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Single Kidney - Kidney stones ??

MeMeJoy
Posts: 70
Joined: Apr 2013

It has been a long time since I have posted on here. Quick background- had my left kidney removed ~3 years ago due to MEST - wasn't cancer after all. I know I'm not a cancer patient but I'm having a hard time finding answers online for people with a solitary kidney and was hoping someone could provide a little insight. Last night I went to the ER with back pain (right side) and fever. Was told I don't have an infection and CT scan shows kidney stones in my right kidney. The report did not indicate the size. The ER Doctor dismissed my pain saying "kidney stones don't cause pain unless they are passing" Wondering if anyone has experience with stones in a solitary kidney and if so what action was taken? I do have a follow up appt with my urologist next week. I am still in pain and still running a low grade fever. Thanks for reading :) 

Hd67xlch's picture
Hd67xlch
Posts: 152
Joined: Apr 2016

Back when I had two kidneys I had kidney stones 3 times in the left kidney they eventually took out. Im fortunate that in the solitary right kidney I have left I have not had a stone in it. As far as the pain, in my experiences untill the stone actually starts trying to leave the kidney and move thru the tube from the kidney to the bladder you wont have any severe pain. My 3 stones were relativley small 2mm or smaller and I was able to pass them, only once was the pain great enough to have to go to the ER. Most of the time if the stones are small they are going to want you to pass them naturally, if its large they can do the thing where they blast them into smaller pieces, but either way your going to have to pass everything out. Hope this helps a little.

Good luck

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1449
Joined: Dec 2012

So what they doc is telling you is he didn't find the source of your pain or your fever. What did he say is causing it? Or did he/she admit to not knowing?

Stones don't cause pain until they start passing, then they cause excruciating pain. It's a no-question pain. If your pain is milder/more diffuse, not likely stones. When I went into the ER with stones, they figured out just from how intense the pain was that it was likely a stone.

I'm assuming they did urinalysis and blood tests and those were ok? That's why he said no infection?

My stones were all in the kidney I lost. I've never had them in the other one.

The only other time I had that severe pain and didn't have stones, it was when I was bleeding from my tumor and it was due to blood clots passing. However, I had no fever.

Not sure what to tell you. Hopefully the doc can figure out what it is. Maybe go to a different doc if it continues? Somebody else may figure out what is wrong.

Best wishes,

Todd

MeMeJoy
Posts: 70
Joined: Apr 2013

Thanks for your responses! It's strange - I have had many kidney stones in the past and anytime I have expereienced back pain there is always at least 1 stone in there - even though they aren't supossed to cause pain at that point. In fact, that's how I found out about the tumor that caused me to lose my left kidney.

The ER doc said he had no idea what is causing my pain or fever. Blood work and UA came back normal. Looking at the labs, the only thing  that looks off is Mono% which is high. Not sure what that is or the signifigance.

When I had 2 kidneys, docs just said to let stones pass. But I'm not sure how they handle when there is only 1.

Thanks again for your answers.

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1449
Joined: Dec 2012

It's an excellent question. Do you have an appointment with the urologist soon?

When you're passing a stone, does it block the flow of urine? I don't even know. With two kidneys, the other one can take care of you. With one, I don't know what happens if you get a stone.

If you find out, will you let us know?

Hopefully you just get better. The body does that. It can be pretty incredible. :) I'd like to work on something that fixes itself someday. I'm an engineer. Nothing I work on fixes itself.

Todd

PonyWave's picture
PonyWave
Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2016

I've had a long, hard battle with kidney stones through the years which many doctors were stuck on and so failed to find my kidney cancer. Every time I've had a kidney stone attack I've failed to come back to where my health was previously.  It turns out my urethers are too small so even normal size stones can't pass. Surgeons have tried to remove logged stones but have always had to push them up into the kidney because they couldn't remove them Without doing damage. I will throw up every hour for days, my heart goes crazy, the pain is intense, my breathing is bad and fluid backs up everywhere If I don't receive prompt intervention. The thought of a stone attack is frightening! 

I had pain over my right flank for years and years (a decade) without a break. It wasn't the type of excruciating pain like when in a full fledged stone attack but it was bad enough to be uncomfortable and in need of pain relief.

I'm not sure the pain was due to stones or to the cancer but I still have daily pain over the right kidney even since my partial Right nephrectomy that was done in 2010. And the right kidney continues to form stones. Ive had two lithotripsies and one really really bad stone attack since 2010. Now I'm working with a urologist to try to prevent stone formation. My stone attacks affect my heart throwing it into afib. Now I have afib episodes and extra kidney pain, fluid retention, sob, etc when I'm over tired. Plus I get muscles cramps when I don't take potassium citrate. I was running a low grade fever plus had a lot of kidney failure symptoms in December that might've come about because of an intestinal blockage. I have no idea what was going on and really should've gone to the ER. It took 45 days for the fevers to quit and for all of the weird symptoms to go away But I think my kidneys were able to recover.

I don't know if it's either inflammation or stone irritation that's causing my current kidney pain. My pain also seems to be linked to what I eat as strange as what that may sound like. For instance, I see a direct correlation between eating sweets and that annoying kidney pain! I think my right kidney is really struggling. I also have medullary sponge kidneys - again - whatever that is! 

hardo718's picture
hardo718
Posts: 853
Joined: Jan 2016

My husband has suffered with them. We were told the pain is caused by the stone blocking the flow of urine and then it backs up into the kidney. Until the blockage is relieved, in his case, with a stent going from the bladder to the kidney, he's out of his mind in pain. Had to have 2 lithotripsy treatments for one monster stone. He's had recurrences & we know there's another yet to cause problems.  But so far, in a place not causing problems. Thank God!!  Many theories on how to avoid the development of them. We were told they are typically dependent on whether your body processes calcium correctly or if you typically are in a "dehydrated" state. In my husbands case, he never drinks enough water. Works outside on an airfield and runs like crazy at work & never thinks about staying hydrated. 

Hope this helps clarify a bit.

Donna~

Footstomper's picture
Footstomper
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2014

I strongly feel that, once you've got cancer, you are excused other diseases. My dentist disagrees, but what does he know?

PonyWave's picture
PonyWave
Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2016

Lol. Yeah! I agree! So there!

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