The Link Between Kidney Pain and Alcohol

Have you ever found yourself wondering whether there is a connection between kidney pain and alcohol? If so, then you’ve hit the nail on the head! There actually is a link between kidney problems and over-imbibing in alcohol. If you’ve been feeling pain that you believe might be emanating from the kidney region then it’s definitely a good idea to look into this issue.

What the Kidneys Do

The kidneys are a pair of organs that play a major role in the body’s general health. The kidneys are shaped like a bean (have you ever wondered how the kidney bean got its name?).

The kidneys are chiefly responsible for making sure that toxins are filtered from the blood so that the body doesn’t become overrun with chemicals, excess vitamins and minerals, and water. The kidneys filter the blood and then any excess water and unneeded nutrients are turned into urine. This is then passed through the ureter tubes and into the bladder where it is released during urination. When the “waste” toxins from the blood become too abundant it can cause the kidneys to work harder to filter the blood. Eventually, over a long period of time or through serious binging, the organs’ ability to filter the blood decreases until they begin to work at partial capacity or begin to fail. As you could guess, kidney pain and alcohol consumption certainly do not mix well!

What Does Kidney Pain Feel Like?

The kidneys are located somewhat towards the center of the back on either side of the spinal cord. The pain is usually found above the hip and near where the lower rib bones are located. The pain may differ depending on how much has been drank and whether the kidneys are already damaged at the time that they become overexerted. The pain could be likened to a dull achiness or a sharp and persistent pain. Kidney stones can sometimes be misinterpreted for a back ache; however if you were to really zone in on where the pain is coming from and stretch your back muscles a bit, you will see that that pain isn’t actually coming from the muscles or spine but rather from the kidneys. Kidney pain can make it difficult to sit or stand up for long periods of time and often leads to general discomfort that can’t be shaken.

How Kidney Pain and Alcohol are Connected

Kidney pain and alcohol have a very direct relationship. Alcohol contains chemicals that the body views as toxins and pollutants. If you were to go on a formidable drinking binge then your kidneys would be hard pressed to relieve your blood of all of the alcohol. The stress that these organs are submitted to could become too much and result in a temporary failure. Flushing the kidneys by drinking a lot of water could help to ease the pain and dilute the chemicals in the body until the kidneys can catch up.

Drinking on a regular basis is another problem entirely because the kidneys aren’t simply being given an endurance test once in a while—they are under constant strain that causes them to work at peak capacity too often. Think of it like a processor in a computer; you can over-clock the processor to work faster than it is designed to but if it performs at this rate for too long it can overheat and crash. Your kidneys there just the same—they can compensate for high levels of blood toxins for a while or on the odd occasion but eventually the extra work takes a toll and the two organs begin to show signs of damage. If this goes on for too long the kidneys can even lose a percentage of capacity on a permanent basis—that is to say they may never again be able to work 100 percent well.

Treating Kidney Pain

When dealing with kidney pain, and alcohol being a major factor in the cause behind this pain, one of the obvious ways to go about treating the issue is to stop drinking alcohol or at the very least reducing the amount that is consumed. If you are dealing with kidney pain and alcohol consumption has been quite minimal then you might have another condition on your hands. Sometimes, if there is something already causing the kidneys some trouble, drinking alcohol can trigger pain and discomfort by acting as the “icing on the cake,” so to speak—but it is not necessarily the root of the problem.

Kidney pain can also be caused by a urinary tract infection, which can be worsened by drinking alcohol. A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria finds its way into one of the segments of the urinary tract, be it the bladder, the ureters, or the kidney (where it would become a kidney infection). Urinary tract infections can be caused by improper hygiene or they can be caused by allowing bacteria from the bowel to enter the vagina or penis. Women are much more prone to this infection than men because the distance to the bladder is much shorter which gives bacteria easier access to the area. Kidney pain caused by a urinary tract infection will require the use of antibiotics that may span over the course of several weeks, depending on whether the infection has actually reached the kidneys and how bad the infection is.

 


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