Can Drinking Alcohol Cause Kidney Cancer or Kidney Disease?

alcohol and kidneys

In the past month, half of them did not drink alcohol, according to federal data. One drank in moderation, and the remaining two drank excessively. This is roughly the spread of drinkers in the American population at any given time. Jen is a registered dietitian and board-certified in renal nutrition. She has over 8 years working with chronic kidney disease, dialysis, and kidney transplant patients.

Alcohol and Fluid Balance

alcohol and kidneys

Healthy men who consumed moderate alcohol had a lower risk of renal dysfunction. This could be due to the antioxidant effects of alcohol being more prevalent among men. While this is by means no recommendation to drink more alcohol or to start drinking, they do suggest that light to moderate drinking has not been shown to increase the risk of developing CKD. On the other hand, a 2015 article showed moderate drinking somewhat reduced the risk of kidney stones forming. Having more than one drink a day could also increase the risk for high blood pressure in those with diabetes.

alcohol and kidneys

Considerations When Drinking Alcohol with Chronic Kidney Disease

It can also do serious damage to your organs, including your kidneys. As noted above, there is much to learn about alcoholic kidney disease and the complex interplay among multiple organs affected by alcohol consumption. Although research suggests several potential mechanisms by which alcohol may directly or indirectly affect the kidneys, they have not yet been validated experimentally. Future research will hopefully explore these hypotheses to provide a better understanding of alcoholic kidney injury. This article highlights the effects of other organs on kidney and renal function; however, it should be noted that alcoholic kidney injury itself may have negative metabolic consequences.

No, alcohol isn’t good for you. Will new dietary guidelines be shaped more by health or industry interests?

But many of alcohol’s negative impacts can be altered by personal genetics, underlying disease and other factors, which makes tailoring drinking recommendations to individual people really difficult. Studies consistently report that alcohol accounts for over 75,000 U.S. cancer cases and 20,000 cancer deaths each year. The American Cancer Society suggests that no one should drink alcohol due to its harmful effects on the body and its potential to increase your risk of cancer.

  • 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.
  • Some antacids have the potential to cause kidney damage if they’re used regularly over a long period.
  • These effects vary depending on factors such as the amount and duration of drinking, the presence of other diseases, and the drinker’s nutritional status (see table, p. 90).
  • By promoting liver disease, chronic drinking has further detrimental effects on the kidneys, including impaired sodium and fluid handling and even acute kidney failure.
  • Be sure to enlist the health of a kidney doctor and renal dietitian for help on how to improve these conditions.
  • This increases the amount of fluid reabsorbed by the kidneys, raises potassium levels, and lowers sodium levels.
  • Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

However, if you have kidney disease, you need to be mindful of how much you drink and the downstream effects that alcohol can have on your body. “Substance use severely harms individual health, increasing the risk of chronic diseases, mental health conditions, and tragically resulting in millions of preventable deaths every year,” said WHO Director-General how alcohol affects the kidneys Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. When you drink, try to have a meal or snack before having a cocktail or have a glass of wine with a meal, which will slow absorption of alcohol, Weaver says. And be sure to drink plenty of water or another non-alcoholic beverage—perhaps alternating these with alcoholic drinks—to help you stay hydrated.

  • Even higher risk of kidney problems has been found for heavy drinkers who also smoke.
  • In addition, alcohol can disrupt hormones that affect kidney function.
  • For most people, simply scaling back drinks to one or two a week is enough to dodge this particular bullet.
  • The kidneys are the body’s primary tool for filtering out dangerous substances, so issues affecting the kidneys can quickly affect the rest of the body, potentially causing problems in multiple organs.
  • 3For a person weighing 150 pounds, this dose would be roughly equivalent to 17 drinks.
  • Having more than one drink a day could also increase the risk for high blood pressure in those with diabetes.

Are There Any Kidney Benefits from Drinking in Moderation?

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. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that most American adults (two out of three) drink alcohol. Too often, some of these regular drinkers have more than five drinks at one time. In fact, about a quarter of drinkers reported they had done this on at least one day in the past year.

Does Alcohol Affect Your Kidneys?

alcohol and kidneys

Some studies have found that LGBTQ+ people have higher rates of alcohol use, and are at higher risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. For people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who are having dialysis or on a low-potassium and/or low-phosphate diet, choosing suitable drinks, especially those containing alcohol can be particularly challenging. Alcohol, especially when consumed in excess, negatively affects many of the systems of the body.

Alcohol can induce abnormally high phosphate levels (i.e., hyperphosphatemia) as well as abnormally low levels. Alcohol consumption apparently leads to excessive phosphate levels by altering muscle cell integrity and causing the muscle cells to release phosphate. This transfer of phosphate out of muscle cells and into the bloodstream results in an increased amount of phosphate passing through the kidneys’ filtering system.

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