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Does Drinking Affect Your Kidneys

Alcohol Detox And Treatment

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

If you have an addiction to alcohol or struggle to stop using it, you may need professional help to stop using alcohol. Alcohol detox is the process of getting rid of alcohol from your system. For those who are heavy drinkers, it should only be done under medical supervision. Once the alcohol detox is complete, alcohol addiction recovery will focus on ways to stay sober, including recognizing relapse triggers, developing coping mechanisms to manage stress and learning to replace the role of alcohol in your life.

Contact The Recovery Village Columbus to speak with a representative about how professional treatment can help address alcohol use. You deserve a healthier future, call today.

Body Fluid Volume And Blood Pressure

Chronic alcohol consumption may cause both fluid and solutes to accumulate, thereby increasing the overall volume of body fluids. In turn, such expansion of body fluid volume can contribute to high blood pressure, a condition often seen among chronic alcoholic patients.

The association between increased blood pressure and alcohol consumption has been recognized at least since 1915, when Lian reported the prevalence of high blood pressure in relation to the drinking habits of French army officers. More recent studies have substantiated this link. For example, in the large-scale Kaiser-Permanente study, in which blood pressure measurements and alcohol histories were obtained from more than 80,000 men and women, the association between blood pressure and drinking was found to be independent of age, sex, ethnicity, weight, smoking habit, and social class .

Symptoms Of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are hard clumps of waste made up of chemicals in the urine. Stones are most commonly made of calcium oxalate and the concentration of these salts increases when the body is dehydrated. Symptoms of kidney stones usually involve severe pain and may include:1

  • severe lower back pain
  • chills
  • and more.

If you are curious about whether your drinking may be negatively impacting your renal system and overall body, you may benefit from this article.

Kidney stones can form for several reasons. This page will inform you about kidney stones, their relation to alcohol use, how to treat kidney stones, and how to find treatment for an alcohol use disorder.

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Should I Be Concerned About The Health Risks Of Drinking Alcohol

Moderate drinking can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, but its important to understand the effects that chronic drinking can have on the body.

There are many health risks of consuming excessive alcohol use over time. This is why its important to see your healthcare provider regularly and be open and honest about how much alcohol you drink so you any health-related damage can be found early. Regular health check-ups and blood tests can help detect early signs of disease in the brain, kidneys and liver. If youre in Connecticut and would like to find a doctor near you, you can locate a board-certified PACT primary care physician using our searchable list here.

How Alcohol Use Affects The Kidneys

How does drinking alcohol affect the functioning of ...

Alcohol use and addiction can significantly impact a persons health, including his or her kidneys. The more a person drinks, the more likely he or she is to experience kidney damage or the escalation of kidney disease. Treatment programs like those offered by Vertava Health can help individuals overcome alcohol addiction and increase their overall health and wellness.

Many people know that excessive alcohol consumption can be harmful to a persons health. This can include harm to an individuals kidneys. While a few drinks every now and then will likely not significantly impact a persons health, alcohol use and addiction can affect kidneys and even worsen kidney disease. Seeking treatment through programs such as those offered by Vertava Health can help individuals address their alcohol use disorder and reclaim their health.

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Treatment For Alcohol Misuse And Kidney Disease

Treatment for AUD varies depending on your needs. If you struggle with chronic alcohol misuse, treatment begins with a medical detox program. Afterward, treatment may involve a variety of therapies in either inpatient or outpatient settings.

Treatment for AUD may include:

  • Detox and withdrawal Medical detox provides a safe place for you to withdrawal from alcohol. Detox typically lasts up to 7 days, but that also depends on the person.
  • Psychotherapy Therapies in individual and group settings are a vital part of treatment. Therapy sessions can help you better understand yourself and your issue with alcohol. Because family is crucial in treatment, family therapy is often part of treatment.
  • Medication management For some people with AUD, the use of medications in treatment is vital. The changes that alcohol causes to the brain can be lethal when a person stops drinking.
  • Treatment for other mental health issues Many people who misuse alcohol also have a mental disorder. As a result, dual diagnosis treatment offers whole-person treatment. It also lowers a persons relapse rate.
  • Holistic or alternative therapies Many treatment centers offer holistic therapies. These therapies may include yoga, meditation, mindfulness.

Does Alcohol Cause Kidney Stones

No direct link between alcohol and kidney stones has been proven. However, alcohol can cause dehydration, which is linked to kidney stone formation. For this reason, alcohol use is not recommended if you have kidney stones or are trying to prevent them.

In addition, there are other factors to consider:

  • Dehydration: If you drink, particularly in excess, it can cause dehydration, which is linked to kidney stone formation.
  • Weight gain: Drinking excessively means you are getting a lot of empty calories, which can cause weight gain. Being overweight or obese are also risk factors for kidney stones.
  • Uric acid: Alcohol like beer contains something called purines, which are the building blocks of uric acid. Purines can lead to the formation of uric acid kidney stones, and beer could exacerbate problems that you have with high purine levels.

Kidney stones and beer might not be directly associated with one another in a causal way, but there are a lot of reasons to watch your alcohol consumption if youre concerned about kidney stones.

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The Impact Of Alcohol & Drugs On The Excretory System

When you take drugs or drink alcohol, your digestive system helps to break down and metabolize these toxins. Then, the excretory system works to expel them. Commonly abused drugs can interfere with the normal functions of your digestive excretory system in specific ways.

  • Cocaine can cause kidney damage and renal failure.
  • Benzodiazepines can cause kidney damage through a breakdown of the muscles.
  • MDMA, Molly, or ecstasy can trigger dehydration and hyperthermia, which can lead to kidney failure.
  • Methamphetamine creates difficulties with kidney filtration, which can cause a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream.
  • Opioids can cause muscle breakdown, kidney damage, and kidney failure.

Alcohol Affects The Liver Which Makes Kidneys Work Harder To Filter Blood

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

A liver is a major organ which can be affected by excess alcohol consumption. When the liver is affected and unable to handle the amount of ethanol consumed, the kidneys take over some part of its work. The rate of blood flow to the part of the body is kept at a constant level for it to filter blood. When the liver is impaired, the balancing act is affected, hence overworking the organ, which leads to its dysfunction.

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How Does Alcohol Affect Your Kidneys

The effects of alcohol on your kidneys can lead to many health issues. Find out how treatment for alcohol misuse at Discovery Institute can reduce the risk of kidney disease.

Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

New Jersey Drug & Alcohol Rehab / Alcohol Rehab / How Does Alcohol Affect Your Kidneys?

Get started on your road to recovery.

We all know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for our health. But, this is especially true for alcohol and your kidneys. Having a few drinks now and then wont typically affect your health. However, misusing alcohol and alcohol use disorder can affect the kidneys and lead to kidney disease. If you are struggling with AUD, treatment at Discovery Institute can help you.

How Does Alcohol Consumption Affect Your Blood Sugar

The liver regularly releases a form of glucose into the bloodstream, maintaining steady blood sugar levels. Alcohol consumption takes a toll on liver function because the liver has to process the alcohol instead of releasing glucose on time. Lack of regular infusions of glucose can cause hypoglycemia.

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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

The Link Between Alcohol And Kidney Disease

Does Alcohol Affect The Kidneys Or Liver More

Although many factors can lead to kidney disease, chronic AUD is a common one. Even though your family history and lifestyle affect your risk of kidney disease, alcohol greatly increases your chance of developing kidney disease.

If you misuse alcohol, you will start to experience issues with your kidneys. But, chronic misuse increases these issues. As a result, you can develop kidney damage and kidney disease.

Moreover, if you develop kidney disease from alcohol or any other reason, you will also have other health issues.

Alcohol and kidney disease also leads too:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Seizures

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The Effects Of Alcohol On One Kidney

Even though most people have two kidneys, it only takes one kidney to function. But, if you have only one kidney, you must live a healthy lifestyle. So, if you have one kidney and drink alcohol, you can cause life-threatening issues.

A healthy lifestyle includes a nutritious diet, exercise, and regular check-ups. This means no alcohol. This risk of kidney disease from alcohol is drastically increased with only one kidney.

Although you can remain healthy with one kidney, drinking alcohol causes damage beyond your one kidney. Remember, kidney damage and disease can lead to other health issues.

Chronic Kidney Disease: Alcohols Effect On Kidneys

If you continue to drink regularly or have a chronic alcohol use disorder, youre at risk of chronic kidney disease. The stress put on your kidneys over time forces them to work harder. This stress also damages the liver.

Chronic kidney disease is a severe condition. But, above all, it is life-threatening. If you have chronic kidney disease from alcohol, its essential to seek treatment for both conditions.

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Kidney Pain After Drinking: Is It Normal

The areas around your kidneys may feel sore or uncomfortable after you drink alcohol. These areas include the back of your abdomen and under your rib cage on both sides of your spine.

This sensation may be experienced as a sudden, sharp, or stabbing pain. Or, it may feel like a dull ache. The pain may be mild or severe and can be experienced on one or both sides of the body.

Kidney pain may be experienced immediately after drinking alcohol or after you have stopped drinking. In some circumstances, it worsens at night.

Other symptoms that may come with kidney pain include:

  • Vomiting

Alcohol And High Blood Pressure

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If you have high blood pressure, you should pay special attention to the way alcohol affects your kidneys and your overall health. Heavy drinkers are more likely to develop high blood pressure than non-drinkers. In addition to contributing to the development of high blood pressure, alcohol also has the potential to affect certain high blood pressure medications. Promote healthy kidney function and blood pressure by limiting the amount of alcohol you consume.

Alcohol, especially when consumed in excess, negatively affects many of the systems of the body. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, its recommended that men have no more than two drinks per day, and that women have no more than one drink per day. Of course, if you have any questions about your personal relationship with alcohol, its best to consult a healthcare professional.

At Durham Nephrology, our team is experienced in providing treatment and guidance to kidney patients. If you have questions about taking care of yourself while dealing with kidney disease, call us at 919-477-3005 to talk to a staff member and make an appointment.

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Causes Of Low Phosphate Levels In Alcoholics

The following causes may underlie low phosphate levels in severe alcoholics:

  • Phosphorus deficiency in the diet

  • Increased blood pH due to prolonged rapid breathing

  • Insulin administration

  • Administration of nutrients beyond normal requirements

  • Excessive excretion in urine

  • Magnesium deficiency.

SOURCE: Adapted from Epstein, M. Alcohol and the kidney. In: Lieber, C.S., ed. Medical and Nutritional Complications of Alcoholism: Mechanisms and Management. New York: Plenum Medical Book Company, 1992. p. 498.

Another potential cause of hypophosphatemia in alcoholic patients is hyperventilation, which can occur during alcohol withdrawal. Prolonged rapid, shallow breathing results in excessive loss of carbon dioxide and decreased blood acidity , which in turn activates an enzyme that enhances glucose breakdown. In glucose breakdown, phosphate becomes incorporated into various metabolic compounds, ultimately lowering blood levels of phosphate. As the rate of glucose breakdown increases, profound hypophosphatemia potentially can result.

Potential Complications From Chronic Kidney Disease Include:

  • Anemia
  • End-stage kidney disease, requiring either kidney dialysis or transplant
  • Immune response decrease, increasing vulnerability to infection
  • Retention of fluid, which can lead to swelling in feet, legs and arms, high blood pressure, or fluid buildup in the lungs
  • Hyperkalemia, a sudden rise in blood potassium levels, which can damage the hearts ability to function and can be life-threatening
  • Pericarditis, an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Sexual problems, including decreased sex drive, reduced fertility or erectile dysfunction

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Alcohol And Acute Kidney Failure

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.

What Are The Kidneys And What Do They Do

Does Alcohol Affect The Kidneys Or Liver More

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.

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Treatment Options For Alcohol Misuse & Addiction

Alcoholism can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the number of symptoms you experience.

Signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder may include:3

  • Struggling to lessen the amount of alcohol you consume
  • Aiming to cut down on how much alcohol you consume or making unsuccessful attempts to do so
  • Spending a lot of time drinking, looking for alcohol, or recovering from alcohol use
  • Experiencing a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol
  • Struggling or failing to fulfill essential obligations at work, school, or home due to consistent alcohol use
  • Continuing to drink even though you know it is leading to physical, social, or interpersonal issues
  • Giving up or lessening social and work activities and hobbies
  • Drinking alcohol in situations where it is unsafe, such as when driving or swimming
  • Developing alcohol tolerance so you require more to feel its effect, or you have a reduced impact from the same amount
  • Getting withdrawal symptoms when you do not drink or drink to avoid these symptoms

There are various treatment options for alcohol misuse and addiction, including:10

  • Medications


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