Alcohol and Your Kidneys

Sensible alcohol drinking may be acceptable for some people with chronic kidney disease who are not on dialysis, however, it is best to first check with a renal dietitian to find out if alcohol is safe for consumption. If you are on dialysis, drinking alcohol may be tolerable, but it must be added within your normal fluid allowance and diet, and certain medications must be taken into thought.

Individuals with diabetes and chronic kidney disease alcohol may be harmless to drink if blood sugar levels are kept under control. Alcohol on an empty stomach can cause blood sugar levels to drop in those with diabetes, so having a drink during mealtime is recommended.

Alcohol has no dietary benefit, but it does contain calories; which add up quickly. Prescription and over-the-counter medications may interact with alcohol; these interactions may cause the medicines not to work properly. There are other medications that may cause your blood alcohol level to rise. Check medication warning labels, and ask your pharmacist or doctor to evaluate your medications to make sure alcohol will not cause a harmful interaction.

Those who have chronic kidney disease, end stage renal disease or diabetes, can consume alcohol safely in moderation. The limits for alcohol consumption are different for men and women, because men usually weigh more and alcohol is processed differently by the sexes. Women tend to have stronger responses to alcohol. One reason is that women have less water in their bodies, so the alcohol becomes more concentrated. The risk for liver disease is also higher in women than in men.

In moderation, alcohol and carbonated beverages are not bad for the kidneys. But, both have an indirect affect on the kidneys. Alcoholic beverages and carbonated beverages are high in calories, and too much of them are not good for anyone with diabetes. Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure. A new study associated drinking two or more soft drinks each day with an increased risk for chronic kidney disease. Also, while alcohol affects the liver more directly, it can raise blood pressure, which may damage the kidneys. High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure.

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