Roller Coaster Ride To Cure Kidney Stones ?

Written By Athulya Nambiar | Mumbai | Published:


  • A study states that roller coaster rides help in passing of kidney stones
  • The study was carried out at Disney World

Are you suffering from kidney stones? Take a roller coaster ride. Yes, for the rate of one ticket at an amusement park, you can probably get kidney stones cured. This was first reported two years ago in 2016 when a doctor from Michigan noticed that a gentleman passed a kidney stone when he took a ride on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. On his second ride, the gentleman passed one more kidney stone.

Dr. David Wartinger, a urological surgeon, who could not ignore this occurrence carried out an informal study at Walt Disney World. He along with his colleague used a 3-D printed silicone "kidney," filled with (real) stones and (yes, real) urine for the study. They rode the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 60 times and found that the stones passed 63.89 per cent of the time in the rear of the car, but just 16.67 per cent in the front.

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This is attributed to the visceral reflex we undergo on the ride. Visceral reaction is reflexes that occur in the soft tissue organs of the body like the reproductive system and the digestive system. These reflex also sometimes cause dilation of the pupils, defecating, and vomiting. During a roller coaster ride, you must have felt weird sensations in your body like a drop in your gut, you skip a beat or for some, it beats faster or some feel an urgency in the bladder. Reportedly, some of these are symptoms of a passing kidney stone. Though the doctor carried out the study only at Walt Disney World, he feels that it would work on any roller coaster. 

What is the passing of a kidney stone? 

Kidney stones are hard, crystalline, pebble-like mineral pieces that form in either one or both the kidneys. This is formed due to the excess amount of any mineral in the urine.  A kidney stone does not show any symptom unless it starts moving along with the kidney or passes into the tube that connects the kidney and the bladder, called the ureter. Normally, a kidney stone takes a few days to a few weeks to pass. The passing of the stone causes a varying level of pain depending on the size of the stone.