Do Alcohol Causes Kidney Stones
An alcoholic beverage is composed of water and ethyl alcohol, but mostly ethyl or ethanol. Ethanol is considered the intoxicating agent in fermented as well as distilled liquors. Most alcoholic drinks are made by fermenting yeast, sugars, and starches. Yeast contains special enzymes that break down sugar into alcohol.
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Now, drinking alcohol is a personal choice. People may choose to consume alcohol on a daily basis or drink only on social occasions, but whatever may be the choice alcohol drinking in moderation is associated with better health. For men, up to 3 glasses a day and for women, 2 glasses of alcohol drinking is permissible. Moderate drinking in truth has positive effects on one’s health.Certain alcoholic drinks contain antioxidants enabling harmful toxins to be flushed out of the system effectively. Some types assist in alleviating body pain to a great extent. As far as kidney stones are concerned, excessive alcohol consumption can cause a lot of discomfort for kidney stone sufferers.
Alcohol has a diuretic effect whereby it tends to increase the volume of urine produced. This in turn leads to frequent urination, and in cases where the individual has urinary obstruction from stones, urinating as it is will be a painful process and the need to urinate time and again can be hell of an experience. Alcohol in itself cannot encourage stone formation, but since it increases the production of urine, it can lead to dehydration. And as it is a common known fact, dehydration can progress to kidney stone production. When a person does not consume the daily required amount of water, dehydration sets in, and whatever urine is produced in such a condition will be highly concentrated. Certain minerals that normally settle in urine can become crystallized in concentrated urine and these can further cluster together to form large sized stones. Some natural substances found in urine prevent the crystals from sticking together, but it does not work the same way for all. Hence, when these substances do not function as they should and when the urine is highly concentrated, this is viewed as a dangerous condition for those individuals who are prone to stone formation.
There may be genetic factors, underlying medical conditions, or unhealthy lifestyle and dietary habits that contribute towards stone formation in an individual. Passing a kidney stone is a torturous experience. Women often equalize it to the pain experienced during child birth, while some maintain that the pain is worse than being in the labor of giving birth.
Drinking with Alcohol is not good
Alcohol has also been found to indirectly inhibit a kidney’s ability to expel uric acid from the body. This leads to uric acid build up in body fluids that can lead to formation of uric acid stones. Urine acidity to a great extent can be effectively controlled by drinking enough water. The pH level of water is 7 which can increase the alkaline levels of urine, and when urine is at a pH of 7, it can dissolve more uric acid than in acidic urine. Drinking required amounts of water will help balance the pH levels in urine and can actually dissolve existing uric acid stones in urine. Thus it is necessary for kidney stone sufferers to avoid alcohol consumption, and in situations where drinking cannot be avoided, consume water at regular intervals to minimizes its risks. Hence, while alcohol does not cause kidney stones, it can make matters worse for a kidney stone sufferer.