Alcohol and Your Kidney

The kidneys assist in blood filtration, including the removal of toxic chemicals like alcohol. While regular or binge drinking might harm the kidneys, moderate drinking shouldn’t hurt them.


The typical location of kidney discomfort is in the rear, on each side of the vertebral column, directly below the ribs. Anyone who feels this kind of discomfort, especially if it worsens for several hours or days, should see a doctor since they could be suffering from a serious disease.


Why does drinking alcohol affect my kidneys?


When you consume alcohol, it’s likely that your kidney or a kidney stone are the source of a sudden shooting discomfort or a dull discomfort in your back below your ribs. It could also be caused by an anatomical problem, such as a blockage of the ureteropelvic junction. Your doctor would need to diagnose and treat both diseases.


Alcohol may also unintentionally up your chance of getting a UTI, which can result in stomach or kidney pain.



Kidney discomfort shouldn’t be a result of moderate alcohol intake. However, drinking too much alcohol can harm the kidneys or raise your chance of developing chronic renal disease.


Alcohol consumption and kidney discomfort may indicate one of these diseases.

severe kidney damage

An acute kidney damage can result from binge drinking, which is when you consume a lot of alcohol quickly.

dependable source


When waste builds up in the blood more quickly than the kidney can remove it, acute renal failure can happen.


A patient with just an acute renal failure may have the following symptoms in additional to kidney pain:

  • Reduced urination fatigue
  • Swollen ankles, legs, or face shortness of breath or trouble breathing nausea or vomiting disorientation
  • Chest tightness or discomfort


A person with just acute kidney damage may experience seizures or fall into a coma if they are not treated.


Infection of the urinary tract


Indirectly, drinking alcohol may raise your chance of getting an urinary infection (UTI). Kidney discomfort may be brought on by bladder-wide UTIs.


Alcohol makes urine more acidic and can damage the bladder lining. Alcohol consumption can cause dehydration, which increases the chance of a UTI.


Some signs of a UTI, in additional to kidney discomfort, include:

  • Strong need to pee even when only a small amount of urine is produced, 
  • Discomfort when urinating, 
  • Stomach or back ache, and black or smelly urine
  • A fever the need to urinate often

Long-term kidney disease


By stressing the kidneys and harming the liver over term, alcohol may also raise the risk of renal disease.


Drinking excessively over time might result in kidney discomfort and other renal dysfunction symptoms including high blood pressure.


Chronic renal fever is a serious ailment that might be fatal and calls for continual care. Dialysis or a renal transplantation may be necessary for certain persons with renal disease.


Difficulties with the kidneys unrelated to alcohol


Not all forms of kidney discomfort are brought on by drinking. It’s possible that the pain occurred at the same time as a coincidence or that the alcohol made an existing issue worse.


Kidney stones are yet another potential source of discomfort. As the body works to pass the stone, a person may experience severe back pain, vaginal agony, or stomach pain. Additionally, some people get a fever. The body may not be able to pass the stone, which might lead to a serious infection or obstruction.


Kidney discomfort can also result from suffering physical harm to the kidneys, such as when you fall from a height.


It is crucial to visit a doctor if you get any kidney pain, regardless of whether it is caused by drinking alcohol.



Based on the underlying reason for kidney discomfort, a person is more likely to have certain problems.


For instance, sepsis, a potentially fatal blood infection, might manifest in someone who has a UTI that extends to the kidneys.


The following are some potential side effects of uncontrolled or treated renal disease:


  • Anemia, which happens when the body lacks enough red blood cells, causes gout, a kind of arthritis that develops when uric acid builds up in the blood.
  • Excessive phosphorus concentrations, which may result in bone diseases including osteoporosis, and dangerously high potassium concentrations
  • My blood pressure is high.
  • Heart condition
  • Failure of many other organ, such as the liver, due to fluid retention and inflammation in the body


Whenever to visit a doctor


Since the kidney is the body’s main organ for filtering out harmful chemicals, problems with them can swiftly spread to other areas of the body and could impact other organs.


Consult a physician for:


  • A recent knock to the spine that produces pain inside the kidneys renal pain signs of a UTI
  • Fever and kidney discomfort together
  • Reduced urine despite enough hydration


Visit an urgent care center or the emergency room for:


  • Indications of acute renal damage after drinking include a high temperature and back or kidney discomfort that is significant.
  • Renal discomfort and high blood pressure
  • Seizures that result in unconsciousness, distorted vision, or altered levels of awareness

The reason will determine the best course of therapy for alcohol-related kidney discomfort.




Some possible treatments include:


  • Medicines for a UTI and painkillers
  • To treat dehydration, use intravenous fluids or electrolytes.
  • Short-term dialysis for acute renal damage to eliminate accumulated toxins
  • Medicine to decrease heart rate and treat the symptoms of chronic renal disease food and lifestyle modifications
  • A kidney transplant or ongoing dialysis to assist failing kidneys

The risk of liquor kidney damage can be decreased by reducing alcohol consumption.


When consuming alcohol, stay away from excessive drinking and drink lots of water. People who have chronic renal illness shouldn’t consume any liquor at all, and if they are having trouble stopping, they should talk to their doctor for support.


The following are some methods to enhance kidney health and lower the risk of renal disease:


eschewing tobacco

abstaining from booze

adopting a healthy, balanced diet and drinking lots of water while engaging in regular exercise and keeping a healthy body weight, as well as managing any underlying medical disorders like diabetes.


Even in those with inherited renal diseases, leading a healthy lifestyle may lower the chance of complications from kidney disease, which is not always avoidable.


How to repair damaged kidneys caused by alcohol ?


Binge drinking-related acute kidney injury usually heals on its own within several days. If you quit drinking and give your kidneys time to heal, the damage can generally be repaired, but there is a chance that it might sometimes result in irreparable kidney damage.


Kidney failure may eventually result from ongoing excessive drinking, which can induce CKD. Although there is no known medication for CKD, it can be managed to reduce symptoms and prevent further progression.


Once you have renal failure, a kidney transplant can be necessary. You will have a harder time being approved for just a kidney transplant if you drink heavily.


How so much alcohol can I consume without harm?


United States Cancer Society


According to a reliable source, alcohol should not be consumed because of its negative health consequences and propensity to raise cancer risk. Drinking alcohol may increase your chance of getting cancer again if you already have a cancer diagnosis.


If you do decide to drink, keep your intake to one to two servings per day at most. In this case, a drink is defined as one shot (1.5 oz) of protective mechanisms, hard liquor, a 12-ounce glass of beer, or a 5-ounce glass of wine.


Alcohol and Chronic Kidney Disease 4 Things to Take into Account


12 tablespoons of lager, 5 grams of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor are considered to be one glass of alcohol by experts.

1 For people with healthy kidneys, a glass or two of alcohol every now and again normally won’t have any negative consequences. However, even a small amount of alcohol use might have an effect on your health if you have chronic renal disease.


You should also take your hydration consumption, medicines, and other medical issues into account if you have renal illness. If you want to drink alcohol, bear in mind the following advice to maintain your kidney health.


Monitor your fluid intake.


Being aware of the amount of fluid you eat is important if you have kidney disease because your kidneys cannot eliminate excess fluids from the blood as effectively as healthy kidneys can.


 An excessive amount of fluid intake might result in fluid overload and have major negative health effects. Alcohol should be included in your regular fluid intake because it is a liquid. 


Liquor is also a diuretic, so if you don’t drink enough water, you might get dehydrated as a result of your body losing water more quickly. 2 For those with renal illness who need to restrict their fluid consumption, this presents an additional barrier.


Pay attention to your prescriptions.


Your doctor could recommend certain drugs if you have renal disease in order to help you manage your health.


 You could also be on medicine for a different medical issue, including diabetes or high blood pressure. You should be cautious not to combine alcohol and some drugs you are taking since alcohol can affect them. To learn how alcohol affects the prescriptions you’re taking, talk to your doctor.


Controlling your blood sugar


Keep your level of blood sugar controlled to safeguard renal function since excessive blood sugar levels over time might harm your kidneys and arteries. 


Since most beverages include carbs that might cause your levels of glucose to jump, alcohol may make it harder to regulate your blood sugar. 


The things that mix with booze, including juice or other sweets, can also affect how much sugar is in your blood. Keeping your level of blood sugar steady will be easier if you consume less alcohol.


Consult a renal dietician and your physician.


Consult your nephrologist, often known as a renal doctor, plus your renal dietitian if you have any questions regarding consuming alcohol. Based on the diet and health requirements, they may offer you individualized advice on how much alcohol you should drink.




Experts in cancer strongly advise against alcohol use owing to its potential for damage to the body. It is well known that drinking alcohol raises your chance of developing a number of cancers and damages your kidneys over time.


It is advisable to discuss moderate drinking with your doctor if you suffer from kidney cancer. If you have cancer, your doctor can advise you on whether drinking alcohol is safe to do so.

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