I ruined my streak of posting a photo every day for not one but two days! The first day was because I had a friend come into town unexpectedly and had a great dinner instead. The second day was due to a kidney stone.
It is too bad that I do not have a picture of a kidney stone to share with you. I am sure that I could find one of those spiky little things on the internet and post it here to terrify you. I am going to spare you, though. If I had managed to capture this stone then I would have taken a picture to share with you.
This is not the first kidney stone that I have had. It is not even the worst one. Lucky for me the doctor in the ER informed me that there are a few more in my kidney that I have to look forward to.
So what is a kidney stone and why do some people have them and others do not?
Genetics and lifestyle play a role. So do certain diseases. Naturally, not drinking enough water can be bad for your kidneys. Obesity. When you look up the risk factors it is a long enough list for you to think…half of what you do is a risk factor.
The stones are made of minerals, the most common being calcium oxalate. Calcium supplements can play a role in the formation of stones. Magnesium can help them from forming, so low magnesium levels can be bad. If you manage to catch one of your stones, the lab can analyze it to see what it is composed of and help figure out why they keep forming.
Of course, the biggest thing that people think about when they have kidney stones is the pain. Does it hurt? Hell, yes. I have been in labor and kidney stones are way more painful than labor. And you don’t even get an epidural for them! They do give you pain meds for them. The meds do help, but I don’t feel like the woozy, loopy feeling you get from them is worth it. That and the soreness that persists as well as the general tiredness that pain meds tend to cause.
The best way to handle kidney stones, in my opinion, is to just avoid them altogether. How you do that tends to depend on why you are getting them in the first place. Your doctor can help you figure that out by doing lab tests. Some of the most common treatments though are: drinking more water, eating less animal protein, avoiding calcium supplements, and eating less oxalate foods and more citrate ones. Your doctor will give you more information on that.
I am very lucky that when I have them they past fast. Knock on wood that is the case for all of them!
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