How Alcohol Affects Your Kidney Health

Samadi et al. also suggested that ethanol induces depression of nephrin and podocin in podocytes, which contributes to renal injury and proteinuria and is mediated by oxidative stress [44]. Ethanol administration in rats showed particular alterations in the renal antioxidant system and glutathione status [4,5]. Polyphenols, which are found in beverages, such as red wine, also have antioxidant effects [6,7]. However, another rat model showed that ethanol may increase blood pressure and angiotensin II type 1 receptor expression, causing glomerular morphology changes. This may lead to renal corpuscle and glomeruli atrophy and reduced glomeruli volume [8]. Alcoholic patients also may develop low blood levels of phosphate by excreting too much of this ion into their urine.

alcohol and kidneys

However, it may also increase a person’s risk of several other cancers and put a person at risk of developing a range of other health issues. A 2011 meta-review found that consuming 12 grams (g) of ethanol, or alcohol, every day may decrease a person’s risk of developing kidney cancer by about 5%. Some research indicates alcohol intake may alcohol and kidneys have positive effects on a healthy population, specifically men. The use of alcohol may increase the risk of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI). Most of the acid-base problems that occur with alcohol consumption are ones involving too little acid. If a person drinks a lot in one sitting they may experience changes in blood pressure.

Drinking Alcohol and Kidney Disease Risks

The alcohol flush reaction is a type of alcohol intolerance—not an “alcohol allergy”—and is a condition predominantly due to inherited variations in genes of certain enzymes, causing people to metabolize alcohol less efficiently. People who have concerns about their alcohol consumption can discuss reducing their intake with a doctor. Some older research suggests that alcohol may have a preventive effect in regard to kidney cancer.

alcohol and kidneys

EGFR was calculated by the Chronic Kidney Disease–Epidemiology Collaboration equation using gender, age, and serum creatinine [20,37]. The change in eGFR from one exam to the subsequent one was expressed as annualized eGFR change, which is divided by the years of follow-up duration. The eGFR slope per year of follow-up was calculated by regressing the eGFR values of Exam-1, Exam-2, and Exam-3 over the dates of the exams. Alcohol does not cause direct harm to the kidneys, especially when consumed in a safe manner. 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.

Put Your Health First

The kidneys have an important job as a filter for harmful substances. Alcohol causes changes in the function of the kidneys and makes them less able to filter the blood. Alcohol also affects the ability to regulate fluid and electrolytes in the body.

There are now dozens of clinical trials underway to explore what other diseases they could treat. “Generally cannabis is safer than alcohol, especially if used responsibly,” says Grinspoon. And, unlike with alcohol, fatal overdoses of cannabis are very uncommon, if not impossible. That said, it’s crucial to keep all cannabis products out of the reach of children, and for adults to partake mindfully and be aware of the risk of developing cannabis use disorder. “Alcohol can be a significant sleep disruptor, while low-dose edibles tend to calm the body to promote a restful night’s sleep, without unpleasant side effects or next-day grogginess,” says Newell Bissex.