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    This Man Peed Out A Kidney Stone, His Girlfriend Shared It Online, And It Has Unlocked A New Fear For Millions Of People

    "I never knew kidney stones could be so evil..."

    Hello internet. Meet Lauren and Solomon. They're both 37 and both Virgos — born two days apart.

    Recently, the two caught the attention of over six million people after Lauren shared this video of a kidney stone Solomon passed:

    IT IS INDEED TERRIFYING.

    A closeup of the kidney stone with the caption "You could poke somebodies eye out!"
    @vocalguide / tiktok.com

    So BuzzFeed spoke to the couple to find out more. Solomon has had chronic kidney stones for about 21 years, and the stone in the video is one he passed this past September.

    And, although the kidney stone looks enormous in the video, it actually measured five millimeters (which FYI is still big for a kidney stone!). "Five millimeters may not seem big, but when it's a jagged rock making its way through your ureters and then out the urethra, it sure does feel big," Solomon said.

    @vocalguide

    Reply to @jadeaprilleo #disneyplusday Sol just said “you’re really capitalizing off this, huh”. Heck yes I am.

    ♬ Crystal Healing - Relaxing Escape

    "In the video, I'm poking the stone with a pair of tweezers. With the video being magnified, many folks thought that I was using a pair of pliers and they thought the stone was the size of a thumb when it was not," added Lauren.

    Solomon said he feels lucky that this particular stone didn't require him to have surgery as other ones have in the past. "I currently have at least four large stones in my kidneys that range from six to nine millimeters which will be surgically removed because they are less likely to pass on their own and could cause hydronephrosis (the swelling of kidneys) which may lead to kidney damage," he said.

    @vocalguide

    Reply to @alckz123 We don’t mean to dissapoint, but here it is next to an ibuprofen tablet 🥰 It is a 5mm kidney stone (still hella painful).

    ♬ original sound - helo

    Solomon and Lauren answered a few questions to comments they had on TikTok but they said many people were making incorrect assumptions, presuming Solomon's lifestyle habits — like drinking soda or energy drinks (which he doesn't drink BTW) — caused his kidney stone. "A lot of chronically ill people get this kind of feedback, and it's a bit ableist. It's normal to try to problem solve, but more often than not chronically ill people are very well versed in their illnesses and probably have tried a bunch of things. It ends up sounding like we are being blamed and that's not helpful or supportive," Solomon said.

    @vocalguide

    Reply to @vocalguide #greenscreenvideo Answering ?’s about the Stone of Doom. He’s ok. He doesn’t drink soda. It is 5mm, not the worst he’s had.

    ♬ original sound - Lauren Arrow

    He added, "I've been seen many times by doctors, had many tests, and tried many ways to prevent this from happening over the last 21 years, but unfortunately, this seems to be genetic. Those commenting don't know that I'm a Master's Level Nurse (MSN, PHN, RN) so I have a really good grasp on how the renal and urinary systems work, and various treatment options."

    Although Solomon did get some unsolicited advice, others actually thought the kidney stone was a crystal! "A lot of people thought we were on CrystalTok. My favorite comment was someone saying he should turn it into an engagement ring. We had a semi-serious discussion about me NOT wanting that," Lauren laughed.

    Someone said "Aww he made you the engagement stone himself!!"
    @vocalguide / tiktok.com

    To learn about kidney stones in general, BuzzFeed also spoke to Dr. Krystal W. Savice who is a Harvard internal medicine resident physician.

    Dr. Savice smiles in her scrubs and white coat
    Krystal Savice

    Dr. Savice explained that kidney stones — which may also be called renal calculi, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis — are common and on the rise with about 11% of men and 6% of women experiencing them at least once in their lifetime. "Kidney stones are mineral deposits that can persist in your urinary tract. Stones form when calcium that is usually dissolved or absorbed in the body enter your urine and form a crystal."

    Javier Fernández Sánchez / Getty Images

    "People who are at risk for kidney stones include those with a family history of kidney stones, those with kidney disease, those who have low water intake, and resultant low urine production, and those who are on high salt and sugar diets. Diets high in meats can also increase your risk as it can produce acid in your urine," Dr. Savice added.

    Kidney stones can range from about a pebble to a golf ball size. "For reference, the five millimeter stone Solomon passed was likely about the size of a pencil top eraser. The shiny, spiky crystal you’re seeing is a result of oxalate, an acid that sticks to calcium when leaving the body and can be jagged or smooth," she explained.

    Ericsphotography / Getty Images

    "Symptoms of kidney stones vary but may include anything from a mild ache to severe cramping or shooting pain in the lower back, stomach, and even into the groin. Some people may have frequent urges or pain with urination and others may see blood or sand-like deposits in urine. Lastly, people may develop fever, chills, and or foul-smelling urine which are signs of associated possible infection," said Dr. Savice.

    A lot of kidney stones are hereditary and unavoidable, as in Solomon's case, but Dr. Savice said that drinking lots of water and having a healthy diet may help some people avoid them. "A diet low in salt, sugar, animal protein, but with moderate-to-low fat dairy products is suggested. Your diet should also be rich in potassium from fruits and vegetables, but remember to limit acid-producing foods, such as spinach, rhubarb, potatoes, peanuts, cashews, almonds," she said.

    A person wearing an apron washing fruit at the kitchen sink
    Longhua Liao / Getty Images

    "For anyone who thinks kidney stones aren't a big deal, I would say pass a stone and get back to me!" Solomon said, ending with a fun little tidbit you might be interested in: HE IS WILLING TO SELL THE STONE, SO MAKE HIM AN OFFER!!! 😁

    Universal

    You can follow Solomon and Lauren on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. You can follow Dr. Savice on Instagram, visit her website, and join her Patreon membership where she hosts monthly live chats, personalized mentorship, and exclusive video blogs.