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How Alcohol Affects the Kidneys

How Alcohol Affects the Kidneys


Just like the liver, the kidneys are considered an underappreciated organ. The kidneys filter blood to remove toxins and wastes in the body as well as activate Vitamin D and regulate the volume and concentration of the body’s fluids. Kidneys help keep your blood pressure balanced as well as blood minerals like potassium, sodium and phosphorus. Kidneys also release a hormone that directs the production of red blood cells. Because of all of the good things that kidneys can do to the body, it is important to protect them from the damages caused by alcohol to prevent kidney disease.

The kidneys are supposed to filter out the harmful substances from your blood. Drinking alcohol will make it harder to filter out. Alcohol will also affect keeping the right amount of water in the body as alcohol can dry out the body and affect essential cells and organs. Having more than two drinks a day can put you at risk for high blood pressure which is linked to kidney disease.

If the liver is affected, so are the kidneys as the liver helps a certain level of blood flow to the kidneys. The liver will not be able to do its job for the kidneys if alcohol can cause liver cancer. Binge drinking, such as having four to five alcoholics drinks, can raise your blood alcohol levels dangerously. If you develop acute kidney injury, which is a drop in kidney function, you would have to be on dialysis until your kidney function is normal. Kidney damage can go either way where your kidneys can heal with time or the damages can last.

Experiencing strange symptoms such as feeling tired, loss of appetite, headaches, lack of concentration, if blood is present in urine, changes in amount or number of times you pee, pain in the kidney area, or puffy legs or ankles can mean kidney damage. In order to prevent kidney damage, it is best to abstain from alcohol completely. If you would rather drink alcohol in moderation, men should drink no more than two drinks and women should only have one since their bodies are smaller than men. It is important to drink eight glasses of water a day to flush the toxins out of your system. Eating a high fiber diet with low saturated fats will help too. One night of heavy drinking is not worth destroying your health over.

Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programs, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, please call 041-986-5080. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-986-5080.

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Smarmore Castle is located near Ardee, County Louth, about 45 minutes north of Dublin, Republic of Ireland and 1.5 hours south of Belfast, Northern Ireland.