WebMD also recommends getting tested regularly, especially if you have a higher chance of developing kidney disease than the general population. The human body has dozens of vital organs, and the kidneys are among the most important. They regulate water intake and outtake, they balance the amount of minerals in the body, and they produce vital hormones, according to the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Threats to the normal functioning of the kidneys are serious medical problems, and alcoholism is a contributing factor to kidney disease. Moderate drinking is defined as one alcoholic beverage per day for women and two per day for men, and is generally considered safe for most healthy adults. Heavy drinking is more than three drinks per day (or seven per week) for women, and more than four drinks per day (or 14 per week) for men.
If untreated or if alcohol consumption continues, it can be fatal. Full recovery is possible, but there is the risk that the kidneys will be damaged beyond normal functioning. Kidney disease can also be brought about by high blood pressure and liver disease, both of which are possible effects of alcoholism. In order to do their job properly, the kidneys need a certain rate of blood flowing into them; a liver that is damaged by alcohol abuse cannot properly regulate the blood that the kidneys receive. The National Kidney Foundation notes that most patients who have both liver disease and problems with their kidneys struggle with alcohol dependence as well. Due to the metabolism of ethanol, significant amounts of acetate are produced and subsequently incorporated into acetyl-coenzyme-A, a molecule that participates in metabolism of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates.
Alcohol and Chronic Kidney Disease
It found an inverse correlation between alcohol consumption and CKD. According to the National Kidney Foundation, regular heavy drinking can double the risk of getting chronic kidney disease (CKD). The combination of heavy drinking and smoking also puts people at five times greater risk of getting CKD. If you have pre-existing kidney disease, drinking alcohol can further damage your kidneys and increase the risk of developing serious health problems. Additionally, alcohol can interact with medications used to treat kidney disease, making them less effective or even dangerous. Heavy drinking over an extended period can lead to an increased risk of proteinuria (excess protein in the urine).
Jen Hernandez is a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in renal nutrition. She has nearly a decade of experience with kidney disease patients in all stages – from stage 1 through kidney transplant. Jen writes on the blog https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/how-alcohol-affects-your-kidneys/ of Plant-Powered Kidneys to help reach and teach more kidney patients about how they can enjoy more foods in a plant-based diet while protecting kidney health. Men who consumed moderate alcohol had a lower risk of renal dysfunction.
A damaged liver will not be able to regulate blood flow into the kidneys. Hypertension and high blood pressure are common among people who drink more than two drinks a day. High blood pressure also increases your risk of kidney disease.
Drinking alcohol, especially excessive drinking, can have a significant impact on your kidneys. It is possible to stay hydrated when drinking alcohol by drinking at least one glass of water for each serving of alcohol. Staying hydrated when drinking alcohol is one of the best ways to avoid dehydration. If you’re on dialysis, drinking alcohol may be allowable, but it must be counted within your normal fluid allowance and diet, and medicines must be taken into consideration. Talk to your doctor or dietitian before you drink any alcohol. If you do choose to drink alcohol, limit your intake to no more than one to two drinks per day.