Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Beatles And The Stones

I did say i was going to put loads of extra information on here but as it happens i'm completely knackered.  I should probably explain stuff about this video:

Click to tweet: . Blog entry with more info soon. Kidney stones are usually made of uric acid, calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate, also known as apatite, but there are also several genetic factors which end up producing unusual kidney stones such as cystinuria and another one which can even produce caffeine or other xanthine stones. If you think you might have them, please go to see a doctor or other healthcare professional. They're more painful than childbirth, according to a friend i know who has experienced both.

The risk factors include dehydration, alkaline or acid urine, infection, tumours, stasis, immobility, parathyroid dysfunction and trauma to the kidneys. If urine becomes more alkaline than it should be, alkaline stones can begin to form, i.e. calcium phosphate or apatite calculi; if more acidic, uric acid (urate) or oxalate may form. Oxalate stones can result from excess vitamin C, an inborn metabolic defect or ethylene glycol (antifreeze) poisoning (whose antidote is ethanol, or ordinary alcohol - however, there are many other problems this would be the least of your worries if you drank antifreeze). Uric acid calculi can form as a result of the breakdown of large amounts of purines, one of the classes of compound found in DNA and RNA, and uric acid itself is also responsible for gout. Such deposits can be due to diet but are sometimes also linked to leukaemia and some other serious illnesses. Please don't jump to conclusions - see someone if you're worried. Ileostomy can also cause urate kidney stones.

Alkaline stones - calcium phosphate - can result from infection, as bacteria often make urine more alkaline. This can result either from an ascending infection from the bladder or from a systemic infection such as . Alternatively, they may form due to excess release of phosphate or calcium into the urine by mineral loss from bones during immobility or as a result of hyperparathyroidism. Excess vitamin D can also cause them.

Kidney stones can sometimes form into "staghorn calculi", where a stone fills up the whole space inside the kidney, leading to purulence, hydronephrosis and sometimes metaplasia, where the specialised epithelium which reabsorbs water changes to a less specialised form and more urine is excreted. In some ways, it makes more sense to think of the kidneys as organs for reabsorbing urine rather than excreting it. This leads to excessive urination and permanently watery urine, meaning that the person suffering from this needs to drink a lot. Staghorn calculi (and others) can be broken down by lithotripsy, where ultrasound is used to break them up. Madder - Isatis tinctoria - and parsley piert are two of several herbal remedies which can be used to break them down. Other solutions include changing the pH of the urine to the opposite required for their formation and drinking lots of water.

Cystinuria is a genetic condition which reflects the fact that most of our body fluids constantly pass through our kidneys. Some people can't reabsorb all of the amino acids, resulting in cystine and other amino acids crystallising within the kidneys. This also happens sometimes with xanthine and caffeine, among other substances, depending on the precise metabolic issue.

An important process in this respect is stasis. If urine stands still in the renal system for whatever reason, for instance obstruction, it can begin to crystallise. This reflects the general principle that health depends crucially on flow.

 OK, the reason this is so unembellished is that i basically had no time whatever today and had to make three videos.  I was going to insert a load of diagrams but haven't.  However, i can do this:

which is the T-shirt design for invisible illnesses such as cystinuria.
Tomorrow's video will be on why reptiles don't exist.
The difficulty today, apart from lack of time, was the necessity of making the pregnancy vlog and also a third, very long video for the Other Channel, which will receive much attention before it's ready.  I was also quite tense when i made the pregnancy vlog, which caused problems.  I made the kidney stone video while "pregnant" too, as may be apparent.