HomePopularDoes Alcohol Affect Your Kidneys Or Liver

Does Alcohol Affect Your Kidneys Or Liver

Alcohol And Acute Kidney Failure

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

The amount of alcohol being consumed is an important factor when it comes to kidney health.The general consensus of what makes up one drink is twelve ounces of beer, one glass of wine, or a 1.5 ounces shot of liquor. Binge drinking occurs when more than five drinks are consumed in about two hours. Binge drinking can lead to a sudden drop in kidney function referred to as acute kidney failure. While acute kidney failure typically subsides over time, it can occasionally lead to lasting kidney damage.

How Do I Know If My Liver Has Been Damaged By Alcohol

More than three-quarters of liver cells may be non-functioning before you notice any symptoms, but by then it may be too late to do anything about it. So its important to see your doctor and be honest about your alcohol consumption. Through regular physical examinations and blood tests, your doctor will be able to detect early signs of liver disease.

Gross And Microscopic Changes

One way in which alcohol directly affects the kidneys is by altering the form and structure of this pair of organs, as demonstrated by various animal studies. For example, in an early study on dogs , investigators observed several striking alterations after chronic alcohol administration. The basement membrane of the glomerulus became abnormally thickened and was characterized by cell proliferation. Further changes included enlarged and altered cells in the kidney tubules. In another study, compared kidney structure and function in alcohol-fed and control rats. The alcohol-fed group experienced kidney swelling and significantly reduced kidney function in addition, under microscopic examination, the kidneys of alcohol-fed rats were found to have cells enlarged with increased amounts of protein, fat, and water, compared with those of the control animals.

Don’t Miss: Do Multivitamins Cause Kidney Stones

How Alcohol Affects The Stomach

There are many effects on the entire digestive system from heavy alcohol use, and the stomach is no exception. Immediate effects on the stomach after consuming alcohol can include acid reflux and heartburn. Long-term alcohol use can lead to stomach inflammation, leaky gut syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome. Studies have also shown an increase in the risk of stomach cancer in heavy drinkers.

Why Do You Get Hangovers

Alcohol And Kidney Disease

It takes your liver about an hour to remove 1 unit of alcohol from your body about half a glass of wine. Depending on how much alcohol you have, it might lead to a hangover.

Ethanol is toxic and acts as a diuretic a substance that makes you urinate more frequently. Excess urination can increase the risk of dehydration and loss of vital electrolytes.

Dehydration is responsible for some of the symptoms you feel when hungover like dizziness, lightheadedness, and thirst.

Alcohol is broken down by your body into an even more toxic substance called acetaldehyde, which your body will eventually get rid of. Some studies have shown that this toxic substance causes symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

You can reduce your chances of getting a hangover by:

  • drinking water before going to bed
  • eating a substantial meal before drinking you might feel the effect of alcohol more quickly when drinking on an empty stomach
  • drinking in moderation, or avoiding alcohol altogether

You May Like: Can Seltzer Water Cause Kidney Stones

Effects On The Immune System

As mentioned above, alcohol interferes with immune cells in the lungs. Thus, alcohol can suppress your ability to fight infections. But that is not the only way that heavy alcohol use impairs the immune system. It also kills vital immune cells in the intestines and halts the maturation of the immune system in underaged drinkers. Those suffering from or at risk for alcoholism have been proven to be at higher risk for diseases like tuberculosis, cancer, and even HIV.

Treatment For Liver Disease And Alcoholism

Many forms of liver damage can be reversible if you stop drinking or take other steps.

  • Fatty Liver disease Reversible with abstinence
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis Reversible with abstinence
  • Cirrhosis Abstinence is helpful however, it is usually fatal due to secondary complications. These can include kidney failure or hypertension in the vein carrying blood to the liver. It could stabilize with abstinence but is case-by-case sensitive.
  • Liver Cancer Same as cirrhosis

If you have an alcohol addiction and symptoms of liver damage, its important to find help as soon as possible.

Between 15% and 30% of heavy drinkers are diagnosed with cirrhosis each year, but the majority of those with this disease survive if they seek treatment for their addiction. Despite this, between 40% and 90% of the 26,000 annual cirrhosis deaths are alcohol-related.

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism, contact a treatment provider to find a rehabilitation center today.

  • About

Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelors and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffreys desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffreys mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

Clinically Reviewed:

Theresa Parisi

  • About

Don’t Miss: Fluid Buildup Around Kidney

Alcohol And Kidney Pain: What Are The Effects Of Alcohol On Kidneys

Your kidneys are vital to keeping your body healthy and free of toxins. Your kidneys filter waste out of your body through the urine. They also help maintain a balance of fluid and electrolytes.

When you drink alcohol, the kidneys have to work extra hard. Therefore, one effect of alcohol on the kidneys is pain. Additionally, urinating often is another effect of alcohol on kidneys. You will typically urinate more because of the flushing of alcohol from the body. This flushing can lead to dehydration and kidney pain.

How Much Is Too Much

Alcohol and Kidney Damage – How Does Alcohol Affect Your Kidneys?

According to research, a lady should have less than three drinks in a day to keep the kidneys healthy, which translates to less than seven drinks per week. For a man, less than four drinks in a day and less than fourteen in a week is considered to be an amount that will not hurt. Excessive drinking overworks the organ, thus increasing the risk of kidney diseases.Blood alcohol levels can also shoot to a dangerous level through binge drinking. This results in a quick kidney malfunction for which dialysis is administered to return the kidneys to normal function.It is important to always consult the health provider on the amount that one can take, without compromising their health. This depends not only on the personal health conditions but also on medications prescribed. Many medications can seriously harm kidneys when combined with alcohol. It is important to always drink in moderation.

You May Like: Miralax And Kidneys

Alcohol And Chronic Kidney Disease

Binge drinking aside, regular heavy drinking can damage kidneys over time. Consistent excessive alcohol consumption has been found to double the risk of developing chronic kidney disease, which does not go away on its own. These statistics increase when smoking is involved. Those who drink heavily and smoke are about five times more likely to develop chronic kidney disease than those who do not have those habits.

Reducing The Risk Of Liver Damage

You can reduce the risk of liver damage by cutting down or giving up alcohol. All liver diseases improve from giving up alcohol.

If you have significant liver scarring or cirrhosis, you should not drink alcohol.

Fatty liver can be reversed and further damage avoided by not drinking alcohol.

There is no cure for cirrhosis. But cutting out alcohol completely gives a much better chance of survival. You can live for decades with cirrhosis, if you give up alcohol in time.

Things that reduce the impact of liver disease include:

  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • eating a balanced diet and avoiding processed food
  • drinking coffee

Also Check: Kidney Pain Std

Alcohol Effects On Liver And Kidneys

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

How Does Alcohol Harm The Kidneys

11 Ways Alcohol Ages You

Your kidneys filter harmful substances from your blood. One of these substances is alcohol. Alcohol can cause changes in the function of the kidneys and make them less able to filter your blood. In addition to filtering blood, your kidneys do many other important jobs. One of these jobs is keeping the right amount of water in your body. Alcohol affects the ability of your kidneys to do this. When alcohol dehydrates the body, the drying effect can affect the normal function of cells and organs, including the kidneys.

Too much alcohol can also affect your blood pressure. People who drink too much are more likely to have high blood pressure. And medications for high blood pressure can be affected by alcohol. High blood pressure is a common cause of kidney disease. More than two drinks a day can increase your chance of having high blood pressure.

Chronic drinking can also cause liver disease. This adds to the kidney’s job. The rate of blood flow to your kidneys is usually kept at a certain level, so that your kidneys can filter your blood well. Liver disease impairs this important balancing act. In fact, most patients in the United States who have both liver disease and associated kidney dysfunction are alcohol dependent.

Read Also: Is Grape Juice Good For Kidney Stones

How Does Alcohol Affect The Liver

When a person thinks about alcohol as damaging to their body, the liver always comes to mind. A healthy liver works to aid food digestion, filter toxins, and enable nutrient absorption. Drinking alcohol, even in moderation, can damage the liver. After this damage, the liver works to repair itself, but it isnt always successful.

When alcohol reaches the liver, it produces an enzyme called acetaldehyde. With moderate to heavy alcohol use, these enzymes build up and scar the liver. The scar tissue can then lead to long-term inflammation, which causes fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and ultimately liver failure. These results are dangerous, as the liver is a vital organ that one cannot live without.

How Alcohol Affects Kidneys

Is alcohol bad for your kidneys? The answer is yes, although the damage is not always noticed at once.

Kidneys serve as a body filter, removing the harmful substances from the system. Alcohol is one of such toxic elements and is mainly excreted through kidneys and liver thus, these organs suffer the most. Alcohol negatively affects the body part in the following ways.

Don’t Miss: Wine Kidney Stones

What Are The Kidneys And What Do They Do

Your kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs that are located on both sides of the spine. Each kidney is about 4 or 5 inches long, roughly the size of a large fist. The job of the kidney is to filter your blood, remove waste, control the bodys fluid balance, and maintain the appropriate amount of electrolytes. In fact, every ounce of blood in your body passes through your kidneys several times a day.

During the filtering process, the blood enters the kidney at which time, waste gets removed and the salt, water, and mineral levels are adjusted if needed. The filtered blood then goes back into the body and the waste gets turned into urine. The urine collects in the kidneys pelvis which then drains down to the bladder.

How Does Alcohol Affect The Liver And Other Organs

Effects of Alcohol on Liver

Research indicating that the consumption of alcohol can be healthy may be misleading to the public. Scientists have found that one glass of red wine per day can be beneficial for your health, but most people dont realize that the standard pour of wine is five ounces. This is well below the halfway mark of a standard wine glass, not what most people would consider a glass of wine. Most people simply dont consume alcohol in small enough quantities to be considered healthy, as the studies suggest.

Drinking a moderate or heavy amount of alcohol has been scientifically shown to have negative effects on your entire body. For those struggling with alcohol addiction, drinking only one serving of alcohol is not an option. In their struggle with alcohol, their tolerance and dependency grow day by day. As a result, they consume increasingly large amounts of alcohol, and every vital organ in their body is affected.

Read Also: Bleeding Kidney Treatment

Kidney Issues Unrelated To Alcohol

Drinking does not cause all types of kidney pain. The timing of the pain could be a coincidence, or the alcohol could have intensified an existing problem.

Kidney stones are another possible cause of pain. A person may feel intense back pain or pain in their genitals or stomach as the body attempts to pass the stone. Some people also develop a fever. If the body does not pass the stone, a person can develop a severe infection or blockage.

Sustaining a physical injury to the kidneys, such as by falling from a height, may also cause kidney pain.

It is important to see a doctor for any and all kidney pain, whether it is related to alcohol consumption or not.

A person is at risk of different complications depending on the underlying cause of the kidney pain.

For example, a person with a UTI that spreads to the kidneys can develop , a dangerous infection of the blood.

The possible complications of uncontrolled or untreated kidney disease include:

  • gout, a type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid accumulates in the blood
  • anemia, which develops when the body does not have enough red blood cells
  • high levels of phosphorous, which may cause bone conditions such as osteoporosis
  • dangerously high potassium levels

Liver Pains After Drinking

One of the most common questions from heavy drinkers is, Do I have liver damage? This question is asked when someone who has been binge drinking starts getting pains in the right side of their abdomen. The good news is that liver pains are not a sign of serious liver damage. In fact, many doctors argue that there should not be liver pain even during the later stages of cirrhosis and liver damage.

If you are feeling pains in your side after drinking, it is more likely to be inflammation of the nerves and tissue around organs such as the gallbladder, kidneys, or pancreas. So no, liver pains are not a sign of liver damage, but they certainly are a sign that alcohol is doing damage in that area and likely doing damage to the liver as well.

You May Like: Yerba Mate Kidney Stones

How To Reduce Alcohol Consumption Safely

If you want to cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink, you should get medical advice first. This is because you can get physical withdrawal symptoms, like shaking, sweating or feeling anxious until you have your first drink of the day. It can be dangerous to stop drinking too quickly without proper help.

Its also a good idea to develop a plan to help you get there one step at a time.

Some helpful tips include:

Alcohol Risks: A Body Out Of Balance

Can Kidneys Repair After Alcohol Damage

Heavy drinking also has an indirect effect on kidney health. The body is a big domino set, says Dr. Bobart. If you have one part of your body thats not in balance, it can cause problems in many other parts of the body.

Drinking heavily can increase the risk of high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, for example. Both of those conditions are the mostcommon causes of chronic kidney disease in the United States.

Chronic alcohol use is also a major cause of liver disease. When your liver isnt functioning well, it can impair blood flow to your kidneys. Liver disease can have significant impacts on the kidneys, says Dr. Bobart.

Read Also: Can You Have 4 Kidneys

Drink To Your Kidneys’ Health

Drinking Alcohol in Moderation May Actually Be Good for Your Kidneys

May 12, 2005 — A drink a day may do your kidneys more good than harm, rather than the other way around.

Although some previous studies show that alcohol use may be harmful to the kidneys and increase the risk of kidney failure, a large new study indicates that the reverse might be true — at least when alcohol is consumed in moderation.

If those results hold up to further scrutiny, researchers say preventing kidney failure may be yet another benefit of drinking alcohol in moderation, in addition to other recently discovered perks, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Moderation is defined as no more than two alcoholic drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. A “standard drink” is defined as 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

It Is Important To Avoid Spending Time With Alcoholic Circle

To ensure that you can avoid consumption of alcohol you have to also ensure that you are not spending more time with circles or with groups of people that are spending most of their time-consuming alcohol. Spending more time with alcoholics can be making more alcoholics and ultimately completely disrupt your proper process of getting over your addiction. Ensuring that you can effectively get alleviated a few conditions is absolutely important and this can certainly be providing your body with the perfect forms of elevation that it needs. So it is important in that regard that you have to be spending less that time with people that might be making you consume alcohol or who might be causing increased urges of alcohol consumption in your body.

You May Like: Is Honey Good For Kidney

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular