Living with Medullary Sponge Kidney (MSK)–the Patient’s Perspective

Medullary Sponge Kidney (MSK) ribbon

My how time flies when you’re having fun… or is it when you’re in pain? My last post almost two whole years ago touched on my experience with MSK and how I was coping with it. Let me tell you … Continue reading

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Passing the family stone – A mother’s perspective on her daughter inheriting medullary sponge kidney disease

Baby feet

Passing a kidney stone is more painful than childbirth, I’ve heard. I’ve both given birth and passed a stone without pain killers. But I’ll tell you worse pain than both: passing on your kidney disease that causes kidney stones onto … Continue reading

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A brief history of ureteral stents

looped stent closeup

For most patients who have ever experienced a ureteral stent, the faster the stent is removed and becomes a part of their past history, the better. A look at our ongoing stent (dis)comfort poll makes this clear. With a total … Continue reading

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Do vegetarians get kidney stones?

broccoli

Earlier this year, a poll found that 7% of Americans identified themselves as vegetarians while an additional 6% were vegans.[1] Vegans, as you may know, in addition to not eating meat do not eat dairy products. Worldwide, the country with … Continue reading

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What have you tried for stone prevention? A KidneyStoners study.

question

One of the first questions that we often get asked by new kidney stoners is, “How can I prevent this from happening again?” If you saw a doctor for your stone, there are a number of options that he or … Continue reading

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What should I expect when I have my stent removed? – Updated results from a KidneyStoners survey.

Ureteral stent

We know that the prospect of needing to have a stent removed is a big source of anxiety for patients. While almost everyone can’t wait to have his or her stent out, not knowing what to expect during the removal … Continue reading

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Survey Results: Were you happy with your stone treatment?

stone treatment satisfaction

In our most recent survey, we focused on the different options for treating a kidney stone. This includes both the non-surgical options (letting the stone pass on its own, taking a home remedy to pass/dissolve a stone, taking a medication from … Continue reading

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How happy are you with the treatment you had for your stone? – A KidneyStoners survey.

Diagram of laser lithotripsy

Last month, we introduced a poll on stent pain and a survey on stent removal. We’ve had a great response so far, with over 500 responses to the poll and over 300 responses to the survey. You can see the … Continue reading

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Introducing KidneyStoners.org polls and surveys

Image from Office.com

Today we are introducing a poll on stent pain and a survey on stent removal to the website. We hope that it will help our readers easily see what other “kidneystoners” are experiencing. Being able to share experiences with other … Continue reading

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Kidney Stones and Science Fantastic: A Patient’s Perspective

Image from Wikimedia commons

A few weeks ago, I found myself in the emergency room of the University of Arizona Medical Center under excruciating pain. I was pretty sure, but far from certain, that this was a kidney stone – that same pain had landed … Continue reading

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Does drinking a lot of water help a stone pass faster?

(Image from Office.com)

If you’re in the unfortunate position of trying to pass a kidney stone, you’d probably want to speed up the process along as much as possible. One common strategy used by patients and occasionally suggested by physicians is to drink … Continue reading

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Severe pain after stent removal: How often does it happen and can anything prevent it?

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Many patients complain of some pain after having a ureteral stent is removed. This pain is usually mild and self-limited. However, the pain can sometimes be severe. Because patients may not have been warned about the possibility of significant pain … Continue reading

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Did drinking iced tea really cause my kidney stones?

Iced tea in a mason jar

KidneyStoners.org Recently, you may have heard patients, newspapers, and websites all tell you, “Iced tea caused your kidney stones!” With so many sources telling you the same thing, it must be true, right? Wouldn’t it be great if iced tea were … Continue reading

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Pain Management and MSK: A Patient’s Perspective

Kayla Dean Picture

Editor’s note: Kayla contributes posts on her experiences as a patient with medullary sponge kidney, a condition that causes a large amount of kidney stones to form and which can cause chronic pain. Her experiences may therefore not represent those … Continue reading

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From a Patient’s Perspective: The Ureteral Stent: Friend or Foe?

Ureteral stent

Even though different people respond to stents in different ways, I suspect anyone who’s ever lived with a ureteral stent remembers the experience.  I have had two, and both were, indeed, memorable. Prior to undergoing a pyeloplasty, (a surgical procedure … Continue reading

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What are my chances of successfully passing my stone?- A KidneyStoners.org Infographic

Infographic of chances of passing a kidney stone

We frequently receive questions from patients trying to pass a stone who want to know whether they will be able to pass it successfully.  There are three main factors that your doctor uses to predict your chances of successful stone … Continue reading

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Advocating for MSK

Mary photo

Welcome to KidneyStoners.org and my guest post from an medullary sponge kidney patients’ Advocate’s perspective. When I was asked to be a contributor to this site, I jumped on the chance. It isn’t everyday that MSKers are provided the opportunity … Continue reading

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What’s New in Kidney Stone Research

Increasing rates

At the 2012 American Urological Association Annual Meeting, researchers from around the world present research on a range of urological topics, including the latest information on stone disease, prevention, and treatment. This year the meeting was in Atlanta, Georgia between … Continue reading

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Medullary Sponge Kidney: A Patient’s Perspective

Kayla portrait

If you want to learn about MSK or kidney stones in general, you’re in the right spot. Personally, in my 8 years of dealing with this disease I’ve never found such an informative and supportive website produced by physicians. As … Continue reading

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What is Medullary Sponge Kidney?

Medullary-sponge-kidney-closeup

If, for some strange reason, you set out to design a kidney that could form stones as quickly as possible, you might end up with something like a medullary sponge kidney.       Medullary sponge kidney (MSK) is a … Continue reading

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Ask KidneyStoners.org: Does shockwave lithotripsy cause diabetes or hypertension?

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April 29, 2012 “I have a 5mm caclculi stone in my left kidney (non-obtrusive). Unfortunately, I have not been able to pass this naturally by drinking large amounts of water each day. I am considering having shockwave treatment for this … Continue reading

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The Healthcare Costs of Kidney Stones

costs-of kidney stone disease

With the increased attention on the rapidly increasing cost of healthcare, we decided to take a closer look at how much kidney stone disease costs in the United States. United States healthcare expenditures for kidney stone disease for the year … Continue reading

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Ask KidneyStoners.org: Should I worry about getting a repeat CT scan in 3 weeks?

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March 28, 2012 “I had a CT scan because of a kidney stone on my left side…the stone has left the kidney and it is stuck in the ureter…I also had an x-ray done …..and before the CT and x-ray … Continue reading

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Ask KidneyStoners.org: How do I prevent infection related kidney stones?

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March 27, 2012 “I’m a 50 year old woman who was just diagnosed with a 16mm stone in my left kidney.  Ten years ago I had 2 massive (one the size of a grapefruit and the other the size of … Continue reading

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Ask KidneyStoners.org: Do I really need that repeat x-ray?

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March 17, 2012 “In mid-November I began to have episodes of blood in my urine. I went to a urologist who did a CT (with and without contrast), a cystoscopy, and a urine cytology as well as cultures. All the … Continue reading

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13 Famous Kidney Stoners

kidney-stone-star

It turns out that kidney stones do not discriminate. Famous historical figures, celebrities, and other notable persons have also suffered from stones. Here, in no particular order, is an unlucky list of 13 of your fellow “kidney stoners”.     … Continue reading

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Ask KidneyStoners.org: Is it common to need a stent for a tight ureter?

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February 25, 2012 “I have had two ureteroscopies in the last 5 years. In 2008 the procedure was a piece of cake with a 6mm stone lodged in the upper portion of the left ureter. In 2011 I had an … Continue reading

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Ask KidneyStoners.org: Do I have to have a stent?

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February 25, 2012 “I have been diagnosed with an 8mm stone in my left kidney and told I would be going for lithotripsy to have is broken up and will need a stent inserted for about a month or so. … Continue reading

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Kidney stones in children

Pediatric kidney

Studies have found that kidney stones are occurring more frequently  in children. Researchers looking at emergency room admissions in South Carolina found an increased occurrence of stones between 1996 and 2007 from 7.7 and 8.0 per 100,000 female and males … Continue reading

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Ask KidneyStoners.org: Is instant tea as bad as real tea?

Ask KidneyStoners.org

February 22, 2012 “i was just in the hospital for the 2nd time with kidney stones. My question is, is instant tea as bad for you as real tea? Also what are some main foods and drinks i should avoid … Continue reading

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Can dogs and cats get kidney stones?

Kidney dog

It turns out that kidney stones don’t just afflict humans, they also occur in many animals, including your pet dog or cat. Between 0.2 to 3% of dogs and cats are believed to form stones and the number of pets … Continue reading

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Ask KidneyStoners.org: Should I have ureteroscopy on both my kidneys at once?

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In our “Ask KidneyStoners.org” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. See previous questions and answers here.   February 6, 2012 Question about having ureteroscopy on both kidneys at once “I’m having a ureteroscopy next week … Continue reading

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Ask Kidneystoners.org: Should I stop my calcium carbonate vitamin pills?

question mark

In our “Ask KidneyStoners.org” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. See previous questions and answers here.   February 4, 2012 Question about calcium supplements “i recently had another small stone that passed easily (thank you, … Continue reading

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Can kidney stones cause kidney failure?

dead kidney cartoon

In addition to causing pain, can kidney stones actually cause permanent damage to your kidney? The unfortunate answer is yes, kidney stones in some cases can actually result in a “dead” kidney or kidney failure. The good news though is … Continue reading

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Ask KidneyStoners.org: Why do I still have pain after passing a stone?

Ask

In our “Ask KidneyStoners.org” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. See previous questions and answers here.   January 13, 2012. Question about residual pain after passing a stone from a stone former in England, UK: … Continue reading

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How do I choose which surgery to have for my kidney stones?

shock-square

Understanding what is the best option for treating your kidney stone can be difficult. In our new chart, we summarize the benefits and drawbacks of each surgical option. While it still won’t make the decision for you, it can help … Continue reading

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Ask us: Treatment options for a 6mm kidney stone

Ask

In our “Ask a kidney stone doctor” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. See other questions and answers or ask your own question here.   January 10, 2012 Question about treatment options for a 6mm … Continue reading

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Ask us: My boyfriend needs to have his stents removed in the operating room

Ask

In our “Ask a kidney stone doctor” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. See other questions and answers or ask your own question here.   December 16, 2011 Question about removal ureteral stents: “(M)y boyfriend … Continue reading

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Does soda drinking cause kidney stones?

Cola

Kidney stone formers often ask us whether their soda drinking caused their kidney stones. Many have already taken the initiative to cut out all their soda, thinking it will help prevent future stones. So, what’s the real deal with soda … Continue reading

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Kidney Stones During Pregnancy

Prenatal-ultrasound

Along with the other challenges faced by women while they are pregnant, you can add the risk of developing a kidney stone. The risk of stone formation during pregnancy. A woman’s physiology changes dramatically during pregnancy, which can influence her … Continue reading

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How long is too long? “I forgot that I had a ureteral stent”

Closeup of an illustration of an encrusted ureteral stent

Many people have ureteral stents placed to prevent or treat urinary tract obstruction, and if you happen to be one of these people, it’s likely that you’re familiar with some of the symptoms of having a stent.  However, it can … Continue reading

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My stent hurts…what should I do?

80% of patients will have discomfort from their stent.  Often this is cramping in the bladder or in the kidney; at times worse with urinating.  A variety of medications can be tried to help with this: 1.  Alpha-blockers (flomax, uroxatral, … Continue reading

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Ask us: Suffering from stones in Ontario, Canada

Ask

In our “Ask a kidney stone doctor” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. Today’s post is from a recurrent stone patient in Ontario, Canada who is sharing his story. See other questions and answers or … Continue reading

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Ask us: Struggling with cystinuria

Ask

In our “Ask a kidney stone doctor” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. Today’s question is about struggling with cystinuria. See other questions and answers or ask your own question here. October 12, 2011 Question … Continue reading

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Ask us: Does chronic use of potassium citrate have any long-term drawbacks?

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In our “Ask a kidney stone doctor” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. Today’s question is about long-term use of potassium citrate. See other questions and answers or ask your own question here.   October … Continue reading

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Ask us: How common is it for homozygous cystinurics to not form a stone?

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In our “Ask a kidney stone doctor” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. Today’s question is about cystinuria. See other questions and answers or ask your own question here.   October 11, 2011 Question from … Continue reading

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Salt Intake and Kidney Stones

Less salt icon

Most individuals think that their calcium and oxalate intake are the main culprits to the formation of their kidney stones.  Because the most common kidney stone type is composed of calcium oxalate, this would seem to suggest that restricting calcium … Continue reading

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Coming to Terms with the Need to be Over-Hydrated – From a Patient’s Perspective

patient's perspective

Water, Water Everywhere: Coming to Terms with the Necessity to be Over-Hydrated. I know the consumption of plenty of water is necessary in order to stay properly hydrated, especially if one lives in a hot and dry climate.  I live … Continue reading

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Ask us: How will I know when a stone has dropped into the bladder?

ask square

In our “Ask a kidney stone doctor” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. Today’s question is about knowing when a stone has passed successfully. See other questions and answers or ask your own question here. … Continue reading

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Ask us: Do I need to treat my 3mm stone?

ask square

In our “Ask a kidney stone doctor” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. Today’s question is about small non-symptomatic kidney stones. See other questions and answers or ask your own question here.   July 22, … Continue reading

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Ask us: How to treat cystine kidney stones in a five year old boy.

Ask a kidney stone doctor a question

In our “Ask a kidney stone doctor” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. Today’s question is about cystine stones in a 5 year old boy. See other questions and answers or ask your own question … Continue reading

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Obesity and Kidney Stones

Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass

Written by Jennifer N. Wu, MD and Roger K. Low, MD University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA. Obesity is a leading public health epidemic with the prevalence in the United States exceeding 30% in most sex and age groups.1 Interestingly, the … Continue reading

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Kidney Stones: Why me? – From a Patient’s Perspective

patient's perspective

A healthy lifestyle: In some ways I’m a typical kidney stone former, but in other respects, I suppose I’m not.  I’m a female in my early sixties who lives in a very hot and dry climate.  I work full-time.  I’ve … Continue reading

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How is a ureteral stent removed?

Diagram of stent with string attached

We previously went over how to place a ureteral stent. In today’s post, we go over the steps of removing a stent. Ureteral stents are removed using two basic methods: 1) By pulling on a stent string, if the string … Continue reading

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Can bacteria be causing my kidney stones?

bacteria

You may already be aware that some kidney stones can result from urinary tract infections. These are the so-called “struvite” stones, which can form large staghorn type stones. What you may not know is that researchers have suggested that bacteria … Continue reading

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How do I know if I am drinking enough?

Urine volume and hydration curve

Graph showing urine output volume by hydration level. At 100% hydration, average urine output is 50 cc/hr or 1200 cc/day. Kidney stone patients should aim for 100 cc/hr or 2400 cc/day. Most kidney stone patients are used to being told … Continue reading

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New insights into stone formation at the American Urological Association meeting 2011

U.S. Capitol

  Why do stones form? Oxidative stress was the main topic of conversation at the American Urological Association meeting in Washington DC last week. Investigators from Valhalla NY reported that oxidative stress may facilitate calcium oxalate crystal formation. In turn, … Continue reading

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Cystine Kidney Stones

Cystine stone crystals in urine

Classic “stop sign” crystals seen in the urine of patients with cystine urinary stone disease are illustrated.  Most cystinurics do not have these crystals in their urine but when they are present they confirm the diagnosis. WHAT ARE CYSTINE STONES? … Continue reading

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How much radiation am I getting from x-rays for my stones?

Radiation exposure from medical imaging

Computerized tomography scanning (CT scans or “cat scans”) have revolutionized the ability of physicians to diagnose kidney stones and has resulted in the vast majority of kidney stones nowadays being correctly diagnosed-the important first step in planning the best treatment … Continue reading

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Can you use Google to track kidney stones?

Google searches for "kidney stones" and monthly temperature

Internet search data can now reveal where and when kidney stones are presenting in almost real time. In the past, gathering information on how often medical conditions (like kidney stones) occur required the meticulous gathering of information from medical records, … Continue reading

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Kidney stones and urinary infections

urease bacteria

Urinary infections and kidney stones can be related in two important ways. Infections can be the direct cause of stones or can develop in a patient with a non-infection related kidney stone. Infections cause kidney stones in about 15% of … Continue reading

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How is a ureteral stent placed?

Diagram of a ureteral stent in position.

If you ever wondered how ureteral stents are placed, we’ll explain the process to you here step by step. Ureteral stents are typically used in two situations: 1) When a stone is causing blockage of the ureter and drainage needs … Continue reading

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Kidney stones becoming more common worldwide

how-common-are-kidney-stones-thumbnail

The bad news: Kidney stone disease appears to be increasing worldwide. In 2008, 1 out of every 11 Americans will experience a kidney stone at some point in their lives. This is up from 1 out of every 20 Americans … Continue reading

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Kidney stones in women

kidney-stones-by-gender

Women appear to be at greater risk of forming kidney stones nowadays than ever before in the past. Previously, doctors observed that stones were 3 times more common in men than women (75% versus 25% of stone formers being men … Continue reading

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