There is an area in the southern United States that extends from Washington, DC to Louisiana that is known as ‘The Stone Belt’.  I first learned about it a few years ago after being diagnosed with gall stones, though it is primarily related to kidney stones.

Scientists disagree as to the cause of its prevalence here but the dehydrating effects of high humidity tops most lists.  We also have a lot of minerals in our water, especially calcium which is another contributing factor.  And lets not forget sweet southern iced tea and the colas we slurp down.  But although sugar is on some lists of possible causes, it isn’t particularly high on all.

Caffeine is also a culprit and is present in our morning coffee, the afore-mentioned tea and cola, and our favorite dessert – chocolate.  The calcium in dairy is another problem.  And we consume our fair share of cheese, yogurt, milk and even the occasional ice cream.

Whatever the cause, it has hit home at my house.  Yesterday, after my husband had a sudden attack of severe pain in his kidneys that would last for several minutes before subsiding and then return every time he went to the bathroom, we ended up seeking medical attention.

Diagnosis: kidney stones.

We shouldn’t have been surprised.  And a stone can be as small as a grain of sand and still cause immense pain.  Ouch!

The best case scenario is that he’ll pass it on his own.  Next involves a few medical procedures ranging from bursting with sound waves to digging out physically – which sounds horrible.

So, he’s consuming LOTS of fluids – mostly bottled water – and waiting for the stone to pass.  We’ve been told he may not know when it does.  Others say he will definitely know when and if it passes.

Any tips?  Have you or someone you love experienced a kidney stone?  If so, what did you – or they – do?