A person’s body can be affected by alcohol in many different ways. The amount of alcohol a person drinks as well as the regularity can also have different impacts on the body and especially the person healthy. The kidneys are particularly affected by the abuse of alcohol.
Alcohol use and Kidneys
The main function of the kidneys is to filter out substances from a person’s blood that could be dangerous for their health and body. Which in this case can also be alcohol. When a lot of alcohol is consumed, this causes damage to the kidneys which enables it to filter the blood as it should. Because alcohol also causes liver disease, it can reduce the kidneys’ ability to maintain a healthy level of blood flow, which can harm the kidneys’ ability to filter out blood like it is supposed to. Long-term alcohol abuse can increase the risk of high blood pressure as well and high blood pressure can also lead to kidney disease. Another function of the kidneys that is affected by alcohol is providing the body with enough water which causes dehydration. Dehydration can affect other organs and cells within the body in a negative way. This means that excessive use of alcohol will lead to kidney disease. 1
Alcohol and Dialysis
When a person is on dialysis, it is important that the intake of alcohol is discussed with their doctor or dietitian. The medication taken during dialysis should also be taken into consideration when alcohol usage may occur since this can have an effect on the person’s health and lead to the medication not having the effect it is supposed to.
Small amounts of alcohol could be allowed for people with chronic kidney disease but not when they are on dialysis. If a person in such circumstances is allowed to drink alcohol, they will be advised on the amount allowed by their healthcare team. 2
There are many factors that contribute to kidney disease and not just alcohol. But the fact that alcoholism leads to an unhealthy lifestyle, in general, it can cause additional health issues which increases the risk of kidney disease. Anyone with some kind of kidney-related health issues may have a bigger chance of getting kidney disease if they abuse alcohol intake on a regular basis.
If kidney disease is not treated on time, this can have many impacts on the person’s health and body, for example, holding back fluid which causes swelling in the feet, legs, and arms, weak immune system leading to other illnesses and infections, harm to the central nervous system, and more. 3
Preventing Kidney Disease
Kidney disease caused by the excessive use of alcohol can be treated in a way where the person can seek help from professionals in order to get their alcohol addiction under control. Other methods could be to follow a healthy diet, be more active by doing sports, stop smoking cigarettes, take care of your weight, etc. 4