Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Kidney stones are common. Some types run in families. They often occur in premature infants.
There are different types of kidney stones. The exact cause depends on the type of stone.
Stones can form when urine contains too much of certain substances. These substances can create small crystals that become stones. The stones take weeks or months to form.
•Calcium stones are most common. They are more common in men between age 20-30. Calcium can combine with other substances, such as oxalate (the most common substance), phosphate, or carbonate to form the stone. Oxalate is present in certain foods such as spinach. It's also found in vitamin C supplements. Diseases of the small intestine increase your risk of these stones.
•Cystine stones can form in people who have cystinuria. This disorder runs in families and affects both men and women.
•Struvite stones are mostly found in women who have a urinary tract infection. These stones can grow very large and can block the kidney, ureter, or bladder.
•Uric acid stones are more common in men than in women. They can occur with gout or chemotherapy.
•Other substances also can form stones including the medications acyclovir, indinavir, and triamterene.
The biggest risk factor for kidney stones is not drinking enough fluids. Kidney stones are more likely to occur if you make less than 1 liter of urine a day. That's slightly more than a quart.
I have had chronic kidney stones since my early 20's so I am familiar with the pain involved, not very pleasent.
As hrsepwrguy says there is no connection between kidney stones and hepatitis C. Having hepatitis C does not give anyone a free pass regarding other medical diseases and conditions. Kidney stone often is hereditary so you should ask if any relatives also had kidney stones.
Taking pain killers for the pain is not the proper treatment for kidney stones. Taking a pain killer to avoid the pain is not good medicine. It is masking the underlying condition which can be a serious one. A hepatologist is not an expert in kidney disease. They should refer you to a Urologist. A Urologist specializes in diseases and conditions of the kidneys and urinary track. They will perform some tests to determine what type of stones you may have, how many and how large your kidney stones are. A KUB (kidney, ureter, bladder) x-ray is usually given to see the stone's location and estimate their size. Also you mentioned you had an MRI recently. If it was an MRI of the abdomen, the stones would have been seen in the MRI. If they are small and can pass then a pain killer to help you pass the stones is appropriate. If a stone is too large to exist naturally it can become stuck in a ureter and block the flow of urine from the kidney. If this should happen for too long it can damage your kidney or cause kidney failure. Not something you want to happen which is why you need to see a Urologist very soon.
As the above text states, a change in diet and the amount of water a person drink can lessen the future chances of recurring stones. But there are some of us like hrsepwrguy and myself, that have stones chronically. When ever I have an ultrasound, CT scan or MRI kidney stones are found. I have some form of imaging done at least ever 6 months due to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Most of the time they are small enough to pass. In the last few years I have had to had stones removed by either capturing the stone or blasting the stone with a laser.
I have had about 15 stones over the last 15 years and had 3 procedures were I was hospitalized to remove kidney stones that were too large to exist on their own.
Good luck to you.
Thankfully, it passed, but not before days of agonizing pain. I developed a low fever and was at risk for Urosepsis, a potentially fatal systemic infection. The mere threat of a retrograde procedure scared that stone right out.
I do disagree w above re pain meds. Pain meds + hydration +Flomax is all we can do.
As a radiologist, I diagnosed myself using clinical history and US, no radiation. Too much radiation is bad. No need for a CT all the time.
Glad it's gone, another hurdle cleared.
Hi. I know of someone with chronic kidney stones (non-tx related). He has been on several different pain meds for years trying to manage the problem. Last year, at his wits end, he found some sort of herbal doctor (I think) who had him weed out a lot of stuff in his diet and put him on something else to flush out his system (sorry I do not know what it was called). He was in terrible pain through the process but passed more stones than he ever had, and felt more relief than he ever had. He does still get them but significantly less frequently. So there are alternatives you may consider researching, instead of just masking the pain.
Wishing you the best,