What Is A Kidney Stone
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney. A stone can get stuck as it leaves the kidney. It can lodge in one of your two ureters , the bladder, or the urethra .
Kidney stones may be the size of sand or gravel, as large as a pearl, or even larger. A stone can block the flow of your urine and cause great pain. A stone may also break loose and travel through your urinary tract all the way out of your body without causing too much pain.
There are four major types of kidney stones.
- Calcium is the most common type of stone. Calcium can combine with other substances, such as oxalate , to form the stone.
- A uric acid stone may form when your urine contains too much acid.
- A struvite stone may form after an infection in your urinary system.
- Cystine stones are rare. The disease that causes cystine stones runs in families.
Kidney Stones Feel Like A Stomachache
MYTH BUSTED: Kidney stones are more along the lines of a contraction, and some people it is more severe than labor, so go ask your mom if labor is just like a stomachache and send us her reaction. Trust us, the pain can range from a stabbing sensation to pain along the lines of menstrual cramps. Its definitely not a tummy ache.
The Following Provides An Overview Of What To Know About Beer And Kidney Stones And Answers The Question Does Beer Help Kidney Stones
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Kidney stones can be painful and can lead a person to seek home remedies, including beer consumption. The following provides an overview of what to know about beer and kidney stones.
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Diet And Calcium Stones
Follow these guidelines if you have calcium kidney stones:
- Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water.
- Eat less salt. Chinese and Mexican food, tomato juice, regular canned foods, and processed foods are often high in salt. Look for low-salt or unsalted products.
- Have only 2 or 3 servings a day of foods with a lot of calcium, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, oysters, and tofu.
- Eat lemons or oranges, or drink fresh lemonade. Citrate in these foods prevents stones from forming.
- Limit how much protein you eat. Choose lean meats.
- Eat a low-fat diet.
Do not take extra calcium or vitamin D, unless the provider who is treating your kidney stones recommends it.
- Watch out for antacids that contain extra calcium. Ask your provider which antacids are safe for you to take.
- Your body still needs the normal amount of calcium you get from your daily diet. Limiting calcium may actually increase the chance that stones will form.
Ask your provider before taking vitamin C or fish oil. They may be harmful to you.
If your provider says you have calcium oxalate stones, you may also need to limit foods that are high in oxalate. These foods include:
- Fruits: rhubarb, currants, canned fruit salad, strawberries, and Concord grapes
- Vegetables: beets, leeks, summer squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, and tomato soup
- Drinks: tea and instant coffee
- Other foods: grits, tofu, nuts, and chocolate
Why Do I Get Kidney Stones
Kidneys are essential organs that filter out the waste traveling around the body in your bloodstream. The kidneys create urine to transport the filtered chemicals out of the body. Stones develop from buildup of mineral deposits in our urine that stick together in the kidneys. Typically, these stones develop because of a lack of water to dilute the accumulation of these minerals on the lining of our kidneys. Certain medications, medical disorders , and a family history of kidney stones can also increase your chances of suffering from them.
Because they are known to cause a great deal of pain, it is no surprise that those who suffer from kidney stones are willing to try just about anything to treat them and to prevent them from happening again. Known medicinal treatments include the use of alpha-blockers such as Flomax that relax the lining of the ureter to help stones pass more easily, and medications that treat the associated pain. Additionally, surgical procedures or other non-invasive means of surgical treatment may be prescribed to break up both calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones. These treatments include ureteroscopy and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy .
Preventative measures used to halt the formation of kidney stones include dietary and behavioral changes. These involve decreasing sodium intake, increasing water intake to stay properly hydrated, stopping excessive exercise, stopping sauna usage , and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
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Symptoms & Risk Factors Of Kidney Stones
The most prominent symptom of kidney stones is severe pain and cramping in the back and side. This pain often moves to the abdomen and groin, coming and going in waves as your body tries to remove the stone.
Other symptoms may include:
- Feeling a persistent and intense urge to urinate
- Pink, brown, or red-colored urine, often foul-smelling
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever or chills
The two most significant risk factors for kidney stones are dehydration and diet. Among other reasons, dehydration can occur from excessive exercise, hot climate, or alcohol consumption.
Certain diets may lead to the formation of kidney stones as well, particularly those high in protein, sodium, or sugar. More indirectly, diet can increase a persons risk for kidney stones through high blood pressure and obesity.
Some people are at higher risk due to genetic factors, such as family history. Also, if you have had a kidney stone before, there is an increased chance another may develop later.
Why Do My Kidneys Hurt After Drinking Alcohol
The purpose of the kidneys is to filter waste from the body, and proper water intake is required to replace this waste. Alcohol dehydrates you, which makes it difficult for this to happen.
On top of that, you are intoxicated, which also puts a strain on your kidneys. This is one reason why you may feel pain after that glass of wine or beer.
The best way to avoid this pain is to drink plenty of water after a night of drinking.
Can Alcohol Cause Kidney Stones?
Alcohol does not directly cause kidney stones. However, excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of developing kidney stones in several ways. The most common way this happens is through dehydration.
Other factors associated with excessive alcohol use, such as weight gain and poor diet, can be risk factors for kidney stones.
Should I Drink Alcohol if I Have Kidney Stones?
If you already have kidney stones, drinking alcohol may worsen your condition. Drinking alcohol can cause kidney stones to move around faster, causing increased pain in the body.
How to Prevent Alcohol-Related Kidney Stones
The best way to prevent kidney stones from alcohol use is to drink alcohol in moderation. Excessive drinking or addiction will put you at a higher risk of developing kidney stones. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated will also help reduce your risk. However, the best way to avoid alcohol-related kidney stones is to abstain from drinking entirely.
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Soda Causes Kidney Stones
MYTH BUSTED: While we are tempted to let you believe this one as Soda is a nutrient empty, sugar-laden drink, we must inform you this is NOT the case. The fact is phosphoric acid is the culprit that is an ingredient in SOME sodas, typically colas, and pepper sodas such as Coke or Dr. Pepper and Pepsi. The other issue with Soda is that it is a diuretic because of the caffeine. This makes the salt content in your urine rise, which promotes kidney stones. So have a soda, but also follow it with an equal amount of water and you will decrease that concentrate. Alternatively, you could avoid soda altogether and replace it with healthier alternatives.
How Is A Uric Stone Diagnosed
Diagnosis of a kidney stone starts with a medical history, physical examination, imaging tests, urine and blood testing, and stone analysis. Blood and urine can be tested for abnormal levels of certain chemicals. You may be asked to collect your urine for 24 hours to test for uric acid or other factors that may increase the risk for stone formation.
Imaging tests can be used to locate stones in the body. Ultrasound uses a device to bounce safe, painless sound waves off organs and create an image of their structure. Many healthcare professionals feel that this is the best screening test to find stones. Computerized tomography scans uses a beam of X-rays and computers to create images and look for stones inside the kidneys.
A stone that comes out of the body will be analyzed in order to find the type of stone and its cause. Knowing the type of stone can also help with a plan for prevention.
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What You Can Do To Prevent Kidney Stones
If youâve already had a kidney stone, your doctor may recommend medication to keep it from happening again. What kind will depend on what caused the stone.
Also, take charge of your diet:
- Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated, especially when you exercise.
- Check food labels. Read the ingredients. Avoid or cut back on foods with high amounts of ingredients like sodium chloride, monosodium glutamate , and sodium nitrate.
- Choose foods wisely. Usually itâs good to get more spinach and nuts in your diet. But if you have calcium oxalate stones, which are the most common type, your doctor may tell you to avoid or limit foods high in oxalates:
- Nuts, including almonds, cashews, pistachios, and peanuts
- Soy products, including soy burgers, soy milk, and soy cheese
/5can Drinking Beer Prevent Kidney Stones
It is pivotal to drink fluids when you have a kidney stone, so that it is easier for you to urinate to pass the stones. There is a myth that beer causes frequent urination, which is why it is associated with quicker passing of kidney stones through urine. A study spanning eight years was conducted on 190000 middle aged adults who had never had kidney stones before. It was found that the risk of developing kidney stones fell by 41% for those who drank beer daily, hence giving rise to the notion that beer can keep kidney stones at bay.
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What Is The Role Of The Kidneys
Kidneys are essential to your overall health, serving multiple essential functions. The primary role of the kidneys is to filter the blood of toxins and turn the waste into urine.
They also regulate the bodys electrolyte and water levels, keeping them constant.
And finally, they secrete hormones important to proper bodily function.
When your kidneys stop working properly, harmful toxins and waste products can build up, leading to various side effects and dangerous conditions.
Im Concerned About My Alcohol Use: What Should I Do
Even if your alcohol use is not affecting your renal system, and even if you are not misusing alcohol, alcohol can still have a negative impact on your health and overall life.6 If youre concerned about your alcohol use, there are a variety of resources available for you to utilize. American Addiction Centers offers a free 24/7 helpline for those wondering about alcohol use disorder, the stages of alcohol use disorder, treatment options for alcohol use disorder, and more. Call our admissions navigators today at to find out more about what you can do to protect your health if youre worried about the impact that its having on your drinking.
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- fever and chills
- urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
The kidney stone starts to hurt when it causes irritation or blockage. This builds rapidly to extreme pain. In most cases, kidney stones pass without causing damage-but usually not without causing a lot of pain. Pain relievers may be the only treatment needed for small stones. Other treatment may be needed, especially for those stones that cause lasting symptoms or other complications. In severe cases, however, surgery may be required.
Treatment Options For Alcohol
Alcohol-related or not, once you develop kidney stones, you have several ways of treating them. Depending on their size, you can simply pass them when you urinate.
If it is too large or painful to pass naturally, you may need to seek advanced medical care. There are non-invasive surgeries available to help you pass the stones.
Shock wave lithotripsy involves using shock waves targeted at the area of the body with the kidney stones. The waves shatter them into fragments that are small enough to pass through the urethra without pain.
The other, laser lithotripsy, entails a long, thin telescope inserted upward into the urethra. Once secured, a laser is used to blast the stones into tiny pieces.
Even more invasive options include ureteroscopy and nephrolithotomy. The first involves passing a telescope into the bladder. The second consists of making a small incision into the back to physically remove the stone. The most invasive option, open surgery, is used in very rare cases.
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Study Summary: Beverages And Their Effect On Kidney Stones
In this epidemiological study on beverages and their impact on kidney stones, researchers followed 194,095 people over the course of eight years. The study was conducted to see if there was any correlation between the type of fluid participants drank, how much of each beverage they drank, and its effect on kidney stones. At the completion of the study, 4,462 people had a kidney stone at one point or another.
Its important to note that none of these participants had a history of kidney stones beforehand.
How The Study Was Conducted
Researchers first established the kidney stone risk level for each participant based on health and dietary factors. The study was broken into three parts, to examine three different sample sizes.
In each part of the study, researchers compared the effects of drinking an average of one or more servings per day against drinking less than one serving per week. A serving is described as
- 12 ounces of soda or beer,
- eight ounces of milk, coffee, tea or fruit punch,
- five ounces of wine or
- four to six ounces of juice
Researchers found that sugar-sweetened colas and non-colas, fruit punch and diet non-cola drinks increased the risk of kidney stones, in some cases up to 33 percent.
On the other hand, beer, white and red wine, caffeinated and decaf coffee, orange juice and tea reduced the risk of kidney stones drastically. Beer proved to reduce the risk of kidney stones up to 41 percent, and wine reduced kidney stone risk by 33 percent.
/5alcohol And Kidney Stones
The kidneys are responsible for filtering harmful substances like alcohol. Alcohol contains a high purine content, a chemical which leads to uric acid and kidney stones. When you drink too much alcohol, the functionality of your kidneys is compromised, and they are not able to flush out the purine. It then gets accumulated in the kidneys, eventually resulting in a kidney stone.
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Can Kidney Stones Cause Prostatitis
No. Prostatitis occurs when there is inflammation of the prostate. When the prostate is inflamed, it can be painful or difficult to urinate. If you have prostatitis, you may feel like you have to make frequent trips to the restroom, experience a persistent urge to urinate, or wake up at night to urinate. You may have general pelvic discomfort or pain in the testicles or anorectal region.
The most common causes of chronic prostatitis are autoimmune diseases, stress, and pelvic floor spasms. Causes of bacterial prostatitis include urinary tract infections, bladder infections, urinary retention, and prostate stones. Kidney stones are not associated with causing prostatitis.
Importance Of The Kidneys
The kidneys can be found at the back of the abdomen. They are usually four inches in length and can be found on either side of the spine. These kidney-bean shaped organs have the important function of removing waste products from the blood. If this waste is not removed, the individual will become ill and eventually die. The kidneys also serve the vital function of removing excess water from the body in the form of urine.
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Preventing Future Kidney Stones
If you had a calcium stone, your doctor may suggest cutting back on salt, which cause the body to dispense more calcium into the urine, as well as animal protein. You may also be advised to avoid high-oxalate foods, including chocolate, instant coffee, tea, beans, berries, dark leafy greens, oranges, tofu, and sweet potatoes. The best way to ward off new kidney stones is to drink enough water to keep urine clear.
Treatment: Shock Wave Therapy
The most common medical procedure for treating kidney stones is known as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy . This therapy uses high-energy shock waves to break a kidney stone into little pieces. The small pieces can then move through the urinary tract more easily. Side effects can include bleeding, bruising, or pain after the procedure.
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Health Issues Associated With Drinking Outside Of Renal System
Even a small amount of alcohol can impact your health in a negative way and is associated with an increased risk for death and other health problems. Short-term risks of excessive alcohol use include injuries, such as motor vehicle crash injuries, alcohol poisoning, risky sexual behaviors, miscarriage, and stillbirth.2
In the long-term, drinking can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, digestive issues, cancer , weakening immune system, learning and memory issues, mental health problems, social problems, and alcohol use disorders .2