Many of your body’s organs are affected by consuming alcohol. This includes your kidneys. Some occasional drinking of one or two alcoholic drinks normally doesn’t have any serious effects. However, excessive drinking can cause great damage to your health. Furthermore, kidney disease can be worsened by it!
What type of damage does alcohol cause to the kidneys?
- The kidneys eliminate damaging waste products from the blood.
- Alcohol is such a waste substance
- Alcohol bring about changes in the functioning of your kidneys
- It can affect the kidneys’ function to filter the blood effectively
- Another function of the kidneys is to keep balance of the fluids in your body
- Alcohol is a dehydrating substance; this drying effect has an influence on the normal functioning of organs and cells which include your kidneys.
- Affects blood pressure; heavy drinkers are more prone to develop high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure drugs may be influenced by alcohol
- More than 2 drinks on a daily basis can elevate your chance to develop blood pressure
- One of the common causes of kidney disorder, is high blood pressure
- Excessive drinking results in liver damage, which in turn complicates kidney functioning
- The tempo of blood flowing to the kidneys is maintained at an established level. This enables the kidneys to do their filtering function in an effective way.
- Liver disease diminishes the balancing function of the kidneys
- The majority of US patients who have liver disease as well as associated kidney malfunction are addicted to alcohol
How much alcohol seems to be too much?
- One alcoholic drink is:
- Beer – one bottle of 12-ounces
- Wine – one 5-ounces glass
- Hard liquor like brandy, vodka, whiskey, gin etc – one tot 1.5 ounces
- Women: 3 drinks daily or above 7 weekly – heavy drinking
- Men: 4 drinks daily or above 14 weekly – heavy drinking
- Regular excessive drinking, doubles your risk for getting kidney disease
- 4 to 5 drinks or more within 2 hours (binge drinking) can result in raising the blood alcohol levels of a person dangerously. This can result in a sudden drop in the functioning of your kidneys, also called acute kidney injury
- Dialysis is required when acute kidney injury occurs until the kidneys function is normal again.
- Certain individuals should become teetotallers (drink nothing)
- Normally acute kidney injury vanishes over a period of time. However, sometimes it can result in lasting kidney damage
- Older people, women and people with small bodies must take special care
- Ask your doctor, when you are using medication or have a medical disorder about the safety to drink alcohol. Some medicines can be influenced by alcohol.
- Pregnant women should totally avoid drinking alcohol
What to do when alcohol is excessive and kidneys are damaged?
- Speak to your doctor and enquire whether you can consume alcohol safely.
- Guideline: 1 to 2 drinks daily for men whilst one drink daily is recommended for people older than 65 and women
- Drink alcohol in moderation