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Is There a Speedy Way to Pass Kidney Stones?

Is There a Speedy Way to Pass Kidney Stones?

Kinga Ka is the world’s fastest rollercoaster, going from zero to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds. That’s enough loosen your fillings, and it’s hard to imagine any doctor prescribing a ride for your good health! But a study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association suggests once around on an ever-so-much-more-sedate coaster like Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain with a max speed of 35 mph might be a good way to dislodge a kidney stone.

Researchers heard that some people claimed they’d passed kidney stones after riding on Big Thunder Mountain. So they made a 3D-model of a kidney, complete with stones and urine, and took it for a several spins at the back of the coaster. The stones passed out of the fake kidney about 64 percent of the time.

Is this a good solution if you’re one of the almost nine percent of Americans who have kidney stones?

Around 90 percent of small stones pass on their own, but if they don’t, the first line of defense is to drink two to three quarts of water daily. Or, you may take a medication that relaxes the ureter (through which urine travels) so the stone can pass more quickly with less pain. Sometimes a small tube is inserted to retrieve the stone. For big stones, shock wave therapy or surgery may be needed. As for rollercoaster therapy? Ask your doc first, and if you go Kinga Ka, think about a mouth guard—or better yet, try a slower coaster!

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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