This man described passing a kidney stone as the 'worst pain imaginable', so I can only imagine what I would think it was like... Since that day I've made sure I drink plenty of water.
Just drinking a lot more water is the only treatment that really does help slow or stop the formation for many people.
Seriously, what is the point of this Times article anyway? It's like let's write a big long article about something that means absolutely nothing to anyone and is of zero practical importance except trying to reenforce the dubious idea that good things come out of human suffering.
Doctors often base patient care plans upon the chemistry and molecular components of a patient’s urine. But further research could allow doctors to take advantage of the changing composition of kidney stones themselves, boosting specific ingredients to dissolve the stones completely, without excruciating passage or invasive procedures.
“Now that we know a process by which they’re growing, the question is, how can we flip the switch the other way, and break the stones down?” said Dr. Matlaga, the surgeon. “If you can intervene at a certain time during these events, you might be able to manipulate the process by which the stones are growing.”
I pray that I won’t ever need to consider taking it though (passed one stone last year)
"An apple a day keeps kidney stones away"
I'm guessing this type of microscope: https://www.zeiss.com/microscopy/us/products/confocal-micros...
And I had never heard of the "Basic Principle of Airyscanning" which is pretty neat: https://www.zeiss.com/microscopy/us/products/confocal-micros...
> A high-resolution method, called Airyscan super-resolution microscopy, captured colorful snapshots of organic matter and crystal layers in the kidney stones, “crosscut and truncated” by newer crevices, triangles and other geometrics, Dr. Fouke said.
There are 3 kinds of pain you can experience. From talking and reading, everyone can have different experiences.
The first is when the stone is trying to exit your kidney. I've never been stabbed, but "being stabbed in the kidney" is how I describe this. It is pain you can't escape, but hydration helps. I didn't know you could vomit from pain, but you can. At lower pain levels it is more of a painful twinge. This pain can be constant or "wavy" - I could be crippled for hours or perfectly fine and then switch.
The second is while the stone works its way into the ureathra (I'm probably getting all the locations wrong, but the symptoms are the point). This feels like a UTI - a burning itch and the constant feeling (but not reality) of having to urinate. Despite the low pain levels, I hated this phase the most.
The third is actually passing the stone. This can be a quick sharp pain, no pain at all, or an agonizing drawn out experience. The stones vary in sharpness (stones can have different textures, mine that look managed to catch were clumps of crystal grains and some grit-like mortar, so degrees of effective sharpness also vary. ) "coral" is not a bad description of the material.
Size matters a lot - apparently stones are very normal and people pass tiny ones all the time without knowing. Unfortunately, if one stuck around in the kidneys to get larger and got loose (I have no real idea of what that means in terms of tissues) it can hurt. More unfortunately, the resulting inflamation can trigger more, so it not uncommon to get waves of stones. With a few days or a couple of weeks in between.
Time to pass, indeed, time in each of the three stages can vary. I've been fortunate that most of mine pass in a few days, with the worst taking 3 weeks with an ultrasound attempt to break it up after the first 2 weeks.
I feel fortunate that, despite the intense kidney pain that not everyone gets, I've had only minimal discomfort in actually passing the stones.
One important note: hydration is key to pain reduction. Chug water constantly. My biggest issues were always 2-4 am, when I'd been asleep and not drinking for a few hours - by the time the pain woke me up, I had a few bad hours ahead of me.
There is a lot of folk medicine out there, as well as random advice about diet, including from doctors, but I've not found any convincing nor consistent recommendations beyond water hydration.
Medical treatment is normally to just hydrate and wait it out. Some docs will want an xray to see if they can see if they can see it, but the resolution isn't usually good enough for that to mean anything. A GOOD ct scan can see it, but if are in the US don't bother until a specialist requests it or the specialist will just want it done by them. If the stone is too large to pass on it's own, or taking too long (your call, but probably at 2 weeks) they can hit it with ultrasound to try and break it up into smaller pieces. They may not get it though, so this can take more than one visit.
Lastly, I want to say that debates about pregnancy be kidney pain are stupid. Every experience and every person is different, so let's just agree on "this is big pain" and "big pain is bad" and leave it there. So much of what I found online was just this debate over and over again.
The ultrasonics can break the larger stones but this effects a certain volume. So if you miss or the stone is smaller, then the ultrasonics can damage the surrounding kidney tissue. I had other stones which were confirmed by X-ray but too small to target effectively.
The advice I got from a number of medics, drink > 2 litres of liquid per day (Any liquid). If the urine is still coloured after the first piss of the day, then drink some more. Other than that, there was no confirmed list of things to avoid.
The first time was the worse as you don’t know WTF is going on. After that, I keep my hydration up, carry good painkillers and know when to get to hospital if required.
I agree that the pain debate is pointless, we’re all different.