65: Kidney Stone Roller Coaster

65: Kidney Stone Roller Coaster

Brain Junk
Brain Junk
65: Kidney Stone Roller Coaster

Medical science on the fly. Turns out you only need to pull a few G’s to loosen that stubborn kidney stone.


Episode Transcript: 

Welcome to Brain Junk. I’m Trace Kerr, and I’m Amy Barton, and this is a brainstorm. 


AB: Are you a roller coaster fan Trace? 

TK: Nope. 

AB: Oh, me either. So this is never going to help us. 

TK: I like roller coasters from the ground at a distance where I can hear the people scream and that’s about it. 

AB: Yeah, I am the backpack holder on that voyage. Yep. It’s my favorite thing to do at a theme park is to stand there with the backpacks cause it’s peaceful and nobody bothers me. They’re like look at that nice mom. She’s holding all the backpacks. Well, scientists have been awarded an Ig Nobel prize for their research regarding rollercoasters and the effectiveness of removing kidney stones. 

TK: Oh No. I have a friend who had a horrible kidney stone go to the hospital thing this year. So, okay. I’ve gone to the theme park. Right. And she likes roller coasters. All right, well this is good. Okay. Fill me in. 

AB: The way they figured this out was the doctor had Dr. Mark Mitchell and David Wharton, of Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, had a patient come in and he had been on a rollercoaster and passed a kidney stone and he’s like, that was either a big coincidence or maybe it worked. And so he rode again, and it happened again. And so the patient came back and he told his doctor. And you know, like we all tell our doctor, ‘I found this thing on web MD and it totally works’. So, but the doctor, you know, they talked about it and 

TK : They love that. 

AB: Yes. So professor Whartinger, he built a silicone model of his patient’s renal system and I totally wish I was at the theme park when this happened. He brought the renal system on the rollercoaster, including artificial kidney stones and took it with him and he rode the roller coaster and he watched to see what would happen. And the artificial renal system pass to kidney stones. Big Thunder Mountain at Disney world in particular has an effective level of that vibration and the ups. And the downs and ups it rattles on loose. 

TK: So this would be like if your kidney stone was stuck somewhere between your bladder pain, the exit, right. Hop on the roller coaster and it’s going to move it closer to the end. 

AB: Yeah. 

TK: Wow.

AB: Amazing. Huh. 

TK: That is pretty amazing. It’s excellent. But we were talking the other day about this and there’s also a lot of hazards to ride the roller coaster too. There’s some bad medical stuff we’re not going to talk about that we’re just going to talk about. I’m trying to imagine this fellow has this bag thing and it’s got the renal stuff and it’s probably got water and everything, all loaded..

AB: Trying to get the rollercoaster guy into letting him take it..

TK:  that they actually let him take it on there! 

AB: It seems irresponsible. ‘trust me. I’ll hold on tight. I’ll buckle it in just like this.’ 

TK: Yeah. You know… 

AB: And the 17 year old is like, ‘well, he said he was a doctor. 

TK: I don’t know. He flashed this badge at me. I thought it was legit. He was holding on really tight. 

AB: It seemed legit. It was fine.’ Wow. On Big Thunder Mountain.  

TK: Well, if you want to hear more, we’re on Facebook and Instagram as brain junk podcast, and you can find us on Twitter as at my brain junk, Amy and I will catch you next time with more of everything you never knew you wanted to know, and I guarantee you will not be bored.  

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