Kidney Stone mystery...

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I passed a kidney stone in August 2014 believed to be my first, although a few incidents in the past make me think I've passed stones before (I thought I was having a lot of UTIs but all tests came back clear, this was over a period of around 5 years and happened maybe 6-7 times). The stone in August was quite a strange experience, there wasn't much pain (it came and went) but I had the overwhelming feeling that I needed to pee constantly, it was unbearable and lasted all night so I couldn't sleep. The whole episode lasted around 12 hours (which I believe is pretty quick for a stone...God knows how I would have coped with that for any longer!). I had an x-ray followed by a CT scan a few weeks later and was diagnosed with multiple average-sized stones in my left kidney and one large (8mm) stone in my right kidney.

The whole thing is quite puzzling for me as I'm a 24 year old female, I'm vegetarian, and I religiously drink 2 litres of water a day and have done for the last 7 years or so. My diet is not salty and I don't consume a huge amount of oxalate rich foods. The only reason that doctors can come up with for my condition is that my father is prone to kidney stones

I'm waiting for EWSL on the 8mm stone, which I'm pretty scared about as I'm worried I'll have the constantly needing to pee feeling afterwards while the fragments pass, but the other stones in the left kidney are just being left there. I feel like a ticking timebomb really because I don't know when these stones will pass, and even when they do, more are likely to form. 

I suppose I'm just looking for some advice on how to cope with this situation, what I can expect, and how common the symptom of constantly feeling like you need to go is? Does this usually last long, or does it signify the stone being almost passed? Also, does anyone have any experience of EWSL and what should I expect from that? Thank you!

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  • Posted

    Hi, I've had treatment several times on stones that are roughly 1cm big. Although there's been blood in the urine and you have to drink a lot more to flush the fragments out, I've never actually noticed the fragments being passed, I think that they're so small that they flush out easily. I've never felt like I need the toilet constantly after treatment but I've never knowingly passed a stone without treatment so I can't really compare.
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  • Posted

    Have they been able to analyse any of the stones that you've passed. Whilst 80% are made from calcium, 20% could be from other materials so it would be good to find out what it is and you may be able to adjust your diet to reduce the chances of recurrence.

    EWSL is not a problem. The procedure lasts about 30 minutes and begins rather slowly and after you have been given some strong painkillers. As the painkillers begin to work, they step up the frequency of the pulses but it's not so bad by then.

    Towards the end of the EWSL, I was feeling slightly sickly but it was nothing I couldn't manage and, if you ask them to keep updating you with the amount of time left to run, you can look forward to the end of the treatment.

    Once they've finished, they will tell you if the stone has been broken down or if you might need another course. They told me that I did need another session but by the time I got back some weeks later, they couldn't find any stone.

    I think that what was left actually passed naturally for me and it must have coincided with a spell of a slight burning sensation when passing water. This did last for a few hours and taking lots of water during that time will help. I never actually spotted a stone coming out so it might have been tiny stones by then.

    Just take painkillers when you need them. Ask your doctor for advice as to what you can take. I was told I could take paracetamol, ibuprofen and/or diclafenac. Indeed I could take all 3 if I wanted them, but it was never as bad as that.

    Kidney stones are best passed naturally otherwise there's surgical intervention of some sort. EWSL is a non-invasive form of treatment and is the next step up from leaving the stone alone to pass by itself. If it needs some EWSL then take the treatment and I'm sure you'll be fine. Just ask about painkillers and make sure you have some just in case.

    Let us know how your treatment goes and share your experiences on here.

    Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advice. I'm booked to have the treatment in 2 weeks, so I will let you know after that. Is it likely that I will need to take time off of work to recover from the procedure?
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