I’ve done some reading. Here are a few kidney stones-related facts from the literature:
- 13% of men and 7% of women get kidney stones in their lifetimes, though often asymptomatically. Source: Fink et al. (2013).
- There have been just two RCTs on the effect of increased water consumption on recurrence of kidney stones. One found an effect and the other didn’t. Observational studies suggest a benefit. Though this is a thin base of evidence to go on, increased water consumption does no harm. About 3 liters per day (or about 12.5 cups) is recommended. Sources: Fink et al. (2013), Bao (2012).
- Since most kidney stones are of the calcium oxalate type, many stone makers may be interested in a low-oxalate diet. Very good resources for oxalate content of foods are here (via Goldfarb and Nazzal (2013)). More kidney stone diet info here, though such things are not hard to find.
- It appears as if I was dosed with narcotics at the ED unnecessarily during my bout with the stone. A Cochrane review found that NSAIDs work just as well as opioids for renal colic and have fewer complications. Notice that this is not the kind of thing an empowered and/or savvy consumer could easily discover at the time of treatment. I am savvy, but I was in no condition to conduct research or question the practitioner. The drug was generously given and gratefully received. That is, I was a satisfied patient. Nevertheless, evidence suggests, it was the wrong drug. There’s only so much a consumer can do about clinical- vs. satisfaction-type quality.