Alcohol and Kidney Stones, Is There a Connection?

Kidney stones are more common than you might think. You are lucky if you do not have the issue. Anyone who has it will confirm how painful the whole thing can be. Statistics show that over 300,000 Americans go to the emergency room for kidney stones in one year. Men are at a higher risk of developing kidney stones, and the risk factors include overactive parathyroid glands, kidney disease, gout, and a genetic predisposition to kidney stones. Researchers have also found a link between alcohol and kidney stones. You may want to limit the intake of alcohol to lower your risk of developing this painful condition.

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Kidneys?

Ideally, you should be drinking no less than eight cups of fluids every day to prevent kidney stones. The idea is to keep your body hydrated and make your urine less concentrated. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it can lead to dehydration and increase your risk of developing kidney stones. Here is more about the connection between alcohol and kidney stones:

1.       Alcohol Contains Purines

If you are dealing with gout, you may already know the importance of limiting the intake of food that contains purines. Your body converts these substances to uric acid, which can cause uric acid crystals to develop in your joints. Moreover, your body excretes uric acid in the urine, but too much of it would put strain on your kidneys and lead to the development of uric acid kidney stones.

2.       Alcohol Leads to Weight Gain

Alcohol provides you with empty calories that can lead to weight gain. People who are obese are at a greater risk of developing kidney stones. That is mainly due to the hormonal and metabolic changes taking place in obese people. It is presumed that obese people do not pay attention to their diet, which is another reason why they may develop kidney stones.

3.       Alcohol Disrupts the Acid-Base Balance

Another link between alcohol and kidney stones is that excess consumption of alcohol can disrupt your body's acid-base balance and that in turn increases your risk of developing kidney stones. Any disruption in the acid-base balance would result in decreased sodium excretion and you will have difficulty producing urine, both of which can increase your risk of having kidney stones.

What Else Increases Your Risk of Kidney Stones?

You may have gathered the fact that there is a direct connection between alcohol and kidney stones. It is up to you to make alcohol work in your favor by limiting the amount you drink every day. Here is a bit more about what increases your risk of developing kidney stones, irrespective of whether you are a drinker or not:

How Do You Know If You Have Kidney Stones?

If you suspect you have kidney stones, you should seek immediate medical attention. Do not wait until your pain gets worse. You should go see your doctor immediately if you have:

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