my right kidney to kidney stones...When it discovered it was full of stones. I never passed them because my uriter was too narrow at the top (Dr. called it a birth defect). Several lithotripsies and then one day they said it just stopped working. Removed it...now I'm getting stones in my left one. Great. I'm going to Dr. tomorrow. I know I need to work on my diet and water intake which for a while I was doing good. But there has to be a reason why this is happening. I don't want this to get worse.

      • profile image

        Kennedy 

        21 months ago

        Thx for sharing. I'm about to schedule my third lithotripsy and surgery to remove 20 stones and one staghorn stone.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, TIMETRAVELER2 I'm glad you found my article helpful. I'm always surprised when I find a lot of people do not drink enough water. You are SO right; water helps with so many other health problems.

        Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

      • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

        Sondra Rochelle 

        3 years ago from USA

        Great and helpful article. I will add that drinking lots of water helps with other problems, also...such as avoiding Dehydration, which is common in older people. Glad your OK and thanks for writing this one.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, fpherj48 Yes, thank you, I'll be fine as long as I take good care of my one remaining kidney. If that one goes, I'll be on dialysis!

        I had a friend once who was born with just one kidney. Interesting about that genetic syndrome. I'll look that one up!

        Thanks for reading, commenting and the votes, be sure and drink lots of water, my friend.....Mary

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 

        3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        mary......I'm sorry you went through such a gruesome experience....but relieved all is OK now.

        I have an interesting tale. Two of my cousins (brother & sister) became privy to some health information about themselves that shocked the whole family.

        My female cousin had a thorough work-up by her Drs. due to some issues she had been dealing with. In the course of these tests, they discovered that she has only one kidney (born this way).

        The Drs. inquired as to siblings and suggested testing her brother. It happened that HE too has only one kidney! Ultimately, they were both given a diagnosis of a genetic syndrome called, "Appert's Syndrome."......

        Needless to say, they must both be constantly vigilant to take all precautions for keeping a healthy kidney!...........Strange, wouldn't you say?....UP+++

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Good Morning, Sunshine625 I just filled my 8oz glass of water and have it right here with me. My water bottle goes wherever I go! I feel sorry for the young friend who had the kidney stone. I preach to my kids and grandkids all the time about drinking lots of water! Do they listen? NO....

        Thanks for reading and I'm glad you found my article informative, Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi there, ChitrangadaSharan I've often wondered why more people don't donate a kidney while living. I live very well with only one, but I sure drink lots of water so I don't get a kidney stone in the one remaining.

        Thanks so much for reading, commenting, the votes and the share, Mary

      • Sunshine625 profile image

        Linda Bilyeu 

        3 years ago from Orlando, FL

        So, we should drink lots of water??? :) A friend of mine, very young friend, was in the ER last week due to a kidney stone. There was nothing the ER could do for her except tell her to drink lots of water and this too shall pass! Poor kid. Poor you with only one kidney, but yes, we can live with only one kidney. I didn't know that protein increases Uric Acid, I do know that an increase in Uric Acid could lead to gout...something that should be avoided. Very informative article, Mary!

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 years ago from New Delhi, India

        A very important and informative hub about how to maintain kidney health, perhaps the most important organ of our body. You are absolutely right about drinking water not only for kidney but for general health. Because our body is composed of 70% water and we have to compensate it everyday.

        I am sorry to learn that you had to suffer like this. Many people live with one kidney. There are at least 3 persons in my extended family like that. Only important thing is to follow the Doctor's guidelines.

        Wish you all the best and take care.

        Thanks for sharing your personal experience and helping others, voted up, pinned and shared on HP!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi there, Vellur, Yes, kidney stones are very serious; that's why people should drink lots of water to prevent them. I get along very well with my one kidney. I drink lots of water to protect it, too!

        Thanks for the votes, I'm glad you found my info useful, Mary

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 years ago from Dubai

        Thank you for sharing your experiences, I never knew kidney stones could get this serious. Glad that you are okay now. Take care. Voted up informative and useful.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, tillsontitan I try very hard to protect my one remaining kidney cause I never want to have to go on dialysis. I'm sure your daughter takes very care of her one kidney; I wish her well.

        Thanks for reading, commenting,and the votes, Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Lady Guinevere Oh, I have seen grown men cry like babies trying to pass a kidney stone! I would rather have another baby than go through the pain of another stone!! Have a wonderful day today, Mary

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 

        3 years ago from New York

        This hub will never get old Mary. The information you've provided is necessary all the time. No one wants to go through the awful pain of a kidney stone so hopefully they'll take your advice and drink lots of water.

        One of my daughters was born with only one kidney so she has to be especially careful, like you now. Hoping things stay good for you.

        Voted up, useful, and interesting.

      • Lady Guinevere profile image

        Debra Allen 

        3 years ago from West By God

        Just reading your title made me cringe. My father had kidney stones.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, pstraubie48 Genetics may very well play a part in getting kidney stones, but my Kidney doctor stressing to drink lots and lots of water. I hate to see anyone go through what I went through.

        I hope all is well with you and yours, Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, peachpurple I'm so glad I made my point about drinking lots of water! I hope you will drink water so you never lose a kidney like I did. Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi there, sujaya venkatesh I'm happy you found my Hub about kidney stones to be useful. Yes, just drink lots of water! Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, vocalcoach I'm so sorry your SIL is on dialysis. I try very hard to take good care of my one kidney so I never have to go through dialysis. Good for you for drinking more water. That is my message! Thanks for the votes and the share to help spread the word about drinking water. Hope you have a wonderful day, Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Blond Logic Good for you! Keep drinking that water and maybe you will save your kidneys. I wish I had drank more water! Thanks for reading, commenting, and the votes. Mary

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        3 years ago from sunny Florida

        Mary

        I am glad for you that you are taking good care of your remaining kidney but like you wish you had known before so perhaps you could have prevented it. I do know some families where kidney issues including stones exist and it kind of makes me wonder that in some cases it may be genetic.

        Thanks for the heads up....and take care of you , my dear.

        Angels are on their way to you this morning ps

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 

        3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        Thanks fir your hub, telling us your experience make us realize that water is important

      • sujaya venkatesh profile image

        sujaya venkatesh 

        3 years ago

        useful hub

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        My sister-in-law is on dialysis. It doesn't sound like much fun, though she never complains. I'm really sorry that you've been through so much pain and had your kidney removed. I've got the message - doubling up on my water!

        This is a great article and a big help for people. I'l do some sharing and voted up +++.

      • Blond Logic profile image

        Mary Wickison 

        3 years ago from Brazil

        Hi Mary,

        I didn't realize this about kidney stones. I do drink a lot of water here in Brazil. I always thought that my middle of the night trips to the bathroom were something I should try to stop, I guess I should be encouraging them.

        Very useful hub.

        Voted up and useful.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi again, Gigi, Carrying a baby would be all the more reason to get rid of that kidney stone ( I would think). You have a lot to consider. I hope you have a kidney doctor you trust and believe in.

        Please come back and let me know how you are doing.

      • profile image

        Gigi 

        3 years ago

        Thanks for your concern Mary. My partner & I are planning to have a baby hopefully next year and that's what worries me most to undergo the PCNL. That it might affect our plan or have a miscarriage if I just let the stones in my kidney.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Hi Gigi, I was amazed at how fast my staghorn stone grew! If you Google PCNL it seems to be an minimal invasive procedure. If mine had not grown to the point of destroying my kidney, I would have opted for this procedure. By the time the Dr. realized mine was so large, it was too late to save the kidney.

        If there is any way you can proceed with the PCNL, you may save your kidney.

        I wish you the best with your problem.

      • profile image

        Gigi 

        3 years ago

        Hi Mary. Been worried and it stress me out knowing that my kidney stones are growing fast after undergoing a ESWL a year ago. from a 0.57cm & 1.02cm now they measure 1.0cm & 1.3cm and both are staghorn type. What adds to my worry is that the DR advise me that the only way to remove it is to undergo a Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) which is expensive. I'm scared to develop a Sepsis as well as the kidney malfunction. These little but destructive thing really gets to my nerves.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Hi Stephanie Henkel Sounds like your hubby is doing what he can to prevent kidney stones. I live very well with just one kidney, but I do try and take good care of it!

        Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

      • Stephanie Henkel profile image

        Stephanie Henkel 

        4 years ago from USA

        My husband has had several bouts with kidney stones. He is being monitored regularly and is on a low oxilate diet and drinks LOTS of water. Things seem under control. I found your article very interesting. I'm sure you will continue to do well as you are taking every preventative measure possible. Drink that water! :)

      • profile image

        Dea 

        4 years ago

        I lost my left kidney to a staghorn stone 8 years ago. A staghorn stone, from what my research found and from what my urologist/surgeon said, has nothing to do with water intake, or diet, or any of the other factors that cause "normal" kidney stones. It's caused generally by chronic infection and/or reflux. The bacteria form a coral-reef-like structure in your kidney to protect themselves. That's why struvite stones can be made of many different materials. "Drink water" wouldn't have prevented my losing my kidney. Having had symptoms of infection my whole life would possibly have helped (I am asymptomatic of infection, for the most part - no fever, no pain, no evidence of infection in any bloodwork). They could have possibly corrected any malformations in my urinary tract. But then again, I was 29 when I lost my kidney, so I'm a completely atypical case for this type of stone. My stone was also 6 inches in length, which is normally not discovered until post-mortem. But it's dangerous to tell people guidelines for dietary stones will help with staghorn stones. They have different causes.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Hi 4FoodSafety. You raise a good point about different rules for nutrition as we age. I'll ask my doctor next time I go. The first symptom I had to alert me to a kidney stone was severe lower back pain. I'm sure the doctors checked this lady for kidney stones.

        Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • 4FoodSafety profile image

        Kelly Kline Burnett 

        4 years ago from Fontana, WI

        A business colleague of mine stated his energetic mother of 82 had severe problems with what she thought was her back. The MRI detailed not just concerns for her back but also for her kidneys. Interestingly, her sister is living on 1/2 kidney. A nutritionist friend suggested that she should cut down on fresh fruits that are high in acid. She has now reported the back pain is still there but the intense pain has subsided. Should the rules for nutrition change as we age and our bodies hit the golden year?

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Good Morning, pstraubie48. Kidney stones have to be one of the most painful conditions there is; worse than childbirth!!! I live in fear that I'll someday get another, but I do drink lots of water.

        So good to see you, Mary

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        4 years ago from sunny Florida

        O, dear, Mary

        I know that must have been painful..the whole experience. I had a young friend whose father had kidney stones and he went through the procedure with the large machine blasting the stones. She described the experience and told us how much pain he was in.

        This is such an important topic. We need to be ever mindful to drink the water we have been told over and over to drink.

        Sending Angels to you, Mary, this evening...ps

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Sharyn's Slant. I'm glad you found my Hub. We have something in common, wouldn't you say??? The first time I experienced severe pain in my lower back, it felt as though someone hit me there with a baseball bat! I went down on my knees!!

        I have seen grown men cry like babies when they are trying to pass a tiny little stone. Yes, so far I am doing very well with my one kidney, but I do fear losing the good one and you know what that would mean. I walk around all day with a bottle of water.

        Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my Hub.

        Goodnight, Mary

      • Sharyn's Slant profile image

        Sharon Smith 

        5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

        Wow Mary, thank you for leading me to your hub here. I really appreciate you sharing your story and also for all the great information you provide. As you know from my hub, I have suffered from kidney stones. They are no fun. I wish you the best with your situation. It sounds like you are doing great.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi, jwrites57. It's nice to "meet you"~ Oh, yes....kidney stones are very painful. Just drink lot of water so you will never experience this pain.

        Thanks for reading and comenting, Mary

      • ajwrites57 profile image

        AJ 

        5 years ago from Pennsylvania

        All I can say is"Ouch--pass me some lemon water, please!" An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Hopefully, after reading this, people will heed your advice. thanks so much!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi watergeek. You are smart to drink water the way you do. I doubt that you will have kidney stones! I had four babies, and I can tell you having kidney stones is more painful than that.

        I read your Hub and it was very good and informative. I also took a look at that website, and I've bookmarked it. Lots of good info on there.

        Thanks for reading my Hub and commenting, Goodnight, Mary

      • watergeek profile image

        watergeek 

        5 years ago from Pasadena CA

        I keep a water bottle next to my computer and sip while I'm researching. I also have a hub on how to make sure you drink enough water during the day, if you want more tips. @Mary - here's a natural healing website that looks really good. Another hubber recommended it and I checked it out just now for info on flouride poisoning: http://earthclinic.com/

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi, RTalloni. Oh, yes, please do drink more water. It's hard to do cause we all get so busy we are apt to forget. I carry a water bottle everywhere I go because I never want to go through that experience again.

        Thanks for reading and commenting (and drink more water!)

        Goodnight, Mary

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        5 years ago from the short journey

        I was just thinking that I'm a little dehydrated and need to drink more water… Thanks for sharing your experience so others can benefit from what you went through and learned.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi LeAquaholic. I am so sorry you are having such problems with kidney stones. You were so young to have developed stones in your one kidney! That's the first time I have heard of a young person with stones. I, too, live in fear that I might lose my one good kidney. I do drink a LOT of water with lemon juice, but I am realistic enough to know that I could get another stone in the one kidney, and like you, I hate to think of having to go on the dialysis machine.

        I wish I could give you some advice, but you are doing all you can do to save that kidney, I think.

        My thoughts and best wishes are with you, believe me. Mary

      • Le Aquaholic profile image

        Le Aquaholic 

        5 years ago

        Hi,first of all,thanks you for sharing this.It really helps me prepare for the worst.

        I am an overweight 20 years old female,was born with one kidney and was morbidly obese as a child.I had kidney stones as early as 9 years old.Since then,I drink A LOT of water but still I've had numerous ureteroscopy to remove small stones.It has been 2 years since my last ureteroscopy and last week I experienced intense back pain and IMMEDIATELY I knew it's kidney stone.Went to see my urologist and passed a small stone on my own.

        What I didn't knew was that there's a Large Staghorn Calculi that is about to rob my only kidney from me if don't get a nephrolithotomy as soon as possible.Right now,I am stressed out and emotionally unstable.I am about to have to rely on dialysis machine for the rest of my miserable life if I lose this one kidney.

        My urologist told me to wait for a week until the surgery and I have absolutely no idea how to deal with this kidney stone-on-steroid besides taking the prescribed medications.I've done all I could and still make stones :'(

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi, midget8. You are SO right....we should avoid salt and drink lots of water to prevent kidney stones. So far, my remaining kidney is free of stones, but I drink LOTS of water.

        Thanks for reading, commenting, and the shares, I appreciate that. Mary

      • midget38 profile image

        Michelle Liew 

        5 years ago from Singapore

        A wonderful article, Mary! We should all avoid salt in our diets and drink lots of water. A high sodium diet is always bad. Thanks for sharing. Shared in the right places too, and tweeted!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi, MelChi. You are lucky never to have had a kidney stone. Yes, lemon juice and cranberry juice is good to keep any stones from forming. I wish I had drank more water;might have saved my kidney. Mary

      • MelChi profile image

        Melanie Chisnall 

        5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

        Wow, that's quite scary! I've never had a kidney stone and I thought I drank a lot of water already during the day - I think I'll increase it even more. I like the tips about lemon juice and cranberry juice - I always hear good things about these drinks.

        Thanks for the useful info that the rest of us can use.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        5 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Rosalinem. Yes, it is very important to drink lots of water to prevent kidney stones.

        It is nice to meet you. I will read some of your work.

      • Rosalinem profile image

        Rosalinem 

        5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

        Thanks for this advice, that's why water is life. A To do list should always include drink a large glass of water.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Natashalh, Yes, it's the truth! Do drink lots of water if you want to save your kidneys.

        Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

      • Natashalh profile image

        Natasha 

        6 years ago from Hawaii

        Yikes! I didn't know you could actually loose a kidney from kidney stones, or that drinking water is so important for preventing them. I have to admit, I rarely drink enough water. Guess it's time to start doing better, especially because I drink lots of coffee.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I checked out that link. It is interesting that more and more people are getting kidney stones. They seem to blame obesity. We just all need to drink more water to prevent kidney stones.

        Thanks for the votes, I appreciate that, Mary

      • Sally's Trove profile image

        Sherri 

        6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Thank you for sharing your story and the helpful information, Mary. It seems as though the incidence of kidney stones is on the rise, at least among the people (both older and younger) that I know. Up, useful, interesting, and I wish "important" were a voting category. :)

        Just found these stats on kidney stones being on the rise...

        http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles...

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Good Morning, Docmo. Thanks for reading my Hub on preventing kidney stones, and for your interesting comment on other ways a person can get kidney stones. Being a medical professional as you are, I really appreciate your adding to this discussion.

        Have a wonderful day, Mary

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi Jools99, you are in the majority, I think. Most people do not drink enough water. Please DO Drink water. I have a daughter that I used to kid with because she always carried a water bottle with her everywhere! I don't laugh at her any more. I do hope my Hub has encouraged you to drink lots of water to prevent kidney stones.

        Have a great day (don't forget to drink your water!) Mary

      • Docmo profile image

        Mohan Kumar 

        6 years ago from UK

        Great message, Mary. Drinking water is the single most important thing one could do to prevent kidney stones. As with most aspects of medicine, there are other reasons too: indiscriminately consuming large amounts of Calcium supplements, hyperparathyroidism, certain drugs (topamax), frequent urinary infections, congenital kidney malformations ( sponge kidney), inflammatory bowel disease ~( Crohn's) , Gout, too much vitamin A, too much acidity in urine and a strong family history can all be causes too. Excellent hub with an important message, well done!

      • Jools99 profile image

        Jools99 

        6 years ago from North-East UK

        Mary, very useful hub - I don't drink anywhere near enough water so this has given me a bit of a jolt!

      • ausmedus profile image

        Sallie Smith 

        6 years ago from Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

        Absolutely correct marry.Many of the people not aware of the fact that they can avoid it just taking lots of water, fortunately if they already know it they don't take it seriously...............

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi ausmedus. You ar so right. We are always told to drink 8 glasses of water a day, but how many people actually do that? If we want to prevent kidney stones, we must drink Lots of Water!

      • ausmedus profile image

        Sallie Smith 

        6 years ago from Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

        absolutely correct. To avoid kidney stone or gall bladder stone you need to drink lots of water....................

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi, watergeek. thanks for the link. I have done the same. I was really impressed by the amount of info you had in your Hub.

        Regards, Mary

      • watergeek profile image

        watergeek 

        6 years ago from Pasadena CA

        Hey Mary - Thanks for alerting me to this hub. I didn't write much about kidney stones in mine, so I'll link the bit I did write to yours.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi, unknown spy. Thanks for reading about how to prevent losing your kidney due to stones. This is SO important, I'm trying to let people know just how important by drinking lots of water!

        My best.....

      • unknown spy profile image

        IAmForbidden 

        6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

        thank you Mary for this informative and useful hub that can benefit all people. We must take good care of our kidneys..its better to be safe than sorry.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Oh, boy! I feel bad for you if you ever pass those horrible kidney stones! Hopefully, by drinking lots of water they will just float around, ha,ha, and never come out!

        My best to you...

      • Specialk3749 profile image

        Karen Metz 

        6 years ago from Michigan

        Mary, there is not anything the dr.s can do to get rid of my stones. Thankfully, they are small and the dr. said the worst thing that can happen is one of them will decide to come out. On the other hand, since I had kidney damage done I only have 46% function in my kidneys....so, I make sure I do everything I can to protect them! One of the major things....drink LOTS of water!!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi Specialk3749, how terrible that must have been for you! What did the Drs do to get rid of the stones? I have an ultrasound once a year to make sure the remaining kidney has NO stones. I live in fear, cause I never want to go through that pain again, and I'm sure you don't either.

        Yes, please drink lots of water!

      • Specialk3749 profile image

        Karen Metz 

        6 years ago from Michigan

        I had a stone lodged in my kidney while pregnant! I thought I had a terrible flu, so I did not go to the doctor immediately. I ended up with sepsis and spent 3 days in intensive care and 12 days in the hospital. I think it is the sickest I have ever been!

        After the hospital stay, my kidney doctor found that both of my kidneys were full of stones. She did tests and found out that I am not producing citrate at all. She said it was a birth defect. So, I am not on supplements. I see my doctor once a year and the first thing she as is, "Are you drinking your water?"!

        Good message in your hub! Drink water people...you do not want to experience the pain that come along with kidney stones!!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi Thundermama, thanks for reading about how to prevent kidney stones by drinking water. It is just so important. I'm sorry your Mother has this problem. I am telling you, they are SO painful. I felt like someone came up from behind and hit my lower back with a ball bat! Drs do say they are hereditary, so I hope you don't get them, too.

        Drink lots and lots of water!

        Goodnight.

      • Thundermama profile image

        Catherine Taylor 

        6 years ago from Canada

        Thank you for this hub, my mother has suffered terribly with kidney stones this past year and I am fearful I a may get them. Water, here I come.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Peggy W You know one big reason I am such an advocate of organ donation is because I live very well with one kidney, so I don't understand why more people don't donate a kidney in life. I was sorry to loose a kidney due to stones; maybe more people will realize how important it is to drink lots of water.

        Thanks so much for the vote and the shares.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        6 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Mary,

        This is an important hub to read. So sorry that you lost a kidney...but you are certainly well informed because of it and all readers should pay attention to what you say regarding drinking PLENTY of water. Voted up, useful and sharing in many places. Thanks!!!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi AliciaC, thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub on how to revent kidney stones. I live in fear that my one good kidney will get stones. I just had my annual ultrasound on the one kidney, and so far, so good! Goodnight

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        This is a very important hub, Mary. I'm sorry about the loss of your kidney, but I'm so glad that you stress the importance of drinking lots of water! It really seems to be the most important thing to do to prevent the formation of a kidney stone. Thank you for the link to my hub. I will link to your hub, too - it contains valuable information!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi there, teaches12345. I'm glad you "stopped in here" this morning to learn more about kidney stones and how to prevent them. Thanks so much for sharing on your FB. It's always good to see you, have a great day!

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        6 years ago

        Hey mary! I had to stop in here due to your title and content. I have family members suffering from stones and it is a real concern for them. I have reposted this to FB so that others can learn from your experience. Blessings.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi 4FoodSafety, thanks for reading my Hub about kidney stones. Thanks for the nice compiment on my work. I wish I had drank more water! Thanks for the vote and the share. Goodnight.

      • 4FoodSafety profile image

        Kelly Kline Burnett 

        6 years ago from Fontana, WI

        Mary615,

        This hub is tremendous. I learned so much! I will be sure to link to share with others.

        The photos are very educational. What great research on kidney.

        Sharing a personal story is hard and yet so many will be helped.

        Voted up!

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Sueswan. Thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub about preventing kidney stones. I hope and pray you never have these terrible things. If you continue to drink lots of water, you won't get them. Thanks for the votes on my Hub. Keep drinking that water! Good to see you today.

      • profile image

        Sueswan 

        6 years ago

        Hi Mary,

        Thank you so much for sharing this hub on prevention of kidney stones.

        I am lucky that I have never had kidney stones.

        Water we must drink

        Wash away impurities

        Kidney stones away

        Voted up and awesome

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi there, CASE1WORKER, glad you liked my Hub on preventing kidney stones. It's so important to drink lots of water! Yes, I try and take good care of my remaining kidney so I never get stones in that one. Thanks so much for the votes! Happy Easter.

      • CASE1WORKER profile image

        CASE1WORKER 

        6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

        A really good hub and I think it gets its message across with the drink lots of water repetition. If that was all the reader retained from reading this hub then they would not go wrong. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and look after yourself and your remainig kidney.

        Voted up and awesome

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi, stephhicks68, thanks for reading my Hub on preventing kidney stones. I'm sorry your Dad went through this, and I sincerely hope he never gets kidney stones again. Encourage him to drink lots of water. I wish I had. I had 4 babies, and I can tell you going through the pain of kidney stones is worse! Once you have kidney stones, you are likely to have them again I'm told. Happy Easter!

      • stephhicks68 profile image

        Stephanie Hicks 

        6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

        Hi Mary, My dad was hospitalized last year with severe kidney stones. So painful that he thought it might be appendicitis! He thought he could get by without pain meds after he was discharged from the hospital, but as soon as the pain returned, he was super sick. This is an excellent hub on kidney stones and their prevention!! Best to you, Steph

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Good Morning, wordscribe43. Good to see you today! Thanks for reading about preventing kidney stones. I'm sorry your husband went through this. Statistics say that once you have kidney stones, you may very well get them again. This was true in my case. Encourage him to drink lots of water. I am so fearful that I'll get them again, possibly in my good remaining kidney.

      • wordscribe43 profile image

        Elsie Nelson 

        6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

        Yikes! I've never heard of a staghorn kidney stone. What a name, it just sounds awful even. I'm sorry you had to deal with that and it's a darn good thing we have two kidneys, huh? My poor husband had a kidney stone... they seem to run in his family. I get worried every time his back hurts. He's taken to drinking a lot more water, as you astutely recommended. Anyway, off to drink a big glass of h2o... Thanks for sharing your painful tale.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi, ArleneV.Poma, thanks for reading about my Kidney stones. If your Dad had stones once, chances are good he will have another bout with them. That's what statistics tell us. Encourage him to drink lots of water! They are truly stones! Thanks for the compliment on my Hub. Happy Easter.

      • profile image

        Arlene V. Poma 

        6 years ago

        This is so scary, and I am sorry you lost a kidney. My dad had kidney stones, and I remember the dirty look he gave me when I asked him if they were really stone. He picked one up and dropped it into a jar. It was the size of a kidney bean, sounded like a small rock when it landed, and I never asked him about kidney stones again. Thank you for your excellent article. Water, it is.

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hi, Simone Smith. I'm so glad I educated you about kidney stones. You are wise to drink lots of water and watch your diet. You will probably never get these monsters. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Simone Smith profile image

        Simone Haruko Smith 

        6 years ago from San Francisco

        Before reading this Hub, I was entirely ignorant about kidney stones. This is SO USEFUL! Now I feel quite good about the amount of water I drink, and feel even better about being vegetarian and cutting down on salt.

        The experience of having kidney stones sounds absolutely horrible. I do hope I can avoid it. Thanks for sharing your experience, Mary!

      • mckbirdbks profile image

        mckbirdbks 

        6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

        thank you. pardon me I am getting a glass of water

      • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        Hello Hyphenbird. Hope all is well with you and yours. That's good that you do drink a lot of water;you will probably never get kidney stones. Encourage your brother to drink lots of water. Maybe he won't get more stones. I learned the hard way. I've been meaning to do some research on the soy discussion, but haven't done that yet. Thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub about preventing kidney stones. Goodnight, friend.

      • Hyphenbird profile image

        Brenda Barnes 

        6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

        Hello Mary. I had no idea kidney stones could be so serious. I am stunned. I do drink lots of water (love it)and shall increase that amount. I saw a comment above that someone was advised not to consume soy products. We do eat quite a bit of soy. But I have never had a kidney stone. My oldest brother has had many of them. Thank you for your awesome, most useful advice.

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