report

The Staghorn Kidney Stone That Caused Me to Lose a Kidney - and Prevention Advice

This is a Staghorn kidney stone like the one that destroyed my right kidney.
This is a Staghorn kidney stone like the one that destroyed my right kidney. | Source

A Normal Kidney

Source

How to Prevent Kidney Stones

In this article I want to tell you how to prevent kidney stones to keep you from losing a kidney, as I did.

This is what I failed to do:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Drink lots of water
  • Drink lots of water

There you have it! That is the way you prevent kidney stones.

Well, there are a few additional prevention tips I’d like to share, but first, some medical stuff:

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

The kidneys work like filters. They remove waste and extra water from the blood, and they flush it all out as urine. The kidneys also keep the chemical and salts balanced. If these chemicals and salts become concentrated, they can form crystals in the urine. These large crystals are stones. 70 to 90 percent of these crystals wash out of the body completely unnoticed. Some of these crystals get large enough that they get stuck trying to pass through the urinary tract. On their way out of the body they cause excruciating pain. The ureter (the little tube from the bladder to the outside) is very small. As the stone tries to get through it can scrape the lining of the ureter, causing bleeding and terrible pain. Men suffer more with kidney stones than women. As someone who worked in the medical field, I can tell you first hand: I have seen grown men cry like babies when they were trying to pass a kidney stone in the emergency room.

A Small Kidney Stone

Can you imagine a man trying to pass this stone?  Very painful.
Can you imagine a man trying to pass this stone? Very painful. | Source

White men between the ages of 20-50 are the most likely group to suffer from kidney stones. Obese women are also prone to have kidney stones. I am not an obese woman, but I have suffered from kidney stones. I have experienced three different bouts of this condition, each about five years apart. Each time this happened, it started out with lower-back pain that would not go away. Finally I went to my doctor, who sent me to a urologist. He made the diagnosis after x-rays revealed that I had a stone in the right kidney. It was small, but too large to pass through to the outside. He recommended a procedure called lithotripsy that is supposed to blast the stones into tiny particles that will be passed out through the ureter and out of the body. You are placed in a big machine, and sound waves break up the stones. The only way to describe this is PAINFUL. Not the procedure, but afterwards, when the tiny pieces of the stones are making their way to the outside.

After the third bout with stones in the same kidney, I began once again to have terrible pain in my lower back. X-rays were done and it was discovered that a large Staghorn stone had developed in the same kidney. It was so large that it had actually taken over the space of the kidney. The kidney no longer functioned. This happened about three years after the last lithotripsy.

A Staghorn Kidney Stone

I had a large Staghorn stone like this one that took over my right kidney and destroyed it.
I had a large Staghorn stone like this one that took over my right kidney and destroyed it. | Source

A Dialysis Machine

Source

Surgery to Remove the Right Kidney

I was told I had to have surgery to remove the kidney. So, I now live with one kidney—and I have to take good care of that one. If it should fail I’d need to go on dialysis. A dialysis machine performs the function of a kidney. It filters out the impurities in the blood that the kidney would normally do. I wish I had followed preventative advice before; then, I might have two kidneys right now. These are the precautions my doctor has told me to take to prevent new kidney stones from forming:

  • 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, and that concentrates urine. Stress seems to trigger kidney stone attacks.
  • Keep other medical conditions under control: Blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, gout, recurrent urinary infections, etc., should all be treated properly and brought under control.
  • Drink lots of water. Drinking extra water is the single most important thing you can do to keep from suffering from kidney stones. You MUST keep the urine diluted.

Additional Tips to Prevent Kidney Stones

  • Drink a full glass of water with each meal. Try to add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each glass of water.
  • Carry water with you everywhere you go. Sip it regularly.
  • Try and drink 2 glasses of water before bedtime. Yes, you may have to get up during the 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.
  • Add lemon juice to your water. My doctor suggested this tip. He told me just a half cup of lemon juice a day could prevent kidney stones. The lemon juice boosts levels of citrate, a chemical that keeps calcium crystals from turning into stones.
  • Drink cranberry juice (about 8 ounces per day). This will help prevent urinary tract infections, and it’s just good for the kidneys and bladder.

Mix lemon juice with water to prevent kidney stones

Cranberry juice is good for kidney health

Some Important DON'TS to Prevent Kidney Stones

  • Stay away from salt. The more sodium you eat, the more calcium you have in the urine. When calcium gets too concentrated in the urine, it can crystallize into kidney stones. We all know it’s better for our health not to eat much salt, anyway. At first you will miss it, but after a while you get used to eating your food unsalted. Watch out for “hidden” sodium in fast food, sports drinks, canned and frozen foods. Check the labels on food for the sodium content. We should not have more than 2,000 milligrams a day.
  • Cut back on the meat you eat. Protein from meat increases uric acid, calcium, and oxalates in the urine, and that 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.

Beverages You Should Avoid

There are certain beverages you should avoid:

  • Grapefruit juice
  • Apple juice
  • Any beverage with caffeine. Caffeine increases the amount of calcium in the urine, which increases the risk of kidney stones.
  • Sodas because they can deliver a double whammy, slashing citrate levels in your urine and serving up lots of stone-producing phosphoric acid.

Some literature advises avoiding dairy products, but some studies have shown people who eat calcium-rich foods enjoy a much lower risk of kidney stones. But to balance that calcium you should drink plenty of liquids (water), as well as foods such as bananas.

Drink lots of water to prevent kidney stones

Seek a Doctor if You Have Lower-Back Pain

If you have lower-back pain, you may have kidney stones. If the pain persists it might not be your mattress; it might be kidney stones. When you see a doctor he will probably order a urinalysis. This may reveal red blood cells and white blood cells, which should not be present. He may order a complete blood count to check to see if there is any infection. The white blood count would be high in that case. There are several diagnostic tools that will be used to determine if you have kidney stones. I hope it won’t be too late for you to follow my doctor’s advice on prevention.

I used to have the occasional glass of tea, a Coke, or some other beverage. I thought that was enough liquid to maintain health. I was wrong. In order to keep the 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 now have to prevent kidney stones in my one remaining kidney by following my doctor’s advice mainly to:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Drink lots of water
  • Drink lots of water

Have You Or A Loved One Ever Had Kidney Stones?

See results

Video showing lithotripsy of kidney stone

Video showing surgery to remove large kidney stone

© 2012 Mary Hyatt

More by this Author


Comments 103 comments

Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Splash!! Oh Mary! I have to clean my screen now..The watering message was too real..!I had to admit, I hate water by itself. Is like munching a plastic type of tool...I will have to follow these easy steps..I hope!

Great reading and will have to put aside those apple and grapefruit juices. Thanks for taking your time and write!

LORD


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Lord, do you think I got the point across that we should drink water to prevent kidney stones????? You have to do it to save your kidneys! After a while, you will actually crave water, no joke! Hey, thank you for taking the time to read my Hub and commenting! See you again, soon, I hope.


pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 4 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

This is very useful! This is one of the problems my mother is experiencing. Thank you for sharing!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi pinkhawk, thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub on preventing kidney stones. This condition truly is a problem, and the stones must be prevented by drinking lots of water. I do hope you mother will doing OK. I feel for her, kidney stones are NO fun. Goodnight.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

My husband had an 8mm stone that had to be removed by surgery. He has two small stones in the other kidney now. His doctor put him on "the stone diet". It gives a list of foods to eat, and not to eat. Soy is a BIG no no, so the list says. He has not passed the smaller ones yet.

Some people are "stone makers", according to his doctor. He does drink lots of water, and follows the diet.

Thank you for sharing your story. Voted up, interesting, useful and awesome. This is going to help someone from suffering.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Good Morning, Kathy! I am so sorry to hear your husband has probems with kidney stones. Give him my best and tell him I've surely been there. Poor guy, he's doing all the right things and still makes stones. I live in fear that my one kidney might suddenly get a huge one. The one that destroyed my kidney grew so fast, the doctors were amazed. I've never heard of soy being on the NO list, that's good to know.

Thanks for the votes, too. Have a wonderfuld day.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

So sorry, mary, that you went through all that pain and then lost your kidney. Just be sure to follow your own message in this hub and drink all the water you can handle. Your repetition of that message could well save someone a kidney.

My new mantra is: Better to have to pee,

Than lose your own kidney.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi there, drbj. Good to see you today! I used to dislike drinking water, but now I crave it.I learned my lesson the hard way. I like your new mantra. I look forward to reading more of your good stuff. Maybe it was bad karma that caused my stones, ya think???? Bye


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 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.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

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


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 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!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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.


Arlene V. Poma 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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.


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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!


CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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.


Sueswan 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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.


4FoodSafety profile image

4FoodSafety 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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.


Thundermama profile image

Thundermama 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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.


Specialk3749 profile image

Specialk3749 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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

Specialk3749 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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...


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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.....


watergeek profile image

watergeek 4 years ago

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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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


ausmedus profile image

ausmedus 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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

ausmedus 4 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...............


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 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!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 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!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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


Rosalinem profile image

Rosalinem 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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.


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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


Le Aquaholic profile image

Le Aquaholic 4 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 image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

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


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 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 image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida Author

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


watergeek profile image

watergeek 3 years ago

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 image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida Author

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


ajwrites57 profile image

ajwrites57 3 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 image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida Author

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


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 3 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 image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida Author

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


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 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 image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida Author

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


4FoodSafety profile image

4FoodSafety 3 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 image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida Author

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.


Dea 2 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.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 2 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! :)


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida Author

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


Gigi 2 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 image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida Author

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.


Gigi 2 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 image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida Author

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.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 21 months 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.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 21 months ago from Nashville Tn.

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 +++.


sujaya venkatesh profile image

sujaya venkatesh 21 months ago

useful hub


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 21 months ago from Home Sweet Home

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


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 21 months 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


mary615 profile image

mary615 21 months ago from Florida Author

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


mary615 profile image

mary615 21 months ago from Florida Author

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 image

mary615 21 months ago from Florida Author

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 image

mary615 21 months ago from Florida Author

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 image

mary615 21 months ago from Florida Author

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


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 21 months ago from West Virginia

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


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 21 months 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.


mary615 profile image

mary615 21 months ago from Florida Author

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


mary615 profile image

mary615 21 months ago from Florida Author

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


Vellur profile image

Vellur 21 months 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 image

mary615 21 months ago from Florida Author

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


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 16 months 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!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 16 months 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!


mary615 profile image

mary615 16 months ago from Florida Author

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


mary615 profile image

mary615 16 months ago from Florida Author

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


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 16 months 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 image

mary615 16 months ago from Florida Author

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


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 16 months ago

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 image

mary615 16 months ago from Florida Author

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

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