I drank a lot of milk throughout college; as an ectomorph with a vicious metabolism, the only way I could get my calories high enough to gain weight was with the help of a glass of milk between every big meal. It worked to help me gain weight during that time-frame, but it also wrecked my kidneys, and particularly, my right kidney. And unfortunately, it took me too long to appreciate the pains emanating from my right kidney and rectify my flawed diet. But when I finally did make the changes, it didn't take long for the pains in my right kidney to subside completely. Watching my calcium, oxalate, purine, phosphate, fructose, and alcohol consumption kept me clean and pain-free for over two years.
But just this week, the pains started coming back. I had gotten some new stones again, at that same vulnerable kidney to my right side. How could this be!? My diet hadn't changed at all this week. All I had new this week as opposed to recent weeks was that I had taken creatine - but even that dosage was well-below standard. Whereas most people take up to 5g per day, I was only taking 250mg. Could such a small dose have been the problem? I didn't think so.
I increased my banana consumption, and started taking some magnesium citrate, the golden methods to control any kind of calcium or acid-induced stones. But my pains felt like they were growing even more severe.
Back to the drawing board: my kidney became more alkaline via the citrate, and there was more magnesium present, but still, my kidney pain grew. A quick search on wikipedia identified Struvite stones; occuring in 10-15% of all kidney stones, these stones are comprised of magnesium, ammonium and phosphate, and the crystals precipitate only in alkaline (basic) conditions. The ammonium and the alkaline conditions are usually provided by bacteria in the kidney that contain the enzyme, urease, which break down urea to ammonium. A quick search on creatine showed me that creatine metabolism can increase urea. Was it possible that my creatine usage provided urea, which fed the urease-containing bacteria in my kidney (in the process increasing their colony count to the status of an infection, since increasing resources increases the population count), which then increased ammonium content in the kidney, leading to the ripe conditions for a Struvite stone? Add in that my diet is always rich in magnesium, and that phosphate is nearly impossible to avoid, we had all the pieces in place for a strong Struvite stone. I likely suffered an infection in my kidney that was only made worse by my magnesium citrate and banana consumption.
Later that night, I cut out vegetables and fruits, and ate cheese and meats to try to acidify my kidney and reduce the solubility of the struvite stones. I woke up the next morning, with no pain. 12 hours later pain-free, and I'm going to take it as a sign that the stone(s) was passed.
Kidney stones are complicated, and require scrutiny of a whole lot of factors to understand what you've got, and how you're going to approach them.
What to eat, what to take, and everything else you need to know to protect and preserve the human body's filter.
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