Liam Hemsworth, 29, was absent from the big Los Angeles premiere of Isn’t It Romantic on Feb. 11, one day after his co-star Rebel Wilson revealed that he had to bail on a press event for the movie because he “was in the hospital overnight.” It turns out that Liam had kidney stones! While his wife, Miley Cyrus, continues to tend to him in her own, particularly raunchy (but sincerely sweet) way, the question lingers: what are kidney stones? And how could they take down such a hunk of a man? Thankfully, Beverly Hills MD Dr. Reed S. Wilson is here to explain ALL.
1. WHAT ARE KIDNEY STONES? “The kidney is a filter system for you to get toxins and extra fluids out of your body,” Beverly Hills MD Dr. Reed S. Wilson EXCLUSIVELY tells HollywoodLife.com. “The fluid leaves the filtration system of the kidneys via a tube called the ureter, which takes the liquid to your bladder and out it goes when you urinate. The most common stones are calcium stones but there are other types such as uric acid, struvite (most common in women with UTI’s) and cystine (rare).
“You could have a stone in your kidney and not know it, but if it travels down and gets stuck in your ureter you block the flow of urine, this can cause the ureter to swell and eventually the kidney,” the doctor adds. “Talk about pain!”
2. HOW DO THEY HAPPEN? Liam – at first glance – looks like he’s the pinnacle of health. How could this happen to the Hunger Games star? “Risk factors for getting stones include constant low urine volume as with dehydration, hard exercise, etc.,” Dr. Reed says. “ The low urine flow means it gets concentrated. Concentrated urine makes it hard to dissolve salts and stones can form. Diet can also affect stone formation, as well as, certain bowel conditions, obesity and some medical conditions.”
3. HOW PAINFUL ARE KIDNEY STONES? Liam, according to Rebel, was hospitalized briefly for these stones. Are they really that bad? “I have had two and they are really painful,” Dr. Reed tells HollywoodLife.com. “When I was in medical school they told us there are three really bad pains, and men we can only experience two of them. So supposedly they are childbirth, getting kicked in the ‘you-know-where’ and kidney stones.” WOW.
4. HOW LONG DO THEY LAST AND HOW ARE THEY TREATED? “There are different treatments depending on the stone type, the length of time you have the stone and the size,” says Dr. Reed. “Luckily I had small stones and I passed them by themselves, with the help of pain meds and a little medication to relax the ureter. Surgery may be needed to remove the stone if the stone fails to pass or pain is too intense or if the kidney function is getting affected.
“Shock wave lithotripsy is also used,” the doctor adds, giving us all a shock! “Shock waves are focused on the stone which causes the stone to break into little pieces. Ureteroscopy can also be used. You pass a very small scope into the bladder and up the ureter and a small basket device snatches the stone and removes it. The surgeon may place a temporary stent in the ureter to help drainage.” It’s unknown if such drastic methods were used on Liam, but here’s hoping not, as these sound extreme.
5. HOW CAN YOU AVOID THEM? So, how can Liam avoid another outbreak so he doesn’t miss any more movie premieres? “It depends on your stone,” Dr. Reed tells HollywoodLife.com. “It could be a dietary change and lifestyle change or it could be medication. There is not one answer for everyone.” So, basically, Liam needs to come up with a plan with his doctor, as there’s no one-size-fits-all plan. Good to know! Here’s hoping Liam has made the right changes and is well on the road to recovery!