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Nephrology/Kidney stones


I'm a 48 yo female with 15 years of kidney stones.  It took years for me to actually catch a stone in  a strainer, but in the last year if have caught about 8.  I have taken 2 of them to my internist to be analyzed.  My history......all of my stones, with the exception of one, passed on their own.  In 2010, one got stuck in the distal ureter and had to be retrieved during cystoscopy.  That caused a stricture which then required a couple of stents, then a nephrostomy,  and finally ureter reimplantation.  Since then, kidney stone formation and passage has kicked into high gear.....I pass one stone a month, consistently, from that kidney.  That process of stricture to repair took 4 months with constant infection and pain.  Now, for my question......could that have damaged that kidney?  The reason I ask is that the two kidney stones that have been analyzed have the same result......the only component is 100% protein.  Is there a stone that could be reported as 100% protein? Or is this some sort of debris due to some kind of kidney damage?  Thanks so much for any information you can provide.  As you can imagine, I hate the thought of having to live in kidney stone hell for the rest of my life, and would love to find an answer to stop this madness.

Good morning, Cathey,

First, let me apologize the the delay in responding to your question.  Somehow, my correspondence spun into cyberspace never to be seen again.  So, let me respond again.

Kidney stones are "stones" not clumps of protein which would more likely be pieces of tissue which are being passed.

There are essentially three types of stones:

    Calcium containing stones, the most common  being calcium oxalate
    Uric acid stones
    Struvite stones which tend to be related to associated urinary infection.

It is absolutely essential that your stones be analyzed for content for the nature of the stone would dictate therapy.

Unfortunately, it can take a very long time for a stone to form and pass, so stones you are now passing could have formed years ago. This also makes it difficult to know whether or not any therapeutic intervention is effective.

Many kidney stones are related to the over excretion of calcium.  You could benefit from a 24 hour urine collection for calcium excretion.  If it is elevated, a low salt diet and a medication called hydrothlorthiazide (usually prescribed as a diuretic but which also reduces calcium excretion) could reduce the number of stoned that you form.  But, it is important, first, to analyze a stone to determine its composition.  If you do not have calcium containing stoned the above would not be of any help to you.

In answer to your question, it is certainly possible that recurrent urinary infection that occurred in conjunction with your ureteral repair and implantation could have injured the kidney.  Be advised, however, that you do have two kidneys and it would be highly unlikely for you to have incurred enough damage to have significantly effected your kidney's ability to perform its function.

If you can get me some analysis over and above "100% protein" of a stone I'll try to comment further.

Lastly, no matter what constitutes the nature of the stone, aggressive hydration will reduce their formation.  That would be defined as 8 ounces of fluid hourly with sufficient amounts to keep you getting up at night, every hour or so. Not as bad as a stone but, still,  a real pain!

Thanks for the question, and again, please feel free to follow up.

Very sincerely,

Dr Falkinburg  


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Newell R. Falkinburg, M.D., FACP


I am a board certified nephrologist and emeritus professor of medicine at a major medical school and past Director of Nephrology & Hypertension at a university affiliated hospital. I have expertise in all areas of clinical nephrology, dialysis, transplantation and plasmapheresis.


Professor of medicine Director of Nephrology


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