Monday, March 15, 2010

I May Finally Have A Solution To My Kidney Stones!

All this talk and activity around kidney stones over the past few days has been really odd.

After passing those two yesterday, the doctor just called to give me the results of the analysis performed on the stone I passed in January.

It is a calcium stone. I had stones tested about 15 years ago and the answer was that they didn't know what was in them nor did they have a solution.

NOW THERE IS HOPE! I'M PRACTICALLY CRYING TEARS OF JOY THAT THERE IS HOPE!!!

The stone is comprised of calcium oxalate and altering my diet can have a very positive effect on the recurrence of stones.

WHAT'S THE NEW DIET?
-- Go light on protein including meat and milk. Ironically, milk for the protein and not the calcium (more on that below).
-- Go light on sodium; don't salt my food.
-- Go light on citrus.
-- Avoid coffee, tea, alcohol, and soda.
-- Avoid spinach, rhubarb, and chocolate.
-- Drink lots of water...that's a given for any kidney stones.

HUGE LIGHT BULB MOMENT
Way back in the day, I could not gain weight. Seriously. I was a rail at 128 lbs and just couldn't get beyond it. The women in my office were so jealous.

When I started to go out to the bars and try to date, not having any muscle was a big problem. The gay scene is so looks-ist and I wasn't cutting the mustard.

I bought a home work out machine and set to remedying the situation. And what did I do? I drank protein shakes like a fiend. Morning, noon, and night. I took supplemental amino acid capsules to give my muscles the fuel they needed to grow.

Not coincidentally, I now realize, it was around that time that I had my two hospital stays with kidney stones. That included two $20K lithotripsy operations. While I did gain weight, getting up to 155 lbs with 25 lbs of that being pure muscle, I looked hot but I guess I paid a hidden price. I went from skinny Minnie to taking my shirt off at all possible opportunities. Now I'm 185 lbs, out of shape, and long for those days.

The recommended diet is very doable. I'll cut out my cup of coffee in the morning. The hard part for me will be the elimination of soda although I've done very well with that lately. If you'll recall, I've suspected the phosphorus in diet soda as the culprit. I switched to regular soda and my waistline has grown with the decision. Soda will have to be a treat now, not my #1 source of fluid!

You may be wondering why there's no restriction on calcium?

There was a study done in Italy among men with frequent kidney stones. It is summarized in this article in The Journal of Family Practice. It compared a low-calcium diet vs a low-calcium/low-oxalate diet. Turns out that the oxalate is the problem. Calcium combines with oxalate and renders it inert. If there is too much oxalate, or too much oxalate and not enough calcium to combine with it, the oxalate goes to the kidneys where the problem occurs.

My diet doesn't contain much calcium so I won't have to make any modifications.

That, my friends, could be the most significant health break through I've ever had in my entire life.

Keep your fingers crossed that it works!

In the interest of clarity, these links are in temporal order.

First Signs Of A Stone May 7, 2007
What I Know About Kidney Stones May 8, 2007
A Discussion Of Lithotripsy May 9, 2007
Peeing Blood, No Pain May 11, 2007
Pain Returns May 18, 2007
Pain Again In The Back May 26, 2007
Bloody Urine Is Back July 12, 2007
Passed Kidney Stone #1 July 26, 2007
Passed Kidney Stone #2 July 30, 2007
I'm The Morton's Salt Girl March 26, 2008
Stone On The Move March 28, 2008
Well At Least I'm Not Having A Baby April 4, 2008
Passing Kidney Stones Spring, 2008
I May Finally Have A Solution To My Kidney Stones! March 15, 2010
If I'm Pissy, Blame My Kidney Stones October 11, 2010
I wish you well.

5 comments:

Sean said...

Yeah for you! I hope this is the solution to your pain and suffering!

dirkmancuso said...

Hmmmm...the only thing on this list that I indulge in is iced tea and a little salt. I don't like chocolate, don't drink milk, and only eat chicken.

But I shall cut down on those items as well and see what happens.

Thanks for the tip!

Y | O | Y said...

Dirk--

Part of the study in the article includes the fact that you do need some calcium to absorb the oxalate. Given that you don't like milk, is it possible you don't have enough calcium intake?

If you get the chance to have a future stone analyzed, and it is the same as mine, check with your doc and/or a nutritionist to see if it is a diet imbalance somewhere. Maybe a calcium supplement (or even chew fortified Tums)?

Anyway, I'd resigned myself to the fact that I was doomed to a life of pain and that I must have done some serious shit in a previous life for which I was now paying penance.

I hoped for a pill that would dissolve them...at least now I have hope of preventing them from ever forming. There is hope for you too!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I really hope this does the trick for you! I also hope you don't have moose-killer headaches if you stop your caffeine intake cold-turkey--hang in there.
--Alex

Alejandra Lopez said...

Hi! I really hope that works for you... ( i don't know if it changes between men and women because of hormones or something..) but for me (female) It just changes the size of the stones, the latest i passed without the: "i'm going to die" pain/stent/surgery/and the "i cannot believe you just janked the damn thing (stent) out of me" cycle drama... I know i don't have to tell you it is still really painful any ways, but in my opinion, is a little better. One thing i'm getting now is that my kidney with the most surgeries (9 in 15yrs) is sore all the time!!!! No one doc. can tell me exacticly why, i research it and seems that after a while, one can get nerve damage with all the "laser beatings"..... so i can even feel when sand is buildig up on it now.... yey!!!
From one kidney stone sufferer to another, I so really, really hope you don't get this!! (If you happen to need more liths)
(Sorry my english is not so great, but is not my first language)
I had a good (and pain-full) laugh with your posts tonight, while i wait for my kidney to give me a break (and the pain meds to start working) and finally get back to sleep. (Don't you hate it when you are sound asleep, and a frantic spasm on the side makes you jump out of bed?!!)
Reading your experiences whith our little problem has been a delight tonite!! You are histerical!, also funny is that i have no clue as to how i got here... Thank you sooo much!! You make me feel better!
Alejandra