Alcohol Topics A to Z National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA

To keep the kidneys functioning optimally and to maintain functional stability (i.e., homeostasis) in the body, a variety of regulatory mechanisms exert their influence. Alcohol can perturb these controls, however, to a degree that varies with the amount of alcohol consumed and the particular mechanism’s sensitivity. Among them, 40 patients recovered drug addiction substance use disorder diagnosis and treatment early after AKI (early recovery AKI group), and the remaining 46 patients were classified as the non-early recovery AKI group. Patients in the non-early recovery AKI group were more frequently female, more often received tracheostomy before lung transplantation, and were less likely to be smokers than patients in the no-AKI group (Table 1).

Alcohol and kidney disease

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels and serum concentrations of the waste product creatinine are somewhat elevated, but rarely to the degree seen in patients with end-stage kidney failure when kidney disease is the primary disorder. Judgments based on such relatively modest BUN and serum creatinine increases often underestimate kidney dysfunction in patients with hepatorenal syndrome, however, because malnourished cirrhotic patients tend to have low levels of urea and creatinine. Drinking alcohol heavily can have several long-term health consequences including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. This doubles your risk of developing chronic kidney disease or long-term kidney damage. Other studies found that alcohol combined with energy drinks, caffeine, or soft drinks can disturb the physiological redox reaction and cause lipoperoxidation in the liver and nephrotoxicity [30,118]. Furthermore, drinkers often like to eat more pickled food and eat less vegetables and fruits, which increases the consumption of salt and cholesterol [119].

How much alcohol can I safely drink?

  1. These disturbances increase the kidneys’ workload in restoring acid-base balance through formation of an acidic or basic (i.e., alkaline) urine.
  2. The kidneys are hard at work on any given day in a healthy person, but the kidneys of a heavy drinker work overtime.
  3. In addition, the subjects’ blood pressure and plasma potassium concentration decreased.
  4. 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.

Smokers who are heavy drinkers have about five times the chance of developing CKD than people who don’t smoke or drink alcohol to excess. After indulging in drinking, some people may complain of pain in the upper or lower back or between the buttocks and lower ribs. This is because of the effects of alcohol on back pain, which is an effect of alcohol poisoning.

How can you stop CKD from progressing?

Kidney pain after drinking alcohol may occur due to acute kidney injury or an infection. Moderate drinking should not cause kidney pain, but binge drinking or frequent drinking may cause kidney problems. The Joslin Diabetes Center notes that kidney problems, whether as the result of failure or disease, are serious threats to health and wellbeing.

Alcohol spiked with zolpidem and midazolam potentiates inflammation, oxidative stress and organ damage in a mouse model

Consequently, they will develop increasing ascites and edema and experience weight gain. In some cases, vast amounts of abdominal fluid may collect, occasionally more than 7 gallons (Epstein 1996). Like the kidneys, the liver plays an important role in maintaining acid-base balance. Liver diseases—including alcohol-induced liver problems—disrupt this function and can contribute directly or indirectly to a wide range of acid-base disturbances. Chronic alcoholism is the leading cause of low blood levels of magnesium (i.e., hypomagnesemia) in the United States (Epstein 1992). Often it occurs simultaneously with phosphate deficiencies, also frequently encountered among alcoholic patients.

Cancer experts strongly recommend not drinking alcohol at all due to its potentially harmful effects on the body. Alcohol is known to increase your risk for several different types of cancer and cause kidney damage over time. A high alcohol intake may also increase the risk of other drinking too much alcohol can harm your health learn the facts problems that can hurt the kidneys, such as a urinary tract infection, high blood pressure, and long-term kidney damage. One reason alcohol may affect the kidneys is through acute kidney injury. This may result from high levels of toxins leading to tissue injury and inflammation.

More than two drinks a day can increase your chance of having high blood pressure. 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 the main responsibilities of the kidneys is to sift out harmful substances from the blood, and alcohol is one such substance.

The presence of excessive amounts of purines can lead to the accumulation of uric acid, hence resulting in a kidney stone.Dehydration generally can lead to the formation of the stones. With ethanol being a dehydrating agent, calcium oxalate stones can form as a result. These are signs that the kidneys are not working as they should, and they can be symptoms of acute kidney injury due to a high alcohol consumption. WebMD also recommends getting tested regularly, especially if you have a higher chance of developing kidney disease than the general population. The events leading to abnormal sodium handling in patients with cirrhosis are complex and controversial, however. Investigators have advanced several theories suggesting the involvement of a constellation of hormonal, neural, and hemodynamic mechanisms (Epstein 1996; Laffi et al. 1996).

You may need to take a complete break from alcohol for a set amount of time or reduce the amount of alcohol you consume. The easiest way to get the professional assistance of the medical representatives is to call one of the hundreds of alcohol cocaine crack treatment facilities available. Binge drinking, or drinking numerous drinks in just a few hours, can cause an acute kidney injury. In this article, learn more about the causes of kidney pain and how they might be related to drinking alcohol.

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

And S.R.K. reviewed and revised the paper; all authors approved the final version of the manuscript. Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. Follow a low-fat, healthy diet that has plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

For these reasons, it’s natural that when your kidneys have to work extra hard to rid the body of excess alcohol, you may experience pain. Frequent urination that goes along with this flushing of the system can lead to dehydration. This can interfere with the functioning of the kidneys and other organs. Check with your doctor, especially if you take medications that might be affected by using alcohol. They filter waste from your blood, regulate the balance of water and minerals in your body and produce hormones. The right treatment option for kidney pain related to alcohol depends on the cause.