Tag Archives: diabetes and lithotripsy

Diabetes and Kidney Stones, is there a link?

The above probably hurts less than a kidney stone/  Photo by Evgeni Dinev
The above probably hurts less than a kidney stone/ Photo by Evgeni Dinev

 

As a type 1 diabetic I’ve gone through surgery, had twins, been married, travelled, played sports, lost friends, lost family, been up, been down, etc. etc.  Just when you thought I had done a lot, today I’m going to tell you that by my 24th birthday I had already passed 5 kidney stones.  (But, none since!)

One was 9mm large and couldn’t even pass without medical intervention.  For this “kidney boulder”, as my urologist called it, I needed to have a lithotripsy.  This is essentially a non-invasive procedure where an ultrasound machine is used to send out a bunch of high energy shockwaves aimed precisely at the kidney stone, basically pulverizing it so it can be passed out of the body.  This procedure was called a success and I suppose it was… in the end. 

Just a few hours after the procedure I went right back into the ER with pain greater than what I felt during labor with my twins (although that was pretty mind-numbing, too).  The pain was enough to bump me up in front of some guy in the ER waiting room who was throwing up a lot of blood.  The pain was enough to be maxed out on morphine (I said, “Give me more!” and they said, “We have given you the legal limit, sorry honey!”).  The pain was enough to cause my mind to go a bit loopy because I didn’t think one could stay awake or alive through that kind of pain.  After a few hours of screaming and throwing up all of the bile in my liver it seemed I finally passed all of the stone fragments that were all scraping my insides all at once in a shower of agony.  I was sent home with a lot of morphine pills which kept me feeling quite over the moon for the next month.  They say one forgets intense pain but I don’t forget this experience.  This was 100 times more painful than the other kidney stones I passed.

SO…this is one reason I try to keep my A1c so low with very level blood sugars.  There have been reports stating a correlation between kidney stones and diabetes.  If diabetes is not well managed the body may become very acidic and one can become more likely to form uric acid kidney stones.  And if there is no correlation well…I’ll still be better off with tight glucose control.

Funny how I just found out that recent studies have shown a link between diabetes, high blood pressure, and that shockwave procedure I had done.  Apparently since having that lithotripsy, my risk for high blood pressure is about 1.5 times greater than before having had that procedure.  If I wasn’t a diabetic my chances for diabetes would be about 4 times greater.  That is huge!  Since I’ve got the diabetes part out of the way I’ve contacted my urologist to find out if he has heard this information-especially regarding high blood pressure.  I must say however, I never had high blood pressure until a few months after this procedure.  Since then I’ve maintained the tendency to have borderline high blood pressure.  Hmm…interesting to say the least.  (Info/article on this located here)

In case anyone out there has personal reasons to be interested in this information, I’ll let you know what my urologist says when he is able to call me back.

In the meantime here may be two more great reasons to remember to put blood sugar management first and foremost.  Trust me, you don’t want a kidney stone, and it sounds like you definitely want to avoid a lithotripsy.

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