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Medullary Sponge Kidney
May 2001

Q. I suffer from Medullary Sponge Kidney. I generate large numbers of kidney stones, up to 24 or more at a time. I have had this condition for approximately 6 years and to date Doctors have not given me any relief. All they do is give me morphine and other medications to dull the pain. Is there any remedy or action I can take to improve my condition and slow down the production of my kidney stones? I am in constant pain and at my wits end. Is their any source of information available on this condition?

A. Medullary sponge kidney is named for the sponge-like appearance of the kidney due to multiple small cysts in its structure. Fortunately the kidney function remains quite normal in nearly all cases but there is a higher risk for kidney stones and infection. The evaluation of recurrent stones as you describe, attempts to find abnormalities of the metabolism that can be corrected through medication or diet. Laboratory studies of the blood, a 24-hour urine collection, and analysis of one of the stones if recovered, are the tests that will usually clarify this process and lead to recommendations for preventive treatment.






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