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[Chinese and Western Medicine Viewpoint]Roller Coaster Therapy Can Remove Calculus Doctor: No Empirical Research

[Chinese and Western Medicine Viewpoint]Roller Coaster Therapy Can Remove Calculus Doctor: No Empirical Research

Text: Li Yundi “Ming Pao”

(Hong Kong News) Does riding a roller coaster really help pass stones? Under what circumstances will stones pass out of the body naturally?

Urolithiasis refers to stones that appear in the kidneys, ureters, and bladder.

Earlier, foreign media reported that American woman Steph Fallon uploaded a video on a social platform, saying that she was troubled by kidney stones. When searching for “self-healing” methods online, she found several articles mentioning “roller coaster therapy”, so she went to a theme park to play I went on the roller coaster twice, and passed out stones when I went to the toilet the next day.

less than 4 mm can be discharged naturally

In fact, as early as 2016, David D. Wartinger, a scholar at Michigan State University, had done related research. It happened that during his clinical diagnosis, he found that many patients with urinary tract stones would pass some stones after riding the roller coaster.

So, he used 3D printing technology to make a human kidney model,

Inject urine into it,

And put real stones of different sizes into the model,

Afterwards he put the model in a backpack and went on a roller coaster ride.

It was found that placing the model on the front and back seats of the roller coaster,

The probability of stone dislodgement was 16% and 63% respectively.

The results of this study were published in the academic journal

(Journal of Osteopathic Medicine).

Dr. Zhang Haowan from the Department of Urology said that the ureter is a bridge between the kidney and the bladder. It is like a long and thin water pipe with a length of about 20 to 25 cm and a diameter of about 3 to 4 mm. If the diameter of the stone is less than 4 mm, it can be discharged naturally.

The American woman did not detail her condition on social platforms, including the size and location of the stones, whether she had received treatment before, etc.; from the perspective of a urologist, it is impossible to judge whether the roller coaster is related to the natural discharge of stones.

As for the above study, the diameter of the stones used was as small as 1 to 2 mm, as medium as 2 to 3 mm, and as large as 4 mm.

Zhang Haowan said: “Even without the centrifugal force of a roller coaster, it is not surprising to fall out naturally. But if it is a stone with a diameter of more than 6 mm, it is more difficult to fall out naturally.”

Moreover, the structure of the human body is more complex than the model made in the laboratory. Sometimes some conditions, such as bacterial infection, may affect the operation of the urinary system, so no assumptions can be made. More importantly, some people find it difficult to accept the powerful speed and centrifugal force generated when riding a roller coaster. “The medical profession has been using the treatment method for a long time, so it is more at ease”!

Lower abdominal cramps caused by ureteral stones

Whether urinary stones can pass naturally depends on many factors. Zhang Haowan pointed out that in addition to the volume of stones, the composition is also very important. Calcium oxalate stones and uric acid stones are the two most common types of ureteral stones. The former is hard and difficult to pass naturally; the latter is soft and broken and relatively easy to pass naturally.

Another factor is the location of the stone. Urinary tract stones do not necessarily have symptoms, and are usually known through physical examination. If kidney stones are found to be too large, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy can be performed to shrink the stones. If they fall into the ureter, they will not cause obstruction and can be passed out naturally.

The most worrying thing is ureteral stones, which are usually kidney stones that fall into the ureter. If the ureter is blocked, it will affect the ability to discharge the stones, cause lower abdominal cramps, and may even affect kidney function. The ureter can be divided into upper, middle and lower 3 segments.

She said that according to a British study in 2022, if a stone with a diameter of less than 5 mm is in the last section of the ureter (that is, close to the bladder, about 6 to 7 cm above the bladder), there is an 83% chance that it can be discharged naturally. In the middle part of the ureter, 69% can be discharged naturally, and in the upper part, only 50%

Drink plenty of water and add medicine to naturally remove stones

For the treatment of ureteral stones with a diameter less than 4 mm, if the condition permits, doctors hope that patients will try to pass them naturally first, so as to reduce the trauma with this kind of “natural therapy”. But who is it suitable for?

Dr. Zhang Haowan from the Department of Urology pointed out that the two kidneys are functioning normally, and there are no symptoms such as fever and low back pain, and there are no complications such as nephritis or renal edema caused by urinary tract obstruction. Doctors generally recommend conservative treatment for 2 to 4 weeks.

“In addition to drinking plenty of water (drinking 2 to 3 liters per day), there are also prescription auxiliary drugs, such as Alpha-1 receptor blockers, which can help relax ureteral smooth muscle and prevent ureteral contraction to relieve urethral obstruction.”

Poor renal function not treated conservatively

“If the ureteral stones press against the inner wall of the ureter and cause pain, the doctor will prescribe non-steroidal painkillers. I hope that a multi-pronged approach will increase the chances of the natural passage of the stones.”

After that, the doctor will decide on the next treatment plan depending on the condition, such as whether the ureteral stones pass naturally or continue to grow, such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, ureteroscopic lithotripsy (stone extraction through an endoscope), etc.

For patients with poor kidney function, such as only one kidney functioning, or other kidney problems, such as renal edema, urinary tract infection, fever, etc., even if the diameter of the ureteral stone is less than 4 mm, the doctor will not adopt conservative treatment. In order to avoid further damage to the kidneys, the kidneys must be treated first.

Renal edema caused by ureteral stones

Zhang Haowan once came into contact with a patient over 80 years old. Ureteral stones obstructed the ureter, and the urine could not be discharged smoothly, causing renal edema, renal function deterioration, and even septicemia. The bacteria invaded the blood circulation system and caused systemic inflammation, which was life-threatening.

“The most urgent task is to restore the kidney to normal state as soon as possible, so the percutaneous nephrostomy (PCN) was used to puncture the kidney from the back of the waist through the skin, and a catheter was inserted to drain the hydronephrosis. After a few weeks, the condition stabilized. Take out the stone.”

Drink less water, strong taste, less toilet

Accumulated heat and dampness in the bladder is prone to stones

How does Chinese medicine treat urinary calculi? It is mainly caused by heat and humidity. In addition to drinking less water, if the diet is biased towards heavy flavors, fatty and other wet and heavy foods, it is easy to cause crystallization in the body.

Li Zhuomei, a Chinese medicine doctor, said that some people may reduce the frequency of going to the toilet due to work, which will increase the concentration of urine, accumulate dampness and heat in the bladder, and easily develop stones.

Diuretics begin to break down stones

“Chinese medicine will start from the aspects of clearing away heat, detoxification and diuresis in order to decompose the stones and slowly pass them out through urination. “Four golds” are common Chinese medicines for treating stones, that is, sea jinsha, money grass, gallinaceous gold, and turmeric; modern research refers to ” “Four golds” help stones to be discharged by inhibiting the formation of calcium oxalate, diuresis, and expanding smooth muscle.

As for some people claiming to pass out stones after riding the roller coaster, Li Zhuomei estimated that the stones may be located in the lower part of the ureter, and combined with the basic theory of Chinese medicine that “fear leads to depression”, the stones can be passed out of the body the next day.

The “Huangdi Neijing” states, “All diseases arise from qi…fear will cause qi to fall”. It means that the physical condition is affected by emotional activities, which in turn affects the body’s qi (organ activity); and most diseases are caused by the imbalance of qi. Any emotional activity involving “fear” will cause timidity and fear.

“Fear leads to lower qi” means that when a person is in a state of “fear”, the whole body’s qi will rush downward. Therefore, when the exam is approaching, some people have to urinate frequently and have diarrhea. Because the lady was playing a roller coaster, the downward movement of Qi may help “wash away” the stones.

Health food therapy invigorates the spleen and dampness

In addition, sleep is closely related to the movement of qi and blood in the body. If you get enough sleep, you will be full of energy and vigorous qi and blood the next day, which will also help the recovery of body functions.

Li Zhuomei estimated that many factors cooperated to order the American lady to expel the stones.

Li Zhuomei recommends the following two health-care diets, which have the effects of invigorating the spleen and dampness, reducing swelling and detoxification, and can be used by ordinary people to prevent urinary tract stones. Patients with urinary calculi should seek medical treatment as soon as possible and receive appropriate treatment. Diet therapy is auxiliary in order to reduce the possibility of recurrence.

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