Personal Stories From People With Cystinuria2022-08-05T09:40:57-07:00

Personal Stories From People with Cystinuria

Ever had a kidney stone,
or know someone who has?

If so, you may understand the excruciating pain associated with them. Men and women alike, often describe the experience as the worst and most intense pain of their life. Imagine having multiple kidney stones per week or month. This is the life of a Cystinuric.

Cystinuria is a rare, debilitating genetic disorder characterized by frequent and recurrent kidney stone formation. Those who suffer from Cystinuria can experience kidney stones as frequently as daily. Because there is no cure, a Cystinuric can expect a lifetime of producing kidney stones and dealing with the associated pain and expense.

People suffering from Cystinuria can have frequent hospital visits and surgeries to remove kidney stones or manage the pain related to kidney stones. There are very few options when it comes to therapeutic drugs to manage Cystinuria. Between the cost of surgery, and the drugs to control the disease, life as a Cystinuric can be extremely expensive. Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act protects those with cystinuria and other preexisting conditions from discrimination by health insurance companies.

Cystine stones form very quickly, sometimes overnight, unlike other calcium oxalate stones which can take years to form. The larger stones may require surgical interventions, but surgery is usually the last resort because of the sheer quantity of stones a Cystinuric produces each year.

In the US, Cystinuria affects approximately 1 in 10,000 people, so it’s not unusual for Cystinurics to have to explain their condition to medical staff. Cystinuria does not discriminate, and affects people of all genders, races, ethnicities, and ages.

Cystinuria is a genetic defect the impairs intestinal absorption and renal reabsorption of cystine. Cystine is then excreted at high levels through the kidneys and is insoluble (meaning not able to dissolve). In this environment the cystine crystalizes, forming stones and potentially causing damage to the kidneys.

Through Cystinuria Awareness Day, we hope to bring more awareness, research, and awareness to this debilitating disease.

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Living with cystinuria

Living with cystinuria My name is Mandi Payne and I have been suffering from cystinura for 5 years. Throughout those years I have undergone around 20 surgeries and pain every single day.  I want to share my story because [...]

We can beat this

We can beat this! I began my journey at 16 with 7 stones at once. For years they didn't know what the cause was until I was 20. It has progressively gotten worse. The doctors are still trying [...]

Leslie Whitney

Leslie Leslie Whitney has Cystinuria, a chronic disease characterized by the formation of kidney stones. She keeps pill holders in her car and her cellphone is loaded with apps that remind her to take her medications every day. It’s [...]

My cystinuria and me.

My cystinuria and me. Hello, I am Nathalie, Venezuelan, married, 40 years old and clinical psychologist. My medical history began in 2004, at the age of 23 years with the following symptoms when I woke up one morning, I [...]

Strength and Perseverance

Strength and perseverance NOTE: this is an update to their original story HERE Strength and perseverance are the two words I’ve used in describing any individual with Cystinuria…. and that means my 3 Bare Kids as well. I have [...]

Stone Survior

#stonesurvior My name is Bee Salinas, I am 33 years old and I was diagnosed with cystinuria when I was 18 months old. I have been through countless procedures 25 to be exact. Growing up I didn't get the [...]

Christina Davis

Christina Davis I am 61 years old. I have suffered with Cystinuria since I was about 9yrs. Although I was not diagnosed until I was 17. When I was taking my college physical I was told what I had. [...]

Helen’s Story

Helen's Story Helen Guerra, a 20-year-old resident of Miami, has lived more than half of her young life diagnosed with a rare kidney disease called cystinuria. She led a fulfilling childhood filled with a love for reading, dancing, [...]

Sierra Gibbs

Sierra Gibbs Sierra Gibbs is a sophomore at California State University, Long Beach. Her life may seem like everybody else’s around her, but her story is not.  At 13, while growing up in Colfax, CA, she was diagnosed with [...]

Michael’s Story

A Patient's Story: Michael Eckstut (New Jersey) Skillman resident Michael Eckstut, 69, enjoys a full and rewarding life in his roles as a husband, a father to three grown children, and a successful executive at a pharmaceutical services company. [...]

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