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Recognize Early Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Updated on July 18, 2018
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Annemarie is a community relations assistant and a licensed real estate broker. She is a married mother of two and lives in Florida.

4.4 mm calcium oxalate kidney stone that I passed after months of pain

4.4 mm kidney stone that I gave birth to on a Sunday evening
4.4 mm kidney stone that I gave birth to on a Sunday evening

Kidney stone nightmare

For me, it started in May of 2009 as an ache in my back that wouldn't go away. I began looking on Google images at pictures of human back anatomy, and I noticed the pain was coming from near where the kidneys are. I called my doctor since I have a family history of kidney issues. The attending physician‘s assistant asked me to show him where my pain was coming from. I showed him and he said it was muscle pain from back strain. I told him I thought it was coming from my kidney since I have a family history. He informed me that my urine and bloodwork were normal. He gave a prescription for Lortab and sent me on my way.

Two weeks later, I developed what the doctor suspected was a UTI. I had horrible urgency and frequency but very little urine would come. I was in extreme discomfort with things getting worse by the day. After another trip to the doctor’s office, a prescription for Cipro was written for me. A week later, my urgency was still there, so the doctor called in Levaquin. After finishing that, I still felt urgency to urinate with no relief. By this time, it had been 3 more weeks, and I saw another doctor. I told him my symptoms and he told me it was due to my age (I was only 37). He literally told me to put Greek yogurt in my vagina to ease the pain and discomfort.

Frustrated at this point, I pretty much figured I was just being oversensitive and at age 37, it was the beginning of the downward slope of my youth. I was having pains in the middle of the night that felt like unescapable pressure on the right side of my abdomen. Nothing would take the pain away. I figured I must have ate some bad food and just rode out the pain until I could fall asleep again an hour later.

After going for months with not knowing the cause of my pain and discomfort, my husband took me to the emergency room at Citrus Memorial Hospital in Invernes, Florida. The ER doctor immediately questioned my motive for being there and accused me of coming for drugs. He had me in tears! My husband was very firm with him and stood up for me, personally attesting to my suffering over the previous few months. The doctor very reluctantly ordered a urine sample and a CT scan, which 45 minutes later revealed multiple kidney stones in both kidneys, including a 6mm stone in my left kidney, several small stones in the right kidney, and a stone in my bladder. My urine had both blood and white blood cells in it. I was discharged and sent home with pain pills, a cone shaped filter, a small specimen cup with a lid, a referral to see a urologist and instructions to drink a lot of water.

I followed hospital orders and gave birth the following day to a 4.4 mm calcium oxalate kidney stone. The pain in my lower abdomen was absolutely intense. It felt like a broken piece of glass cutting me from the inside. I dropped to my knees, crying out loud, begging for relief from the unbearable pain. I managed to crawl to the toilet and eventually collect the 4.4mm stone in the cone shaped filter that the ER nurse gave me the night before.

I brought the kidney stone to my urologist and lab results revealed that it was a calcium oxalate stone. The urologist sent me for an IVP xray, and then arranged for ESWL Lithotripsy to break up a 6 mm kidney stone lodged in my left kidney.

Evidence of my ESWL Lithotripsy procedure

Here is the surgical site on the skin over my left kidney.  The shockwaves left this welt and discoloration only for a couple of days.
Here is the surgical site on the skin over my left kidney. The shockwaves left this welt and discoloration only for a couple of days.

ESWL Lithotripsy success

I had my surgery a week ago, which left a small welt on my back, and was successful as far as I can tell. I started passing stone fragments the next day, and saved them in a ziploc bag. I will go for my follow-up xray in a few days. I will have to do a 24 hour urine sample to investigate the chemistry of my urine. This will help determine what vitamins and minerals I have too much of, or a deficiency of. My brother has been getting kidney stones for 20 years, and he warned me that whenver he starts feeling back pain, he floods his system with as much water as he can possibly stand. He usually will pass a kidney stone within 24 to 48 hours after that.

I am trying to be good and stay away from my favorite foods that contain high amounts of oxylate - such as chocolate (no success there since I am a chocolate lover), tea, peanut butter, spinach, nuts, and a lot more foods that I enjoy.

If you start feeling a dull or achey pain in your mid back that won't go away, start drinking lots of water and go see your doctor. If you experience excruciating pain that radiates from your back to your abdomen with no relief, then you should go to the Emergency Room. Kidney damage can result from ignoring your symptoms.


Jagged kidney stone

This little rock caused months of pain and discomfort inside my bladder
This little rock caused months of pain and discomfort inside my bladder

Fast forward: 2018

I wrote this article in 2009 when I was 38 years old and I did not pass another kidney stone until 2018. Two days ago I passed a kidney stone in the emergency room and was told that I have more small non-obstructing stones in both of my kidneys. The stones in my kidneys are about 1 mm and the largest stone is 2 mm in my right kidney. I am drinking a lot of water to try and flush some of these stones from my body.

I called my brother last night and he currently has a stone in his right kidney that measures 10mm x 17mm! He has been passing an average of two kidney stones per year since he was 29 years old, with one year passing 8 stones. He has had numerous surgeries to remove calcium oxalate stones.

I will be visiting my primary care doctor to request some lab work and will publish the outcome.

Latest Kidney Stone

Kidney stone that I passed while in the emergency room on July 16, 2018.
Kidney stone that I passed while in the emergency room on July 16, 2018.

Comments

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    • my daily dish profile imageAUTHOR

      Annemarie Hooper 

      4 years ago from Citrus Springs, Florida

      Mo,

      My stones are Calcium Oxylate. It is the most common form of stone. I read that kidney stones are more prevalent in populations of people in Florida and the Great Lakes, for some reason I am not aware of. Perhaps the mineral composition of our drinking water supply.

    • profile image

      Mo 

      4 years ago

      I have passed a 4mm stone today after extreme pain. It looks exactly as your stone. What type of kidney stone for s it?

    • profile image

      Amelia 

      5 years ago

      Hi all,

      I only have one kidney, and have yearly ultrasounds. This year the report said at least 3 stones - 2 at 6mm and 1 at 3mm. Then I was sent a few weeks later for ct which was reported as no evidence of stones. Could I of passed these without knowing???

    • profile image

      Theoni 

      5 years ago

      This is similar to what has happened to me. I've been to the ER three times over the past 6 months and all three times the diagnosis was back pain/ muscle sprain. It's been about 3 months since I've slept through the night I usually wake up every 2-3 hours and have to sit up for 20 minutes to half and hour until the pain passes. The last time I went to the ER which was 4 nights ago they found blood and white blood cells in my urine but they claim it was a contaminated sample. They sent me home with no scans and nothing for pain and no tips on how to make my "back pain" better other than to replace my 6 month old bed. I went to my DR and she agreed it's probably kidney stones and I go in for a CT scan in a couple days.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Your story sounds much like a friend's. He was suffering something fierce, was shrugged off and eventually told he had muscle sprain. He ended up giving birth to three huge stones. We named them Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego because they were birthed through fiery pain.

      I hope you never have to suffer this again!

    • profile image

      commentator7 

      6 years ago

      im only 18, 7 month pregnant and just 1 week ago, had extreme sharp shooting pain from bottom of my abdomen, middle of my back and down into my groin, an ambulance was called for the pain i was in got the hospital and was urinating pure blood which then made me think there was something wrong with the baby but luckily baby is fine i had a severe case of kidney stones and was on constant antibiotics and now i have to take preventative antibiotics so another one is unlikely to occur

    • profile image

      pppremoval 

      6 years ago

      It is horrible to imagine ,the pain .the sharp edges of the stone has caused you .

      Citrate keeps this type of kidney stone under check by making the urine more alkaline. This salt of citric acid is rich in citrus fruits and lemons are of great help to discourage the production of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Extract juice from fresh lemons and combine ½ a cup of concentrated juice in 2 liters of water and consume at regular intervals every day to increase urinary citrate levels. Regular consumption of lemon juice in large amounts also can assist in reducing the size of existing stones for easy elimination.

      Source :

      http://www.kidneystoneremovalathome.com/dissolve-a...

    • profile image

      kdjd 

      6 years ago

      I dont know why a doctor would tell you to drink cranberry juice for a kidney stone it makes them worse! Cranberry juice is for kidney infections not stones.

    • profile image

      Robyn Toronto 

      6 years ago

      Having kidney stones twice, my doctor suggested that I start drinking cranberry juice daily every morning, as cranberries are supposed to help prevent the formation of kidney stones. Well, I am not a big fan of juice, so thought I would give the Cranberry Concentrate from Lady Soma Products a try. It's a cranberry supplement with Vitamin C in it. I am very pleased with the product, and it has totally helped!

      Cranberry juice tastes awful and is mostly sugar, and the antibiotics give me stomachaches. Absolutely no side effects for this Lady Soma Cranberry Supplement. Don't know now what I'd do without it.

    • profile image

      Ashley 

      6 years ago

      Okay here is my issue, I Have multiple kidney stones and although I had a lithotripsy weeks agoand have already passed a small piece of one I still have a 5mm & another part of the other in my left kidney. Although no sign of passing what's left I'm having severe pain and nausea occasionally from my kidney . . . And have no clue as to why? Doc says it shouldn't hurt. Is it possible it tries to pass causes the pain and nausea can't and returns from the opening back into the kidney? Sorta like a gallstone would?

    • profile image

      cornbred 

      8 years ago

      I just passed a 4mm oxylate stone and a few other fragments... No fun.

    • my daily dish profile imageAUTHOR

      Annemarie Hooper 

      8 years ago from Citrus Springs, Florida

      Alejandra, you should go see a doctor and tell them exactly where you are hurting. If you get severe, debilitating pains that bring you to your knees or take your breath away, go to the nearest Emergency Room and they should give you a CT scan. I hope you get better soon! Make sure you drink A lot of water, and stay away from sweet tea!

    • profile image

      alejandra jimenez 

      8 years ago

      i have really bad pains and i have a lot of the symptoms of kidney stones what can i do? because this pain is killing me.

    • profile image

      veronica 

      9 years ago

      i was just diagnosed with multiple kidney stones. my story is about the same. i have had many problems for 2 years with bladdar,urinary track and kidneys infections. my doctores cant figure out why i have been gettig so many. im only 18. this past week i went to the E.R. and they said i just had comstipation but I knew i didn't so when the pain didn't go away i went to my family doc who sent me for a ct scan and they person who scaned me said i had nothing but 2 days later my dr got the pics of my kidney and noticed multiple stones. i have not passed any yet but heard its close to the worst pain ever other then child birth.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 

      9 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Informative article. God Bless you and your family

    • my daily dish profile imageAUTHOR

      Annemarie Hooper 

      9 years ago from Citrus Springs, Florida

      I feel bad for your mom. They say it is worse if you live near the Great Lakes or the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • zadrobi profile image

      zadrobi 

      9 years ago from Carbondale, IL

      My mom went through the same thing. They told here it may have been caused by the amount of calcium in the water where she lives. An informative account of an unsavory time. Good start :)

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