Kidney stones are hard deposits made from salt and minerals from inside your kidneys. They form when urine becomes too concentrated, which allows the minerals to crystallize and stick together.
Passing a kidney stone can be a painful experience. Sometimes the stones get lodged in the urinary tract and can cause infections or complications that require surgery. However, for those looking for a cheaper solution, kidney stones have flown out of people while riding on roller coasters. Urological Surgeon David Wartinger conducted a study and found that the centripetal force of roller coasters helps pass the stones. But if you’re not a thrill seeker, some pain medication and drinking lots of water may help the stones pass.
How do you know if you have a kidney stone?
Common symptoms include pain in the side and back, below the ribs, pain while urinating, accompanied by pink, red or brown urine. Risk factors include a family history of kidney stones, dehydration, a salty diet and a high body mass index.
If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms, you should see a doctor.
Harvard Health provides a 5 step guide for preventing kidney stones. It includes drinking plenty of water, getting enough calcium, eating less salt, eating less animal protein and avoiding stone forming foods, such as chocolate.
However, if you do experience a kidney stone, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Some of history’s greats have suffered from the ailment. Famous kidney stone sufferers include Bond actor Roger Moore, renaissance painter Michelangelo, singer Bing Crosby, Roman emperor Augustus, president Lyndon B Johnson, scientist Sir Issac Newton and founding father Benjamin Franklin.
According to Guinness World Records, the world’s largest kidney stone was 5.11 inches (13cm) wide. The unlucky producer of this record was Hemendra Shah of Mumbai India. The stone had to be surgically removed in 2004.