The kidneys play a key role in eliminating all unwanted substances and wastes from our body by filtering them out in the form of urine. Alcohol is an unwanted and useless substance which needs to be thrown out of the body. Alcohol is a drink that gives you no nutrition, and what’s more, it dehydrates the cells in the body and builds up loads of calories.
When you consume alcohol in excessive amounts, it can even severely damage the kidneys, thereby causing kidney pain. The nature of kidney pain tends to vary, and is habitually experienced in the upper back.
Why Do My Kidneys Ache After Drinking Alcohol?
- The kidneys filter unwanted toxic wastes from the body and also keep the body well hydrated. The kidneys can deal with alcohol in moderate quantities; maybe 1 to 2 drinks occasionally. On the other hand, when the amount of alcohol in the blood gets too high, the kidneys must work harder than normal to sieve it out. This the kidneys do by manufacturing excessive amounts of urine to sluice out the body, which in due course causes dehydration. As a result of the reduced water levels, the functioning of the kidneys as well as other organs of the body gets affected.
- The anti-diuretic hormone and the kidneys control the amount of urine excreted from the body, thereby striking a balance between the level of water released and absorbed. Conversely, alcohol holds back the release of the anti-diuretic hormone, thus producing dehydration in the body, and ultimately causing impairment of the kidney function, which is responsible for the kidney pain.
- When large amounts of urine are formed, the renal pelvis gets adversely affected and causes pain. By and large, you will notice that the pain subsides as soon as you have passed urine.
- Also, alcohol-induced dehydration is responsible for the development of kidney stones.
- Having too much of alcohol frequently is a chief cause of liver disease, which, in turn, impairs kidney functioning. Liver damage alters the rate of blood flow to the kidneys, which must be balanced to sieve the blood optimally. As a result, people having a liver disease experience pain while drinking.
- An obstruction of the pelvi-ureteric junction, which is usually a birth defect, or could even develop later on in life, can be a major cause kidney pain after consuming alcohol. This is because PUJ obstruction blocks the renal pelvis, thus causing flank pain or back pain. Alcohol amplifies the intensity of pain in such cases.
- Alcohol also triggers high blood pressure in your body, which in turn leads to kidney diseases and can set off kidney pain. People who are heavy drinkers but not alcoholics yet, should substantially curtail their intake, or better yet, eliminate alcohol altogether. Drinking large quantities of water revives your body from the dehydrating after effects of alcohol abuse. It is not necessary that you have to be an alcoholic to experience alarming symptoms. Occasional drinkers too may complain of kidney pain / back pain. Hence, it is very vital that you confer with your health care provider and if required carry out a few tests and investigations as well.