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Kidney stones/Vascular calcification

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  • Kidney stones/Vascular calcification

    I've been a quadriplegic since 1986 when I was 20 years old. The first 25 years never had an issue with kidney stones. In the last 10 years I've had stones removed by scope twice, and the urologist said he used a basket and picked out a bunch. I have a sphincterotomy, and I have passed in a morning 10 or 12. I got these stones analyzed, and they are 100% (Oxalate), since that happened I have stopped eating any spinach or almonds.
    I just had a CT scan (abdominal-pelvic) and I have a sizable staghorn kidney stone, and the scan also picked up vascular calcification in my abdominal/pelvic region… I would assume that must be in my chest as well?
    I don't drink milk, don't take a calcium supplement. I do eat full fat Greek yogurt.

    Any idea why so many stones? And is the vascular calcification correlated, and what could be done about it?

  • #2
    Did your bladder management change during that time?

    Urinary stones have no relationship to atherosclerosis in your arteries. Fatty deposits laid down in your arteries and related to abnormal lipid profiles, genetics, and hypertension, and over the long run, they can become calcified. Arterial bypass surgery may be needed if these block blood flow to vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, or liver, or interfere with blood flow to the extremitites.

    Oxalate urinary stones can also be associated with excessive amounts of ingestion of cranberry juice or supplements, so I hope you have cut back there too. Do you live in a "stone belt" state or have relatives with a history of kidney stones? This can also be a factor.

    The staghorn stone needs to be removed. Is there a plan for this? Are you a candidate for ESWL? These types of stones are often associated with chronic colonization and UTIs with klebsiella and pseudomonas as well.

    Once you have had stones, it is common to get them again, so continued annual surveillance for stones in your entire urinary tract should b part of your on-going health care regimen.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


    • #3
      Thanks again for your assistance KLD
      I had a sphincterotomy shortly after my acute injury in 1986. I have had ongoing problems with resistant Pseudomonas infections for at least the last 20 years. I don't drink cranberry juice, and never have, as I believe I read they were only effective against E. coli, I have always had Pseudomonas. I take very few supplements, magnesium for sleep, and to avoid constipation, and recently added vitamin D drops with the coronavirus situation. None of my family members have ever had one kidney stone.

      My cholesterol has never been higher than 170, and I started Keto diet three or so years ago. My latest cholesterol is 120, triglycerides, 81 HDL 35 LDL 68. Always have had problems with low HDL.
      Thanks again for your help


      • #4
        For some reason my left kidney seems predisposed to developing stones. Not large, in the 5 to 6 mm range. They are nonobstructing, although they get right up to the size range of where they can be a problem. I get kidney ultrasounds twice a year and the stones periodically disappear and then reappear. I have to assume that they drop out and then redevelop. I never am aware of passing the stone, though perhaps when I have a bad episode of spasms for a period of time, perhaps that is when it is passing through the ureter. I am discouraged that they keep reappearing. I do 24 hour urines every year and my oxalates are within range. Plus, I stay away from high oxalate foods and make a point to drink plenty of water.

        I do however take concentrated cranberry supplements twice a day and plan on tapering that down or stopping that altogether, since cranberry can break down into products containing oxalate or oxalate itself. I take Hipprex and use Hydrocleanse anyway, so perhaps is overkill to prevent UTI. Anyway cranberry, as far as I know, is still scientifically unproven to reduce the incidence of UTI.

        One thing for sure, it is most likely much easier and safer to get a stone removed when it is small and wait until it becomes the size of a marble or golfball.