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What you need to know about kidney stone pain

Kidney stones can cause the excruciating pain known as renal colic, felt on one’s lower back or sides mostly as a result of a blockage in the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder while the urethra carries urine to the outside when one urinates. 


The pain of renal colic develops suddenly and it comes and goes in a squeeze-release kind of pattern. Renal colic is often described by patients as “the worst pain they have ever felt”. Approximately 10% of people will be affected by renal colic at some point in their lifetime.

What are kidney stones?

‘Kidney stones’ are crystals that form from chemicals in the urine. Kidney stones usually develop because too much of a single chemical is present in the urine. Most of them have been found to be made up of calcium (80%). Urate is also contained in some kidney stones that are more prevalent in obese patients. Despite the severe pain that the kidney stones can cause (when they block the urinary tubes), the majority of them move freely along the tract and pass spontaneously when urinating. Many patients with renal colic can be managed conservatively by a general practitioner with a watchful waiting approach while controlling the pain with pain medications.

Symptoms of kidney stones

Patients with kidney stones classically present with the following;
Sudden and severe back or loin pain that occurs in waves of intensity
Patients with renal colic typically appear restless and unable to find a comfortable position
Nausea and vomiting
Some patients may experience urinary symptoms like straining when urinating, painful and frequent urination, visible blood in the urine or very dark coloured urine and small volumes of urine
Asymptomatic – Some patients may be symptom-free from the kidney stones especially very small ones (some people are walking around without knowing they have kidney stones until they are found incidentally on imaging)
The above combination may help distinguish kidney stone pain from other conditions causing abdominal or back pain.

Which patients are most likely to develop urinary stones?

It is estimated that about 10% of people will experience an episode of renal colic at some stage in their life, with more prevalence in males. Peak ages are between age 40 and 60 years for males and late 20’s for females. Kidney stones are more likely to occur in patients who have the following conditions;

Chronic dehydration resulting in concentrated urine production  (e.g. less than one litre of urine production per day)
A family history of urinary stones  ( 2.5 x increase)
An abnormality of the urinary tract
Idiopathic hypercalciuria
Exposure to a hot environment (e.g. outdoor workers  loss of body fluids dehydration)

Diagnosing kidney stones

Upon the patient presenting with a history suggestive of kidney stone pain, the doctor will do full examination which entail pressing or balloting the abdomen and the back.  A few tests will be ordered to confirm the kidney stones diagnosis and rule out other causes of renal pain like infections which include;
Urinalysis/ urine dipstick (to check for any blood or hematuria)
Urine culture
Kidney function tests
Full blood count
Serum urate, calcium and phosphate
X-ray of renal tract
CT scan (urogram) if available
Approximately 90% of patients with urinary stones will return a positive test for haematuria (blood in the urine) on urine dipstick; therefore a negative result is a reason to reconsider the diagnosis.

How to treat kidney stones?

In a patient suspected of having renal colic initial management include;
Aggressive on-going pain management  with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like diclofenac
Alpha-blocker drugs to accelerate passage of the stone
Surgical removal of the stone if conservative management fails

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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