I’m sure that you, at some point in your life, have heard people talking at work or school about how “so and so” called in sick because they were passing a kidney stone. You probably thought to yourself, “What a woos! Those things are small and they are just being a baby about this!”. Let me be the first to tell you that those spiky little rocks conjured up by Satan alone are the most pain I have ever been through, and I’ve incurred my fair share of injuries and illnesses in my lifetime!
I started this journey when I was on deployment and got excessively dehydrated while working in our Engine room on a submarine (it was often hot boxed at around 110 degrees with no relief anywhere in sight). Normal human beings would just drink more water, but Submariners don’t have the luxury of places to relieve ourselves during our 6 hours standing the watch, which coupled with only 12 hours after watch to do all of your maintenance, studying, collateral duties etc., you tend to not live up to the definition of a well hydrated individual! So, there I was doubled over in pain in the Doc’s office, screaming bloody murder about things that can’t be described here without a mature label being slapped onto my blog, when he pricks me with a needle in my lower back out of nowhere! I was stunned at first! As I’m about to yell (ask politely) what he just did, all of the pain was gone… I was feeling amazing! Unfortunately, I was unable to pass this stone within the time that makes home port medical comfortable, so I was taken off the boat and brought home until I could pass it on my own.
Fast-forward 9 years later and I have had about 1 stone episode a year (on average), with some years having none at all. What was the cause of those years without stones? I wasn’t actively losing weight. It would figure that the one thing that is good for you is also bad for your body if done in the wrong ways. It’s proven that obesity and extreme weight loss strategies put you at risk of kidney stones by the National Kidney Foundation (1). High-protein, low-carb diets can cause uric acid buildup due to excessive protein! Well dang… if I would have known that almost a decade ago, I would have been a lot more vigilant in preventing these from starting!
My situation is a bit extreme due to the frequency that I can get them now as a result of prior episodes, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t happen to you if you don’t take precautions! If you are worried about your diet potentially causing these prickly urine cacti, talk to your doctor or nutritionist to make recommendation on what you can do to prevent them. It would be better to be safe than royally hating everything about your left or right side for a couple of weeks a year!
I hope that you enjoyed reading my discussion on risks of kidney stones during weight loss! Please follow my blog here as well as my Facebook group linked below for further content!