In his new YouTube video, Justin Cottle from the Institute of Human Anatomy reveals and explores a condition that he has routinely seen people report as the most painful thing a human can ever feel, with some even saying that it is more painful than giving birth: kidney stones.
“A lot of people I talk to do compare kidney stones to giving birth,” he said. “The thing you must understand is that pain is really subjective. Meaning if I could somehow give this same exact kidney stone to two different individuals, and they had the same exact experience, they are still going to deal with that pain differently. And that does not make either one more ‘genuine’ than the other.”
“I can’t say how painful kidney stones really are, because there are a lot of different things that go into it,” he says. “It’s the individual, but it’s also their total health, and the the shape and size of the kidney stone, the hardness of the stone… Either way, you don’t want to have these.”
Cottle goes on to say that kidney stones mostly come from two things: when you have a genetic predisposition towards the problem, and your diet, especially when you eat foods that contain a lot of oxalates. This includes foods like peanuts and sweet potatoes.
There are a number of factors why kidney stones are very painful. They often are jagged and sharp, they “scrape and scratch” their way through a tube that is much too small, and if a stone is stuck inside your urinary tract, it might block the flow of your urine and create a pressure inside your kidney.
When it comes to preventing kidney stones, Cottle’s top tip is easy: drink a lot of water.
“If you are dehydrated, you’e going to get super-saturation because there is less water inside your pee,” he says. “But if you’re hydrated correctly, you can have a more normal saturation and this will make it much less likely for you to have these stones.”
Author: Scott Dowdy