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Can Too Much Alcohol Affect Your Kidneys

Discomfort After Drinking A Lot Of Fluids

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Kidneys? | Alcohol Effects on Body | Kidney Expert

MENS HEALTH MATTERS:Obstruction in kidney may require surgical intervention

Q I am 25 years old and recently started getting pains in my left loin area. The discomfort is not there at all times, but is certainly made worse if I have a few beers or just drink a lot of fluids. My general practitioner organised a scan of my abdomen and kidneys, which showed that my left kidney was blown up and the radiologist mentioned that it could be due to an obstruction to the tube draining my kidney, calling it a PUJ obstruction. My GP has referred me to a urologist. What is this condition and how is it treated?

AWhat you may have is a condition called pelvi-ureteric junction obstruction, but further tests will need to be done to clarify the situation. This condition is due to a narrowing of the junction between the renal pelvis and the ureter .

PUJ obstruction is more common in males and tends to affect the left kidney more often than the right, with less than 5 per cent of people having a significant problem in both kidneys. It is often present from birth, but usually does not become apparent until adolescence or early adult life.

Pain or discomfort in the side or flank is the most common feature and this is often made worse by a high fluid intake, particularly after drinking alcohol. The amount of pain experienced is often dependent upon the degree of blockage.

Can Alcohol Increase The Risk Of Developing Enlarged Prostate

Quite the opposite is true!

Current research indicates that consuming alcohol is negatively correlated with the risk of BPH. A meta-analysis from 2009 looked at 19 studies spanning a total of 120,091 male participants who consumed greater than 1.2oz of alcohol a day. This intake was associated with a 35% reduced risk of developing BPH. However, before you get excited about getting a hall pass to indulge, it’s important to remember the myriad of risks associated with chronic alcohol intake. In the case of urinary concerns and this study, while the risk of BPH dropped, the risk of developing a lower urinary tract infection rose with alcohol consumption.

Effects On Fluid And Electrolyte Balance

One of the main functions of the kidneys is to regulate both the volume and the composition of body fluid, including electrically charged particles , such as sodium, potassium, and chloride ions . However, alcohols ability to increase urine volume alters the bodys fluid level and produces disturbances in electrolyte concentrations. These effects vary depending on factors such as the amount and duration of drinking, the presence of other diseases, and the drinkers nutritional status .

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Your Muscles Feel Weak And Tend To Cramp Easily

Having a healthy, fully functioning body is all about balance. When you drink too much water, your electrolyte levels drop and that balance is compromised. Low electrolyte levels can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, including muscle spasms and cramping. You can prevent muscle problems by replacing a couple glasses of water a day with coconut water, which is full of electrolytes and 100 percent natural, or an electrolyte drinkhere are 7 that nutritionists recommend.

Are There Any Side Effects To Taking Alfuzosin On An Empty Stomach

Alcohol and Your Kidneys

Taking alfuzosin on an empty stomach may make it not work as well. Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so.

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Can Alcohol Cause Kidney Damage

Drinking alcohol affects various parts of your body, including your kidneys. Moderate drinking, such as one or two drinks now and then, usually has no severe effects. However, too much alcohol can affect your health and worsen kidney disease.

How Much Alcohol Leads to Kidney Damage?

Even without binge drinking, regularly drinking too much can lead to kidney problems.

Regular excessive drinking doubles the risk of chronic kidney disease, which does not go away over time. Even higher risks of kidney problems have been found in heavy drinkers who also smoke.

What are the Signs of Alcohol-Induced Kidney Damage?

Aside from kidney pain, an individual with acute kidney injury may also notice the following signs and symptoms:

  • Swollen legs, ankles, or face
  • Problems breathing or shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Chest pressure or pain

When to See a Doctor

The kidneys are the bodys essential tool for filtering out dangerous substances. Problems affecting the kidneys can quickly impact the rest of the body, potentially leading to problems in multiple organs.

Contact a doctor if you experience:

  • Pain in the kidneys
  • A recent blow to the back that leads to pain in the kidneys
  • A fever with kidney pain

Go to the emergency room or urgent care for:

  • Signs of acute kidney injury following drinking
  • Intense pain in the back or kidneys
  • A high fever and kidney pain
  • High blood pressure and kidney pain
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Changes in awareness
  • A seizure

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  • Like all drugs, alcohol can damage your body, especially if you drink heavily every day or in binges.
  • Potential short-term effects of alcohol include hangover and alcohol poisoning, as well as falls and accidents, conflict, lowered inhibitions and risky behaviours.
  • Long-term alcohol consumption contributes to more than 200 different types of diseases and injury.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, low level drinking is less risky than heavy drinking or binge drinking.
  • There is no level of safe alcohol consumption.

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Alcohol May Affect The Acid

Kidneys play an essential role in determining the rate at which metabolic reactions take place by regulating acidity. This is because substantial metabolic reactions that are important in life are sensitive to the acidity of the surrounding fluid.The bodies metabolic balance interferes with the use of liquor, which changes the regulation of acidity.

Does Alcohol Affect The Kidneys


The kidneys are hard at work on any given day in a healthy person, but the kidneys of a heavy drinker work overtime. A heavy drinker is defined as a woman who drinks more than seven times a week or a man who drinks more than 14 times a week. People who maintain this kind of drinking habit are at double the risk for developing kidney disease compared to the general population, including moderate drinkers.

One form of alcohol abuse that contributes to kidney disease is binge drinking, usually defined as consuming four or five drinks within two hours. Binge drinking causes a persons blood alcohol content to rise to dangerous levels, which in turn causes the kidneys to lose their function so much, the term for this is acute kidney injury. Japans Internal Medicine journal noted that binge drinking can be a risk factor for such an emergency, including acute kidney injury , a condition whereby the kidneys are unable to stop dangerous levels of waste from accumulating in the blood, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Tips To Help You In Avoiding Alcohol

When you are feeling pain in your kidney, it is just alarming that you are just crossing your limit of drinking alcohol. Dont go beyond the control of your body. Stop drinking. We all know that its truly impractical for any regular drinker to stop having alcohol completely. For this reason, it is best to get the aid of experts. In many instances, it has been observed that hardcore drinkers have got success in giving up their habit with a very strong determination.

So, if they are able to do so, then you are also likely to quit it with your own power. Now, read some tips to reduce your rate of drinking alcohol.

Set a particular amount of drink that you have to take While drinking alcohol, you must consider this specific limit. For women, it should not be more than one time day however, for men, two times may be maximum limit. You may also plan to keep record of your drinking on any diary so that you can maintain drinking regulations.

Try to sip your drink slowly Drink only small amount of alcohol and then wait for an interval to get another glass. Sip alcohol only when your stomach is not empty, and enjoy another drink after having alcohol.

Overall, we may conclude that the regular drinkers are not the only victim of the effect of alcohol. In many instances, occasional alcohol drinkers also experience same problems.

Symptoms You May Experience

The areas around your kidneys may feel sore after you drink alcohol. This is the area at the back of your abdomen, under your ribcage on both sides of your spine. This pain may be felt as a sudden, sharp, stabbing pain or more of a dull ache. It may be mild or severe and can be felt on one or both sides of the body.

Kidney pain may be felt in the upper or lower back or between the buttocks and lower ribs. The pain may be felt immediately after consuming alcohol or after youve stopped drinking. Sometimes it gets worse at night.

Other symptoms include:

There are many causes of kidney pain. Its important to understand the reason for your discomfort in case its a sign of something serious. Read on to learn more about these conditions and how to treat them.

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What Are The Early Signs Of Liver Damage From Alcohol

One of your livers jobs is to break down potentially toxic substances. This includes alcohol. When you drink, different enzymes in your liver work to break down alcohol so that it can be removed from your body.

When you drink more than your liver can effectively process, alcohol and its byproducts can damage your liver. This initially takes the form of increased fat in your liver, but over time it can lead to inflammation and the accumulation of scar tissue.

The early stages of alcohol-related liver disease often have no symptoms. Because of this, you may not even know that youve experienced liver damage due to alcohol.

If symptoms are present, they may include:

Alcohol-related liver disease actually encompasses three different liver conditions. Lets discuss each of these in a bit more detail.

Why Is Water So Important

Reasons Why Alcohol is a Determinant in Kidney Disease ...

Health organizations recommend drinking plenty of water for good reason. Your body is 50 to 75 percent water. Every cell and tissue needs this fluid to function properly.

This vital fluid regulates body temperature, carries oxygen and nutrients to your cells, protects sensitive tissues and helps flush metabolic waste. It also keeps your digestive system running smoothly and adds bulk to your stool, preventing constipation.

As a rule of thumb, adults should drink around 91 to 125 fluid ounces of water daily, points out the U.S. National Library of Medicine. However, you may need more fluids in certain circumstances, such as during exercise or when it’s hot outside. If you’re on a high-protein or high-fiber diet, consider increasing your water intake. Even mild dehydration can affect mental focus, increase your heart rate and impair physical performance.

Drinking too much water, though, is just as harmful as drinking too little. It may lead to hyponatremia, a condition that affects your sodium levels.

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How Alcohol Affects The Kidneys

One of the toxins that kidneys filter from the blood is alcohol. While a drink or two now and then is probably safe for most people, heavy drinking, binge drinking and chronic drinking is bound to wreak havoc on the kidneys. Alcohol counteracts the kidneys toxin-filtering capacity, thus setting the stage for further damage and increased risk of medical complications.

Besides the kidneys filtering of toxins function, they also help maintain the right amount of water in the body. Alcohol has a drying effect, which can seriously impair the kidneys ability to keep bodily fluids in balance. Dehydration from alcohol affects not only the kidneys, but hampers the functioning of other organs and cells.

Another negative effect of alcohol consumption on the kidneys is what it does to blood pressure. Drinking alcohol to excess can lead to an increase in blood pressure. Alcoholics and heavy drinkers are more likely to have high blood pressure than moderate drinkers or those who abstain from drinking alcohol. Over time, this can lead to chronic high blood pressure. One of the common causes of kidney disease is high blood pressure.

Binge Drinking Alcohol And Kidney Disease

If you are a binge drinker, then you put yourself in the increasing danger of kidney disease. Binge drinking is consuming 4 to 5 plus drinks an hour. However, binge drinking floods your body with alcohol and increases BAC drastically. As a result, your kidneys cant keep up and lose their function. This damage from alcohol on your kidneys causes lasting damage.

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Why You Have To Pee Again

Your brain gives off a hormone that keeps your kidneys from making too much urine. But when alcohol swings into action, it tells your brain to hold off. That means you have to go more often, which can leave you dehydrated. When you drink heavily for years, that extra workload and the toxic effects of alcohol can wear your kidneys down.

Liver Transplant As An Option

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If liver failure, liver cancer, or a chronic diagnosis occurs, a transplant may be the only option. In most cases, liver transplants are performed using livers from deceased donors. However, another viable option is a living-donor liver transplant. Because of the livers unique ability to regenerate or regrow, someone can donate a portion of their healthy liver for transplant.

During a living-donor liver transplant, a surgeon removes part of the donors liver and transplants it into the recipient to replace the damaged liver. Living donation is a life-saving option that allows patients to spend less time waiting for a deceased-donor liver.

For many patients on the liver transplant waiting list, asking for help can be the most challenging part of finding a living donor. Be sure to talk to your family and friends about living donation.

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Alcohol And Kidney Stones: Whats The Relationship

There is not significant evidence that alcohol directly causes kidney stones. Alcohol use particularly excessive alcohol use in which a woman drinks four or more alcoholic drinks in a single occasion or a man drinks five or more drinks during a single session is, however, linked to the development of a variety of other health problems. Some of these health issues include kidney damage, kidney failure, high blood pressure, various cancers, weakened immune system, mental health problems, social problems, and alcohol use disorders .2,3 Some of these issues directly or indirectly negatively impact the renal system.

Concentrated urine can occur when the body is dehydrateda leading cause of kidney stones.3 Dehydration can occur when people do not drink enough water to help the kidneys remove waste from the blood.3

Other causes and risk factors of kidney stones include:

  • Past kidney stones.
  • Conditions that causes your urine to contain high levels of cystine, oxalate, uric acid or calcium.
  • Conditions that cause swelling or irritation in your bowel or your joints.
  • Certain medicines, such as diuretics or calcium-based antacids.

If you are concerned about the way your drinking may be impacting your health, treatment for compulsive drinking can help. Reach out to our admissions navigators to learn about your alcohol treatment options at .

Drinking Heavily Can Increase Risk Of High Blood Pressure And Diabetes The Most Common Causes Of Chronic Kidney Disease In The Bahamas

NASSAU, BAHAMAS After a night of one too many cocktails or a weekend of drinking too many beers at the beach, you wake up dehydrated with a stitch in your side. Is that pang your kidneys crying help?

Drinking alcohol to excess is linked to several health and social problems, including liver disease and an increased risk of some cancers, not to mention risks from drunk driving, depression, alcohol addiction, domestic violence or accidental injuries while intoxicated.

Many people drink more than they realize. When experts talk about one drink, they are talking about one 12-ounce bottle of beer one glass of wine five ounces or one shot, 1.5 ounces, of hard liquor.

Heavy drinking is defined as more than seven drinks per week or more than three drinks in a single day for women and more than 14 drinks per week or more than four drinks in a single day for men.

The relationship between alcohol and your kidneys is a bit nuanced. Kidney specialist Shane A Bobart, MD, FASN, a nephrologist at Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital in Florida, broke down this troublesome pairing.

He noted that kidneys have an important role to fill: they filter waste from blood, regulate the balance of water and minerals in the body and produce hormones.

When this happens, dialysis is needed until a persons kidney function returns to normal. Acute kidney injury usually goes away in time, but in some cases, it can lead to lasting kidney damage.

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How Kidneys Function

First, though, its important to understand the role and function of the kidneys. How important are they to the body? What exactly do they do?

According to the National Kidney Foundation, the kidneys have six vital functions in the human body:

  • Kidneys filter the blood to remove toxins and wastes.
  • Vitamin D, important for healthy bone maintenance, is activated by the kidneys.
  • Regulating the volume and concentration of the bodys fluids is a function handled by the kidneys.
  • Keeping blood pressure in balance and under control is accomplished by the kidneys release of a hormone.
  • Kidneys also release a hormone that directs the bodys production of red blood cells.
  • Blood minerals are maintained in balance by the kidneys.

Clearly, healthy kidneys are essential to overall well-being.


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