Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ice -- Polar Bears -- Kidney Stones (the logical progression)

Well I searched pretty far to find a candidate for today's thought. Found some interesting ones too but then I saw this and it took the cake. It happens to be about one of my favorite topics -- Global Warming.

"Scientists" (I use this term ridiculously loosely) have now discovered that global warming is causing more kidney stones than ever!! Hoover Dam what are we going to do now? First the sun is just melting the ice and hurting some furry incredibly vicious animals, but NOW it's coming after us!! Can we dramatize this situation enough? I don't think so!! You know those moments when you're sitting by yourself reading something or just thinking about something random and you start laughing out loud like a lunatic? Ya, just had one of those.

Here's the basis for the study: kidney stones are most often caused by dehydration which causes salt to glob together inside your kidney and crystalize. Not fun. Kidney stone cases have been becoming more frequent every year since 1976. Global warming means it's getting hotter so that's causing people to be dehydrated more, thus causing more kidney stones. Brilliant logic if I do say so myself! Oh......but wait guys.....what about all the other factors in the universe that affect us? Shucks we forgot about those....too bad we didn't take them into account. Oh well, let's publish the findings anyway and call ourselves heroes for finding yet another way global warming is ruining our lives.

Here's my theory as a scientist. I call myself a scientist even though I'm only 21 with only some formal training is the area of deductive reasoning but I figure if they can call themselves scientists so can I! (once again scientist is used loosely) Hmm so the kidney stone numbers have been on the rise since '76 huh....okay....well didn't the baby boomer generation start getting old then?? Hmm maybe more people all around caused more kidney stone cases which constitutes a rise. We could be onto something there. Hmm maybe that isn't enough though, we need something else...Oh I know! Hasn't the American population been getting steadily more obese since, oh I don't know, the 70's? Hasn't one of the major causes that studies point to for obesity been the obsession with drinking more and more soda instead of water (as I sit here drinking my soda might I add)? Isn't soda also a diuretic which causes dehydration? Hmm, I'm starting to see a trend. The afore mentioned study also says that more people get kidney stones in the hotter southern states than in the northern states. Aren't there more old people in the hotter southern states? And dehydration is a ridiculously common ailment in hotter areas, it's sort of because they're hot and people don't drink enough water. So according to my extensive studies of my brain and the commen sense areas of my brain, I see no supporting evidence for global warming to be causing more kidney stones. But I'm no scientist.

Here though is my favorite part of the article: a quote from a nephrologist (a doctor who deals with the kidneys, and ya I looked that up) who didn't participate in the study, he's just commenting. "Everyone in warmer temperatures is at higher risk for kidney stones, so the findings make perfect sense, What's so impressive about this study is how they've brought together models of warming and kidney stones for the first time." Oh can we get a round of applause for this man? I think he needs one! I also think it's impressive that they've brought together the models of warming and kidney stones for the first time but probably for a very different reason that Dr. Goldfarb here. At the end of the article they also give fun tips for avoiding kidney stones, (although why they're trying I don't know because global warming will get us all in the end!) first, is to drink more water, second, is to stay cool. Oh I think a second round of applause is in order. But most important they stress the drinking water because as Dr. Goldfarb aptly points out, "Not everyone can stay inside." Oh thank you doctor for those words of wisdom, we will forever be in your debt.

I end with this advice -- kids, don't do drugs. And watch out for global warming, it got the polar bears first but now it's coming after us, keep a sharp eye out and don't wander into dark alleyways.