The NIAAA defines heavy alcohol use as more than 4 drinks on any day for men or more than 3 drinks for women. The abuse of alcohol can even affect your kidneys, ranging from conditions such as kidney stones and acute kidney failure to chronic kidney disease. Alcohol, whether in moderation or excess, exacerbates kidney problems to the point of actual kidney disease.

Follow a low-fat, healthy diet that has plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, your kids think that if you can drink, it is OK for them to drink eventually and it will not hurt them. The odds are high that your dad’s death certificate could be replicated. Join 40,000+ People Who Receive Our Newsletter Get valuable resources on addiction, recovery, wellness, and our treatments delivered directly to your inbox. If you have CKD, you may eventually require dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Causes of Low Phosphate Levels in Alcoholics

Chronic alcohol consumption is a well-known risk factor for tissue injury. The link between alcohol use disorder (AUD) and kidney injury is intriguing but controversial, and the molecular mechanisms by which alcohol may damage the kidneys are poorly understood. Epidemiological studies attempting to link AUD and kidney disease are, to date, inconclusive, and there is little experimental evidence directly linking alcohol consumption to kidney injury. However, studies conducted primarily in other organs and tissues suggest several possible mechanisms by which alcohol may promote kidney dysfunction.

kidneys and drinking alcohol

The first negative impact of alcohol on your kidneys is its tendency to cause a fluid imbalance. Within 20 minutes of a drink, patients experience a need to urinate. This is because alcohol restricts the kidneys ability to reabsorb water into the blood. That’s why it’s so important to never drink on a very hot day, or during strenuous activity.

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Your kidneys also control the production of red blood cells, produce vitamin D, release hormones to regulate blood pressure, and remove drugs from the body. If you have kidney disease, talk to your doctor about how much alcohol is safe for you to drink. Regular heavy drinking can also worsen other conditions that may lead to kidney disease, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

The kidneys also maintain the proper balance of fluid and electrolytes in the body. Unlike protein, fat, or carbohydrate, alcohol doesn’t require insulin to provide energy to the body. The exception is sweet dessert wines, which pack 14 grams of carb in a tiny three-and-a-half-ounce glass. Despite the potential health perks alcohol and kidneys of drinking alcohol, there are some cautions as well. When drinking alcohol is combined with the medications most often used to treat diabetes—particularly insulin and sulfonylureas, low blood glucose can result. While a glass of wine with dinner probably isn’t a big deal, a mojito on an empty stomach at happy hour is.

Why do my kidneys hurt when I drink alcohol?

A drink in this instance is equivalent to a 5 oz glass of wine, 12 oz beer, or a single shot (1.5 oz) of 80-proof hard liquor. If you’re currently taking medications for kidney cancer or are having surgery to remove a kidney (nephrectomy), talk with your doctor about how much alcohol is safe to have during treatment. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that filter out waste from your blood.

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