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- Got kidney stones? Ride a roller coaster! Wednesday September 28th, 2016
Researchers rode roller coasters 60 times in a row with a model kidney
They were testing their patients’ theory that it helps to pass stones
They deemed the theory was correct, especially at the back of the ride
A roller coaster ride is a fail-safe way to shift kidney stones, a new study claims.
But it may take you a few tries.
That is according to a team at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine – who rode Disney World’s top rides 60 times to test their theory.
Researchers rode three roller coasters 60 times in a row with a model kidney to see if it helps to stimulate passing kidney stones. By the end of the unusual test they concluded it did
The study, published today, was the brain-child of lead author Dr David Wartinger, a urologist whose patients have been singing the praises of roller coasters.
Eventually, after years of hearing about this method of passing stones, Dr Wartinger decided to put it to the test.
He and his team developed a model kidney from 3D-printed silicone filled with urine and three kidney stones of differing sizes.
They then hopped on Walt Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride 20 times, holding the model where it would be on a person.
Then they rode Space Mountain 20 times and the railway ride 20 times, sitting at different points of the ride each go.
By the end they concluded that roller coasters do indeed stimulate kidney stones to pass – and your best bet is sitting at the back.
It is the first study to scientifically test home methods of passing kidney stones.
Doctors have their own theories, with most advising patients to do physical exercise.
But until now there was no clear data to support it, bar anecdotes.
Dr Wartinger said: ‘Preliminary study findings support the anecdotal evidence that a ride on a moderate-intensity roller coaster could benefit some patients with small kidney stones.
‘Passing a kidney stone before it reaches an obstructive size can prevent surgeries and emergency room visits.
The team developed a model kidney from 3D-printed silicone (pictured)
They filled the model with urine and three kidney stones of differing sizes (pictured)
‘Roller coaster riding after treatments like lithotripsy and before planned pregnancies may prevent stone enlargement and the complications of ureteral obstruction.’
Kidney stones are quite common.
Around three in 20 men and up to two in 20 women develop the condition at some stage of their lives, mainly when between the ages of 30 and 60.
It is very common in pregnant women.
They are caused by a build up waste products in the blood forming crystals that form a hard stone-like lump in the kidneys.
The body tries to pass it out when you go to the toilet.
The study was published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
The purpose of this initial study was to validate the effectiveness of the model and support the case for further research.
Dr Wartinger added: ‘The osteopathic philosophy of medicine emphasizes prevention and the body’s natural ability to heal.
Kidney stones are caused by a build up waste products in the blood forming crystals that form a hard stone-like lump in the kidneys
‘What could be more osteopathic than finding a relatively low-cost, non-invasive treatment that could prevent suffering for hundreds of thousands of patients? ‘
The model held three actual kidney stones of various sizes positioned in the upper, middle or lower passageways of the kidney.
Researchers analyzed those 60 ride outcomes to determine how the variables of kidney stone volume, location in the kidney and model position in the front versus rear of the roller coaster impacted kidney stone passage.
Independent of kidney stone volume and location, findings showed sitting in the back of the roller coaster resulted in a passage rate of 63.89 per cent.
Front seat rides resulted in a passage rate of 16.67 per cent.
Source: Daily Mail
- Dilute honey ‘may fight urine infections’ Tuesday September 27th, 2016
Honey and water might be a useful weapon against urine infections in hospital patients, say UK researchers.
Patients often have a catheter fitted, either to drain urine stuck in the bladder or to monitor urine output.
But these flexible tubes can harbour nasty bugs and cause infection.
Scientists at University of Southampton have shown in the lab that diluted honey stops some common bacteria from forming sticky, hard-to-remove layers on surfaces such as plastic.
In theory, a honey solution might be useful for flushing urinary catheters to keep them clean while they remain in the bladder.
Many more trials would be needed to check it would be safe to use in humans, however.
Honey has been used for centuries as a natural antiseptic. People have used it to treat burns and wounds and many companies now sell a range of “medical grade” honey products that comply with regulatory standards.
The laboratory work, published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, looked at two common bacteria that can cause urine and bladder infections – E. coli and Proteus mirabilis.
Bacteria can form a biofilm that coats the surface of medical devices, such as catheters
Even at low dilution – about 3.3% – the honey solution appeared to stop the bacteria from clustering together and creating layers of known biofilm.
Dr Bashir Lwaleed’s team used Manuka honey (made by bees that feed on the nectar of the manuka tree) in their study because this dark-coloured honey from Australia and New Zealand is known to have bacterial-fighting properties.
They say other types of honey might work too, but they have not tested this.
Dr Lwaleed said: “Nobody knows exactly how or why honey works as an antibacterial. And we don’t know how well honey would be tolerated in the bladder. We are the first to propose this.”
Prof Dame Nicky Cullum is an expert in wound care and has looked at the evidence around honey as a treatment.
She said: “This work from Southampton is at a very early stage so we shouldn’t get too excited. But it is an interesting avenue that is worth pursuing.
“Obviously, we’d need more studies to check that it wouldn’t irritate the bladder or cause any other problems.
“People like things that are natural but they are not always more effective.”
- Illnesses associated with lifestyle cost the NHS £11bn Monday September 26th, 2016
Health problems related to poor diet, drinking and smoking are costing the NHS in England more than £11bn each year, officials say.
Public Health England (PHE) says that unless they are tackled more effectively the NHS will become unaffordable.
It warns conditions such as diabetes and smoking-related bronchitis are a new and untreatable epidemic.
But the town of Fleetwood, Lancashire, plans to tackle these problems head on.
Around four out of 10 middle-aged people already have a long-term condition for which there is currently no cure.
Dr Rebecca Wagstaff of PHE says these conditions pose a real threat to the future sustainability of the health service.
“When you look back to Victorian times, we worried about things like diphtheria and polio, and we’ve actually managed to conquer those now.
“The new threats are things like diabetes and chronic bronchitis. They could overwhelm us.”
“They are illnesses for which there is no cure, and they cost the NHS more than £11bn each year. That’s a phenomenal amount of money and more than that, it is taking years off people’s lives.”
Creating a healthy town
The picture is particularly stark in areas of high unemployment and poverty.
Fleetwood in Lancashire, a once prosperous fishing town, is one such community.
Figures from PHE show that on average people die here younger compared to the rest of England.
Life expectancy for a man living in the Pharos ward of Fleetwood is nearly seven years lower compared to more prosperous ward of Tithebarn, just six miles away.
Illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, lung and heart disease – mostly related to lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, alcohol and smoking – are claiming lives at an alarming rate.
Local GP Dr Mark Spencer is leading an effort to change that picture.
He has forged a coalition of local people and health workers to break a damaging cycle of sickness.
Dr Spencer says a new approach is needed in towns like Fleetwood, with high levels of unemployment and poverty, because the standard public health messages don’t work.
“When I say to folk, ‘How about losing a little bit of weight? How about giving up the fags?’, they say to me, ‘Why should I bother? My life’s rubbish.’
“How can we turn the conversation from what’s making me ill, to what makes me well?
“And if we focus on what makes me well, actually then what are the benefits of that across the town?”
The BBC has been offered the chance to follow this ambitious project over the next year, which will attempt to help people change the behaviour that is damaging their health.
It involves a broad range of different approaches, from educating children in primary schools about food and diet, working with local sports clubs to encourage people to get active, and creating more open green spaces in the town.
Chris Murray values his time at the Willow Garden Project
The Willow Garden Project is the type of scheme that it is hoped could help.
A patch of waste ground has been transformed into a beautiful allotment and garden, full of fruit and vegetables.
It is looked after by people with learning difficulties and brain injuries, including Chris Murray, who suffered a brain injury after a fall.
He says at the Willow Garden Project he finds friendship and support
“I meet some of my friends here and it’s really beneficial to me.
“It makes me feel good and I’d be lost without tending to this place on a Tuesday.
“I don’t know what I’d do with myself to be honest.”
Fleetwood is not alone – many towns and communities across the UK face similar problems.
Over the coming months and years, the challenge will be transforming the health of the people of Fleetwood.
But health experts say it is a challenge the entire country must face up to.
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