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Does Drinking Beer Help With Kidney Stones

Sugary Drinks Might Raise Kidney Stone Risk

Is Beer Good for Kidney Stones ? Does it Help or Cause Kidney Stones?

May 24, 2013 / 1:39 PM / CBS News

Kidney stones can be incredibly painful for sufferers, and now a new study shows cutting sugary drinks out of your diet may reduce risk for the condition.

“Our prospective study confirms that some beverages are associated with a lower risk of kidney stone formation, whereas others are associated with a higher risk,” study co-author Dr. Pietro Manual Ferraro, a kidney specialist at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Rome, said in a statement.

Kidney stones are made up of mineral and acid salt deposits that form when urine becomes concentrated, allowing the minerals to stick together and crystallize, the Mayo Clinic reports. Diet, obesity, digestive diseases, dehydration, medications and some urinary tract infections might raise risk.

Each year, more than 300,000 people go to emergency rooms for kidney stones and more than one million people visit their doctor for them, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

About 20 percent of American men and 10 percent of American women will have a kidney stone in their lifetime, according to the authors of the new study, published May 15 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

On the other hand, people who reported drinking beer and wine frequently had a 41 percent and 33 percent lower risk of developing stones respectively than people who did not consume the alcoholic beverages.

Understanding The Makeup Of Kidney Stones

To understand why certain beverages such as wine have a positive influence on kidney health, you first must understand what causes kidney stones in the first place!

Kidney stones are actually crystals that form from different materials in urine. When the concentration in urine is made up of more waste than fluid, it can sometimes cause the waste to build up and form kidney stones.

  • Struvite stones
  • Cystine stones
  • Each type has its own causes, but the makeup of each is relatively the same. When broken down, kidney stones are usually made of calcium, urate, cystine, phosphate, oxalate, and xanthine.

    This explains why different beverages produce a higher risk of kidney stones than others. Soda is made up of processed bleached sugar, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and high fructose corn syrup, among other things. High fructose corn syrup can metabolize into oxalate and increase excretion of uric acid and calcium. These high levels of oxalate, uric acid and calcium can cause kidney stones to form. Therefore, its easy to see that soda may result in higher risks of kidney stones.

    Libations like beer and wine, on the other hand, do not break down into these harmful acids. Wine breaks down into helpful antioxidants, which are beneficial to your body. However, dont read this as a reason to ingest copious amounts of wine. The key here is moderation, as with any beverage you drink.

    What If It’s Too Late

    Drinking beer can also help the body void a kidney stone, simply because of its strong diuretic effects. Beer also dilates the urinary tract, making it easier, and less painful, to flush out a stone. Cranberry juice has the same effect, maintains author Duane Swierczynski of “The Big Book o’ Beer: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Greatest Beverage on Earth.”

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    What You Can Do About It

    Firstly, you need to get a proper diagnosis in order to find out the size of kidney stone. Timely diagnosis is important because stones in kidney can cause serious damage to kidneys and may even damage them. Following are some tips that can help you ger rid of them:

    1. Have kidney beans: Kidney beans can help in breaking down kidney stones. Boil soaked kidney beans with some hing or asafoetida. Fibre in kidney beans can help in flushing out kidney stones. Have it at least once a day to manage stones in the kidney.

    2. Apple cider vinegar: ACV breaks down into acetic acid in the body, which can break down into a stone that is formed by calcium oxalate and other minerals. Have 1 tbsp of ACV 30 minutes before lunch and dinner can help in breaking down kidney stones and ease their passage.

    Also read: Got Kidney Stone? Try Apple Cider Vinegar: Heres How It Works

    3. Dried basil leaves: Boil 1 tbsp of dried basil leaves in water to make a tea. Have this tea thrice a day. It breaks down into acetic acid and helps you to break down kidney stone.

    4. Drink sufficient water: Being dehydrated can lead to formation of kidney stones. Make sure you drink sufficient water to prevent and treat stones.

    5. Pomegranate juice: Drink it regularly and can helpin flushing out kidney stones.

    6. Dandelion root: This acts as a diuretic, which can be beneficial in breaking down and flushing out small-sized stones in kidneys.

    7. Celery juice: Drink regularly to naturally flush out stones.

    What Other Kidney Issues Are Associated With Alcohol/drinking

    Kidney Drinking Beer

    Kidneys are vital to the overall healthy functioning of the human body and serve as filtration devices for any harmful or toxic substance that enters your bloodstream. When someone drinks in excess, the kidneys have to work harder to filter the bodys blood and can cause immense stress on the kidneys. The dehydrating effect of alcohol can negatively impact your bodys cell and organ functions. Additionally, alcohol in the body can impact the hormones that contribute to healthy kidney function in your body.3

    Regular heavy drinking has been known to double the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Those who smoke cigarettes in addition to drinking heavily are about five times more likely to develop kidney disease than those who only drink excessively.3

    Recommended Reading: How To Tell If You Have Problems With Kidney

    What Causes Kidney Stones

    There are many different reasons a person might get kidney stones throughout their life, ranging from genetics to lifestyle.

    • Genetics can cause kidney stones, which are often made from cystine.
    • Acidic urine can cause kidney stones, often made from uric acid.
    • Diet can be linked to kidney stones, often formed from calcium oxalate.
    • Infections can cause kidney stones, often formed from struvite.
    • Dehydration can cause kidney stones by making it harder to flush out crystals in your urine.

    Alcohol And Kidney Stones

  • It has not been proven that drinking beer directly causes kidney stones nevertheless, there is evidence that drinking beer can indirectly impact the condition.
  • Consuming beer over a prolonged period can lead to dehydration, which raises the chance of developing kidney stones.
  • Beer drinking has been linked to an increased risk of obesity. Another factor that can increase your likelihood of developing kidney stones is being overweight or obese.
  • Uric acid is known for regulating uric acid levels in the body, which raises the probability of stones in the kidneys.
  • Read Also: What Does The Renal Pelvis Do In The Kidney

    What Are The Potential Problems With Alcohol And Kidney Disease

    Alcohol can and does interact with medications. Some very important medications that you may be taking. So one of the main reasons to talk to your doctor is because alcohol may interact with one of your medications. Be cautious. You might be on just a few meds or you might be on quite a few, but either way, discuss if alcohol affects your medications. By the way, this is true no matter what you have going on, whether or not you have kidney disease. Much the same is true of grapefruit fruits and juices.

    Alcohol can also increase urination through the effect it has on your anti-diuretic hormone and that in turn concentrates your blood and increases the levels of calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and potassium in your blood. It directly affects this hormone, so you may find yourself with the need to urinate within 20 minutes of drinking.

    Alcohol is mostly processed through the liver, so as long as you don’t have liver damage you can drink in moderation. If you have been a long time drinker and have any sort of liver problems or disease, you should stop drinking due to your liver not being able to process the alcohol easily.

    If you are on dialysis the amount of liquid counts toward your fluid allowance for the day. So, a 1.5-ounce shot is less fluid than a 12-ounce beer. Not that I am endorsing either of them. It’s just a thought. Watch how your lab results are and adjust your intake. for a chart on Davita about the nutritional value of different alcoholic beverages.

    The Following Provides An Overview Of What To Know About Beer And Kidney Stones And Answers The Question Does Beer Help Kidney Stones

    Does beer drinking dissolve kidney stones? | Dr Maran on kidney stones

    Rob Alston has traveled around Australia, Japan, Europe, and America as a writer and editor forread more

    Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites inread more

    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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    What Are Kidney Stones Are They Serious

    Urine consists of dissolved salts and minerals. These salts and minerals are waste byproducts of cell metabolism, the set of chemical reactions necessary for life.

    Typically, your kidneys filter these salts and minerals out of your body through your urine. When they fail to do this, these waste byproducts build up in your urine, leading to the formation of kidney stones.

    A kidney stone can be as small as a grain of sand, meaning you can pass it without feeling anything or even knowing about it. But kidney stones can also become large enough to block urine flow, making them difficult to pass without severe pain.

    While generally not life-threatening, kidney stones can be extremely painful. In some cases, surgery may be needed to prevent infection.


    Drinks For Kidney Stones

    • Pin

    Kidney stones are solid masses of crystal. They can be incredibly painful and somewhat frightening. Staying hydrated is a crucial way to stop kidney stones or even treat them once they happen. Still, drinks for kidney stones arent all created equal.

    You need to choose carefully, as some drinks will even make matters worse. For example, cola and coffee can be a problem as they may dehydrate you, which increases your risk of kidney stones.

    Similarly, keep an eye on drinks that are high in fat, like smoothies, Bulletproof coffee, and many drinks from Starbucks. Sticking to a low fat diet is often recommended as a way to decrease the risk of calcium stones, so high fat drinks could be a bad decision.

    The drinks featured in this list, on the other hand, can help to keep you hydrated and healthy. Some decrease the risk of kidney stones in other ways too.

    • Herbal Teas

    Also Check: What Are Kidney Stones And How Are They Treated

    What Are The Signs That Something Is Wrong With Your Kidneys

    Signs of Kidney Disease

    • You’re more tired, have less energy or are having trouble concentrating. …
    • You’re having trouble sleeping. …
    • You have dry and itchy skin. …
    • You feel the need to urinate more often. …
    • You see blood in your urine. …
    • Your urine is foamy. …
    • You’re experiencing persistent puffiness around your eyes.

    What To Do When You Have A Kidney Stone

    Treating Kidney Stones With Beer

    While you may do your absolute best to lower your risk of kidney stones, you might still end up with a stone after all. If this happens, continue to increase your fluid intake. As we said earlier, youre probably going to have to flush the stone out on your own, and you cant do that with a low amount of fluids.

    However, if youve never had a kidney stone before, or you arent sure if its passable, dont wait to call your urologist. Some stones are too large to pass, and will need surgery to break them apart.

    Trust the Urologists At Urology Specialists of the Carolinas

    We know just how painful kidney stones can beand we dont want you to deal with kidney stones alone! If youre struggling with kidney stones, schedule an appointment with one of our board certified urologists sooner rather than later.

    We can assess the state of your kidney stone, and give you helpful steps for moving forward. Our urologists can discuss what may be putting you at risk when it comes to kidney stones, and help you create a plan to lower your risk in the future.

    Want to learn more ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Download our free Nutrition and Lifestyle Guide below!

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    Alcohol Abuse Can Hurt Your Kidneys

    Long-term alcohol abuse can affect your kidneys in ways beyond kidney stones. Alcohol can affect blood pressure, and chronic alcohol misuse can lead to issues like hypertension. High blood pressure can damage the kidneys over time. That can make kidney stones more likely, but it can also eventually lead to kidney failure and renal disease.

    Alcohol is primarily processed in the liver, but if alcoholism causes liver disease, it may become less efficient. If your liver cannot effectively process alcohol, it may start to damage the kidneys directly. Chronic alcohol addiction can damage multiple organs. Thats one of the many reasons its important to address alcohol use problems before they lead to chronic health problems like kidney disease.

    How To Prevent Alcohol

    The best way to prevent alcohol-related kidney stones is to drink in moderation, meaning no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. In addition, it is important to keep well-hydrated and avoid dehydration. That said, if your doctor tells you that your kidney stones are formed from uric acid, you may need to avoid alcohol entirely.

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    How Does Alcohol Affect Kidney Stones

    Drinking alcohol has always been linked to liver and kidney problems, but there is no exact link between alcohol intake and kidney stones. However, alcohol can still result in some side effects which contribute to stone formation.

    • Dehydration Alcoholic beverages can dehydrate you. Studies show that as a diuretic, alcohol causes the body to remove fluids from the blood through the renal system, including the kidneys, causes changes in the function of the kidneys, and may lead to kidney stones forming due to alcohol-induced dehydration.
    • Weight gain According to the findings of one study, drinking alcohol more than seven times a week increases the risk of weight gain. Drinking alcohol also means you are getting a lot of empty calories almost seven calories a gram as much as pure fat, letting you gain more pounds.
    • Uric acid content Alcoholic beverages, particularly beer, are high in purines, which are the building blocks of uric acid. Purines can lead to uric acid kidney stones forming, and beer could exacerbate problems with high purine levels.
    • Gout Excessive alcohol drinking can increase the risk of getting gout and triggering gout attacks, again due to the purine content of the alcoholic beverage. People with gout are also at risk of getting kidney stones.

    How Much Should I Drink For Kidney Stones

    Is Beer or Coffee Good For Kidney Stones? Drinks for Kidney Stone Prevention

    Ah, yes. The golden question. How much do I need to drink to prevent kidney stones?

    The American Urological Association recommends that everyone with kidney stones drink enough to make 2 1/2 liters of urine each day.

    You lose some fluid in things like sweat, feces and metabolism. The amount of fluid lost is different for everyone, and likely changes day to day.

    For most people, drinking about 3 liters of fluid per day is enough to meet our goal of 2 1/2 liters of urine.

    3 liters of fluid per day is about the same as:

    • 3,000 milliliters
    • 100 fluid ounces
    • 12 1/2 cups

    Certain medical conditions might change your fluid goals. Always ask your doctor or Registered Dietitian how much water is right for you.

    Recommended Reading: What Does Kidney Infection Urine Smell Like

    What Does The Kidney Do For Your Body

    Kidney function is one of the vital organ functions in your body to filter blood, and excrete excess water, metabolic wastes like sodium, ammonia, and others. However, it also returns necessary electrolytes so necessary to maintain the acid-base balance in the body and water back to the body. It releases certain hormones from the adrenal glands attached to your kidneys to help regulate your blood pressure. Further, the hormone erythropoietin, which it secretes, stimulates the production of red blood corpuscles. Kidney failure would be marked by high blood creatinine levels, and lower glomerular filtration rate . It is this filtration which eliminates toxins, and other harmful chemicals from your blood, and body.

    A New Study Published In The Clinical Journal Of The American Society Of Nephrology Has Found That Certain Beverages Can Increase A Persons Chance Of Developing Kidney Stones

    The study found that daily doses of sugar-sweetened drinks can increase the chance of developing kidney stones, while other beverages can help to reduce the risk of developing the condition.

    The study looked at data on over 190,000 adults, mostly middle-aged, who had never had kidney stones. Over an eight-year timespan 4,462 developed the stones and those who drank the most sugar-sweetened beverages were the most likely to find themselves with kidney stones.

    The Washington Post reported that those who drank one or more sugar-sweetened colas a day had a 23% higher risk than those who drank them once a week risk for sugar-sweetened clear, non-cola sodas was 33% higher for those who drank one a day, against one a week.

    In terms of lowering the risk of kidney stones beer came out on top, when consumed once a day compared to once a week. The risk fell by 41% for a daily beer, but wine also proved beneficial with a 33% reduction in risk with a daily versus weekly glass of white wine and 31% for red wine.

    Other drinks also saw the kidney stone risk fall, the study found that the risk fell 26% for caffeinated coffee, 16% for decaffeinated coffee, 12% for orange juice and 11% for tea.

    The researchers behind the study did add that all the information came from the responses on questionnaires given by those taking part in the study and as such the serving sizes would have differed for different drinks.

    Also Check: What Drinks Are Good For Kidney Disease


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