How a roller coaster ride could help with kidney stones

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There are stories of people going on roller coasters and then passing smaller kidney stones with little pain

(WYTV) – Once upon a time, I had a kidney stone. The doctors used lithotripsy to blast it into tiny pieces so they came out of my body the only way they could, short of surgery.

As doctors tell us, kidney stones are “hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys” and, basically, need to come out before they grow too large.

So can you take your kidney and shake until the little rocks come out? No — but you could go for a roller coaster ride.

There are stories of people going on roller coasters and then passing smaller kidney stones with little pain.

In 2016, a patient of Dr. David Wartinger, a urological surgeon at Michigan State University, vacationed at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This patient rode Thunder Mountain three times and after each ride, passed a tiny kidney stone.

Dr. Wartinger and other researchers went for lots of rides on Big Thunder. The New York Times explains the doctors came with a model kidney and watched small stones move and leave the kidney on their way out the body.

The back of the roller coaster is better than the front for this — 64% versus 17%. A bumpier ride in the back jostles your kidneys more.

This roller coaster therapy doesn’t work for all kidney stone patients. The larger stones were simply too big to be dislodged, but it might be worth a try.

By the way, actor William Shatner once passed a large kidney stone in 2005 and auctioned it. The winner was an online casino called Golden Palace that bought the Shatner stone for $25,000.

Captain Kirk quickly donated the money to Habitat for Humanity. He joked that the stone had gone where no stone had gone before and this would be the first Habitat for Humanity house built out of stone.

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