Roller coaster to eliminate kidney stones

Roller coaster to eliminate kidney stones


It sounds like a joke, but two US doctors They discovered that this unconventional method serves not only to have a good time and activate the adrenaline, but to lose the annoying kidney stones.

USA Florida - Disney World Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Getty Images / Disney Parks / C. Rice)

The urologist David Wartinger confesses that the original idea was had by a patient of his, who told him that “he had gone to Disneyland, there he climbed on a roller coaster and after a few minutes of going down, he expelled a kidney stone”.

Obviously the shaking and movements during the trip detached the deposits in the kidney of the patient and this one later eliminated the stone by means of the urine.

Wartinger relates that man had a total of three kidney stones. So after the unexpected success, he climbed back to the roller coaster and something incredible happened. After the second journey he got rid of the second stone and at the end of the third trip his kidney was completely free of stones.

Not any roller coaster serves

The doctors made a silicone model of this patient’s kidney, obstructed it with crumbs similar to kidney stones and filled it with urine. Armed with this curious model they climbed a roller coaster in Disneyland. “The first ten trips were very fun,” Wartinger recalls and laughs. “But in the next 20 we already felt like we had a car accident.” The two doctors made 360 ​​roller coaster trips with their renal model.

His research was awarded on September 13, 2018 with the Ig Nobel of Medicine, a very special award that is granted by scientific discoveries that “first make people laugh and then think”. A few days later, Wartinger presented the results of his research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Cambridge, USA. There he revealed that roller coasters effectively help fight kidney stones.

David WartingerDavid Wartinger

But not any of these attractions serves. It has to be one like the Big Thunder Mountain Railroadin Disneyland. “It’s not the most exciting, it gets just 3 out of 5 possible points on a roller coaster scale,” explains the scientist. But what counts is that it constantly goes up and down and moves a lot from left to right. “It’s like tripping,” says Wartinger, interviewed by DW. The expert also has another recommendation for those who suffer from kidney stones: “You have to sit well back in the last carriage of the roller coaster, that’s as effective as getting rid of stones.”

Big frustrated plans

Today David Wartinger is retired. Not because of their particular research method, but simply because they have reached the corresponding age. He is very sorry that he could not have been able to carry out a clinical study on his discoveries. The idea failed because no amusement park was willing to cooperate. “I contacted all the possible theme parks, but everyone kindly rejected the idea,” Wartinger tells DW. No park wanted the researchers to visit them together with an experimental group and an ultrasound team.

So renal patients have no choice but to experiment on their own if a rollercoaster ride can put an end to their discomfort. Wartinger recommends it without hesitation: “If I had a kidney stone, I would not stop trying at least.” Especially if it is small stones it seems that the chances of ejecting them are relatively high. On the other hand, if the calculations grow, it is necessary to destroy them and eliminate them by means of an endoscopic operation.

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