Why Does the Kidney Ache When You Drink Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol with friends is one perfect way of celebrating any occasion. You may even enjoy drinking alone. However, you may sometimes have to deal with certain issues for drinking excessively. Many people who drink alcohol for years end up feeling drained and weaker. If you experience severe pain in kidney following alcohol beverage, this could be because you have damaged your kidneys. The pain can be severe or mild and usually affects the area around your upper back. Keep reading to learn more about the reasons why you experience pain after drinking.

Kidney Pain After Drinking Alcohol, Why?

There are so many reasons behind your kidney pain. Some people experience pain only when they drink some alcohol, while others experience a dull pain even when they have stopped drinking. Here are some of the causes behind your kidney pain.

1. Overwork of the Kidney

You may be experiencing pain because you're making your kidneys to overwork. The kidneys filter out the waste materials, and keep the body hydrated. Your kidneys have a limited capacity to process alcohol, but if you drink excessively, you make them to work harder and longer. This overtime leads to an increase in urination, which may as well cause dehydration. Once your body becomes dehydrated, it puts even more pressure on your kidneys and impairs their function. This will cause severe pain.

2. Fragile Renal Pelvis

Your urine passes into the ureters through a tubular structure called the renal pelvis. Drinking excessively will lead to excess production of urine that will affect the renal pelvis and cause pain. The pain usually goes away after you have expelled the excess urine.

3. PUJ Obstruction

Pelviureteric Junction (PUJ) obstruction may also cause kidney pain after drinking alcohol. The condition refers to the complete blockage of the renal pelvis, which eventually leads to flank pain or back pain.

4. Kidney Stones

Excessive drinking causes dehydration that may lead to the development of kidney stones. You increase your chances of developing kidney stones when you lead a sedentary lifestyle and have imbalanced diet. When you drink excessively, there will be an increase in the production of urine, which will make kidney stones to move rapidly, causing severe pain.

5. Liver Disease

You are more likely to deal with pain if you already have a liver disease. Any liver disease can affect the rate at which blood moves to the kidneys. This makes your kidneys to work harder to filter your blood, which will eventually lead to dehydration and kidney pain. And one leading cause for liver disease is alcohol drinking.

How Does Kidney Pain Feel Like?

Now we have known that you may experience kidney pain after drinking alcohol, but do you really know what is kidney pain?

  • In most cases, you experience pretty intense and even excruciating pain that becomes worse at night.
  • Severe pain between the buttock and the lowest rib is usually a typical sign of kidney pain.
  • Your kidney pain may radiate down the flank or toward your abdominal area.
  • Other common symptoms of kidney pain include fever, nausea, blood in the urine, vomiting and painful urination.

Quit Alcohol to Treat Your Kidney Pain

You experience kidney pain after drinking alcohol because you've been overdoing it. You experience pain because it's your body's way of telling you that something isn't right.

If drinking is to be blame, you should quit drinking to treat your kidney pain. However, it is not always that simple, especially if you've been drinking heavily for several years now. Seek the help of professionals and join support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, to understand it's possible to stop drinking and bring your life back on track.

Even if you don't think you've been drinking excessively over the years, it is still a good idea to cut back on how much you've been drinking daily. Here are few tips to help you deal with your drinking problem and avoid pain.

  • Define a limit and follow it carefully. Never exceed your drinking limit no matter what. Women should not have more than a drink a day, while men should limit it to two drinks.
  • Maintain a diary of your drinking to know how much you've been drinking lately and how many times you've broken your drinking rules.
  • Avoid keeping any alcohol at home or you will find it difficult to resist the temptation of drinking some more.
  • Never drink your glass quickly. Sip your drink and finish it in several minutes. Wait for an hour before you enjoy another drink. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach and drink water, soda or juice after drinking alcohol.
  • Have an alcohol-free day. You should not drink at all for at least one day every week. If you can do it easily, add another day to the list and try to cut down for good.
  • Set a budget and never spend more than your budget on alcohol.
  • Switch to a small glass of wine from a larger one and try bottled beer in place of pints to keep things in control.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself well hydrated. 
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