Fifty-five-year-old, He Dong from China had a total of 420 kidney stones removed in a 2-hour surgery after doctors blamed ‘excessive consumption of tofu’ and low intake of water for his unusual condition.
According to the report in the Chinese daily Qianjiang Evening Post, Dong from Zhejiang Province in eastern China was admitted to the Dongyang People’s Hospital in May 2015, for intense abdominal pain. A computerized tomography (CT) scan quickly revealed his left kidney was jam-packed with stones, most of them very small.
Dr. Wei Yubin, the chief surgeon, said that the kidney would have stopped functioning if Dong had not taken medical help at-least at this stage. “If Dong had waited any longer, then his kidney would have had to be removed. Once we identified kidney stones, we immediately scheduled a surgery. We spent 45 minutes for just taking out the tiny stones one by one using forceps,” said Dr. Yubin.
Dr. Yubin explained that lack of water contributed to Dong’s unusual condition. “Soy products – especially gypsum tofu – are very high in calcium, the excess of which cannot be excreted from body without a sufficient intake of water,” Dr. Yubin noted. Dong said he didn’t like drinking water, but now he has been instructed to increase his water intake and cut down on the amount of tofu he eats.
Dong’s medical history showed that he had suffered from kidney stones 20 years ago. He had 10 stones removed with a procedure called lithotripsy. The procedure uses shock waves to break up stones in the kidney and bladder. The tiny pieces of stones pass out of your body in your urine.
A Total of 172,155 Stones Removed in India in 2009!
If you think removal of 420 kidney stones sounds incredible, Dong’s medical condition is a long way off the current world record.
In 2009, Dr. Ashish Rawandale Patil at the Institute of Urology in Maharastra, removed 172,155 stones from a patient’s left kidney during a three-hour surgery. Dr. Patil removed kidney stones from 45-year-old Dhanraj Wadile in Nandurbar district using both the open surgery and flexible endoscopy.
Name of Dr. Patil has been added into the ‘Guinness book of world records’ for removing maximum number of kidney stones from a single kidney.
Water, Soy and Stone
Kidney stones are medically known as nephrolithiasis. If the stones cause severe pain, they will be called renal colic. Most kidney stones are small enough to be passed through your urine naturally. Surgery is only conducted when the kidney stone is very large, blocking the flow of urine out of the kidney, or causing severe bleeding.
Kidney stones are common among the people aged 30 to 60 years. In 2013 (the latest data available) kidney stones resulted in about 15,000 deaths globally.
Soy is considered as one of the world’s healthiest foods. It’s the most widely utilized legume worldwide at around 210 million tons per year. Studies showed that soy helps regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, and estrogen balance. Soy intake also helps prevent colon, breast, and prostate cancer and atherosclerosis.
Dr. A.J. Hemamalini, a nutritionist in India, says that people don’t want to avoid soy products like tofu or reduce their normal intake, despite the possible risks of developing kidney stones.
“Not every person eating soy products develops stones in kidneys. People can consume tofu or soy milk as they usually do in their daily lives.. However, it is important to ensure adequate water intake. One should consume three liters of water everyday. Even if we drink soy milk or fruit juices, we should ensure a plain water intake of 2.5 liters every day,” she said.