Does alcohol prevent you from having kidney stones?

Does alcohol prevent you from having kidney stones?

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If you are one of the lucky ones who hasn’t had kidney stones, this article may be useful to continue your life without getting them. Statistically speaking, one in every five men and one in ten women in the United Stated has had kidney stones. This means that you probably know someone who has had the rocks or currently has them.

As it has been said before, kidney stones are tiny (but painful) rocks that form inside your kidneys due to the excessive concentration of substances such as uric acid, calcium phosphorus, and oxalate. These high concentrations of mostly minerals start to join and solidify, producing the feared rocks. The most common reason why people have high concentrations of these substances is because they don’t drink enough liquids. Doctors recommend consuming at least two liters of fluids per day, so minerals and substances inside your kidneys stay diluted and far from turning into big chunks of rock.

Most people who have the rocks didn’t follow the doctor’s recommendations or have a genetic predisposition to get them easily, which makes it more important for them to consume enough liquids. But, what type of liquids should they consume? The first answer is always going to be “water” given the fact that it is the origin of every living thing on earth. However, there are many individuals who wonder if alcohol counts as a suitable fluid to consume in order to prevent having kidney stones.

Well, in this article Joe Cosgrove will give readers a few hints on this subject. It is well known that alcohol may have some bad side effects for the human body, especially in terms of causing kidney disease, however, there are some who recommend its consumption, as long as it is moderated and based on a prescribed diet. Below you will find a list of reasons why you should moderate your intake of alcohol in order to prevent kidney stones.

High concentrations of Uric Acid

There is a common myth about beer and kidney stones. People often believes in can help you prevent having the obnoxious rocks and perhaps it does if you only have one beer per day. However, in reality, people are far from the habit of only having one beer at any given occasion. This is why here we must suggest that the consumption of beer should be considerably reduced.

Most people don’t know that beer has a high concentration or purines which are the substances in charge of building DNA block in our genetic system and also are the ones responsible for creating uric acid once they are broken down. Uric acid is eliminated from the system through the kidneys. Having a high concentration of the substance due to the excessive consumption of beer (and other grain beverages) often makes it more probable for individuals to get kidney stones.

Related: 5 Things You Should Know About Alcohol and Kidney Stones

Obesity and Kidney Stones

It is well-known that due to the high concentrations of sugar present in alcohol, most people who constantly consume it have more chances of gaining weight than those who have a moderate consumption of alcohol. This weight gaining usually leads to changes in our hormones and metabolism and these changes make it more probable for individuals to develop kidney stones since substances are not being processed and evacuated like they should.

A diet with a high consumption of alcohol sometimes lacks other nutrients and substances they body needs to keep healthy functions. Also, this unbalanced diet leads to obesity which negatively affects every internal process of the body, including the regular renal functions.

Patients prone to dehydration

Image courtesy of Aqua Mechanical at Flickr.com

We all have had a night at the bar with enough beers to keep us close to the toilet’s door because our bladder simply can’t take any more beer. This illustrates the diuretic effect of beer and how it can easily lead to dehydration. As it was said before in this article, dehydration is our number one enemy if we want to stay stone-free for the rest of our lives. It makes it easier for the substances inside your kidneys to find each other, join and form rocks that later will need to be expelled through our ureter in a highly painful process.

Just like coffee, alcohol – especially beer. Has a diuretic effect that causes kidneys to produce more urine in a shorter period of time. This is why it is recommended to drink plenty of fluids after consuming alcohol or caffeine in order to prevent our kidney from suffering.

In conclusion, there are some studies that reveal that moderate alcohol intakes can actually help us stay stone free, showing us big numbers a statistics that could make us reevaluate if we should have indeed a beer per day. However, evidence in many patients shows that the best we can do in order to stay away from the feared rocks is to simply consume water. Even after having a beer, we should consume water. This way it is easier to know that if kidney stones appeared one day in our bodies it wasn’t because of alcohol but because of other treatable reason.

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