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Link Between Alcohol and Kidney Stones, Dangers & Treatment

Alcohol can cause dehydration, which is linked to kidney stone formation. For this reason, alcohol use is not recommended if you have kidney stones or are trying to prevent them. Keep reading to learn more about the link between alcohol and kidney stones.

The Connection Between Alcohol and Kidney Stones

Can drinking alcohol cause kidney stones? Alcohol and kidney stones have a direct connection. Alcohol affects the kidneys’ function to maintain water balance and electrolytes. This may increase the risk of forming kidney stones and result in damaged kidney function. Kidney stones, renal calculi, or nephroliths are the most frequent urinary system health problem. In the United States, around 600,000 kidney stones are diagnosed each year. Men are more likely to have kidney stones. In the United States, around 11% of men and 6% of women will eventually have kidney stones.

Alcohol and Kidney Disease Symptoms

The stones are hardened mineral chunks that can develop in the kidneys. Usually, kidney stones are small enough to exit the body through urine. But if they’re too large, they may require medical aid to have them broken up or cleared. One of the first signs that alcohol impacts your kidneys is pain and tenderness around the kidneys. This pain might be experienced as a sharp, stabbing pain or a dull ache. One or both kidneys may be affected, and you may have other symptoms, including, but not limited to, the following signs and symptoms.

Kidneys and Alcohol Back Pain, Side, and Belly Aches

  • Kidney stone pain is one of the most severe pains imaginable. The suffering is intense enough that more than 500,000 people visit emergency rooms yearly. As a stone goes into the thin ureter, the discomfort usually begins. This results in a blockage, which increases pressure on the kidney. Stress stimulates nerve fibers, which provide the brain with back, side, and belly pain signals.

Pain or Burning During Urination Due To Alcoholism and Kidney Disease

  • As the stone reaches the junction of the bladder and the ureter, the person begins to suffer pain while peeing. Moreover, alcohol raises the acidity of urine and can aggravate the bladder’s lining. A person who drinks alcohol can become dehydrated, advancing the risk of a UTI. In addition to kidney aches, some symptoms of a UTI include pain when urinating.

Urgent Need To Go To The Toilet

  • Another indicator that the stone has traveled into the lower section of your urinary system is the need to use the restroom more frequently or urgently than usual.

Blood in the Urine Due To Alcohol and Kidney Infection

  • The presence of blood in the urine is a typical sign of alcohol and kidney stones problem. This condition is also known as hematuria. Pink, red, or brown blood is possible. Blood cells can be too minute to view without a microscope in some cases (microscopic hematuria), but doctors can analyze your urine to discover whether it includes blood.

Cloudy or Smelly Urine Due To Kidney Infection and Alcohol

  • Healthy urine is clear or transparent and does not have a strong odor. Urine that smells bad or is hazy might suggest an infection in your kidneys or another portion of your urinary tract. According to one 2021 study, around 16% of individuals with acute renal stones had a UTI. Pyuria, or pus in the urine, is indicated by cloudiness. The odor may be caused by the bacteria that cause UTIs. Urine that is more concentrated than regular may also emit an odor. A kidney stone associated with UTI is considered a surgical urgency with or without a fever.

Alcohol and Kidney Pain, Nausea, and Vomiting

  • Individuals with kidney stones frequently experience nausea and vomiting. These symptoms occur due to nerve connections between the Gastrointestinal tract and the kidneys. Kidney stones can stimulate nerves in the GI system, causing an unpleasant stomach. Nausea and vomiting can also be your body’s reaction to excruciating pain.

Chills and Fevers Due To Kidney Disease and Alcohol

  • Chills and fevers are symptoms of a kidney infection or another illness in the urinary system. This is a potentially fatal consequence of a kidney stone. Apart from kidney stones, they can also be a symptom of more significant disorders. Any fever accompanied by pain needs immediate medical intervention. Fevers caused by an illness are often high — 100.4 F (38 C) or higher. Chills or shivering are common symptoms of fever.
When seeking top-rated alcohol and kidney stones treatment, look for accredited and licensed inpatient addiction centers.
When seeking top-rated alcohol and kidney stones treatment, look for accredited and licensed inpatient addiction centers.
Issues with alcohol and kidney stones require immediate treatment. Besides filtering toxins, your kidneys help regulate blood pressure, and the attached adrenal glands control hormone levels. The best way to prevent alcohol-related kidney stones is to drink moderately or quit drinking.
Issues with alcohol and kidney stones require immediate treatment. Besides filtering toxins, your kidneys help regulate blood pressure, and the attached adrenal glands control hormone levels. The best way to prevent alcohol-related kidney stones is to drink moderately or quit drinking.

Learn More:

Facts About Alcoholism

  • Alcohol is unscheduled. It can be easily purchased.
  • The most common route of administration is by mouth.
  • Uncommon routes include suppositories, inhalation, insufflation, and injection.

The Origin of Alcohol

The most prematurely known evidence comes from 7,000 BCE in China, where residue in clay pots demonstrated that people were making an alcoholic beverage from fermented rice, millet, grapes, and honey.

What Type of Drug is Alcohol?

  • Analgesic.
  • Depressants.
  • Sedatives; Anxiolytics.
  • Euphoriants.
  • GABAA receptor-positive modulators.

Alcohol Pharmacokinetics

  • Bioavailability: 80%+.
  • Protein binding: Weakly or not at all.
  • Metabolism: Liver (90%).
    • Alcohol dehydrogenase.
    • MEOS (CYP2E1).
  • Metabolites Acetaldehyde; Acetate; Acetyl-CoA; Carbon dioxide; Water; Ethyl glucuronide; Ethyl sulfate.
  • The onset of action peak concentrations:
    • Range: 30–90 minutes.
    • Mean: 45–60 minutes.
    • Fasting: 30 minutes.
  • Elimination half-life Constant-rate elimination at typical concentrations:
    • Range: 10–34 mg/dL/hour.
    • Mean (men): 15 mg/dL/hour.
    • Mean (women): 18 mg/dL/hourAt very high concentrations (t1/2): 4.0–4.5 hours.
  • Duration of action 6–16 hours (amount of time that levels are detectable).
  • Excretion: Metabolism (into carbon dioxide and water).
  • Minor: Urine, breath, sweat (5–10%).


The chemical name ethanol sometimes refers to alcohol, a depressant drug active ingredient in drinks such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits (hard liquor).

Street Names for Alcohol

Many individuals have heard the names “booze,” “brew,” and “cold one” to express alcohol, particularly beer. Some other common street names and nicknames for alcohol include the following:

  • Juice.
  • Hard stuff.
  • Sauce.
  • Hooch.
  • Moonshine.
  • Vino.
  • Draft.
  • Suds.
  • Liquid bread.
  • Oats soda.

Common Alcohol Scientific Names 

Pronunciation/ˈɛθənɒl/ Ethanol

Other names:

  • Absolute alcohol.
  • Alcohol (USP).
  • Ethanol (JAN).
  • Ethylic alcohol.
  • EtOH.
  • Ethyl alcohol.
  • Ethyl hydrate.
  • Ethyl hydroxide.
  • Ethylol.
  • Grain alcohol.
  • Hydroxyethane.
  • Methylcarbinol.
The reality that alcoholism is a significant and serious contributor to the risk of kidney disease means that people who struggle with alcohol use disorders must make kidney care part of their long-term alcohol and kidney stones treatment.
The reality that alcoholism is a significant and serious contributor to the risk of kidney disease means that people who struggle with alcohol use disorders must make kidney care part of their long-term alcohol and kidney stones treatment.
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Alcohol Abuse Statistics

According to the report published by the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), roughly 85.6% of individuals ages 18 and older declared that they consumed alcohol at some point in their lifetime, 69.5% stated that they drank in the past year, and 54.9% (59.1% of men in this age group and 51.0% of women in this age group) said that they drank in the past month.


In 2019, 25.8% of individuals ages 18 and older (29.7% of men in this age group and 22.2% of women in this age group) declared that they committed to binge drinking in the past month.

Source: NIAAA


About 7.3% of adults ages 18 and older who had alcohol disorders in the past year acquired any treatment in the past year. This report includes 6.9% of males and 7.9% of females with past-year alcohol use disorder in this age group.

Source: NIAAA


Less than 4% of individuals with alcohol use disorder were prescribed a medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat their condition.

Source: NIAAA

Can Alcohol Cause Kidney Stones? Alcoholism and Kidney Stones

Does alcohol affect kidney stones? There is no significant evidence that alcohol directly causes kidney stones. Alcohol intake, particularly excessive alcohol consumption in which a male consumes five or more alcoholic drinks in a single session; or a woman consumes four or more alcoholic consumption in a single occasion, is associated with the development of various health issues. Kidney damage, renal failure, high blood pressure, different malignancies, compromised immune systems, mental health difficulties, social challenges, and alcohol use disorders are among the health issues (AUDs). Several of these problems hurt the renal system, either directly or indirectly.

Can you get kidney stones from drinking alcohol? Concentrated urine can develop when the body is dehydrated—a leading cause of kidney stones. Dehydration may occur when people do not consume enough water to assist the kidneys in removing waste from the blood. Kidney stones and alcohol may not be directly related. At the same time, we know that alcohol use, whether beer, spirits, or wines, can lead to dehydration, but we cannot directly correlate kidney stone formation to alcohol use and abuse.

Alcohol and kidney stones may not be directly connected. However, excessive drinking may cause both dehydration and the formation of uric acid kidney stones.
Alcohol and kidney stones may not be directly connected. However, excessive drinking may cause both dehydration and the formation of uric acid kidney stones.

Wine, Alcohol and Kidney Stones

Wine, in particular, seems to lower the risk of kidney stones more than a range of other alcoholic beverages when it comes to alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, which makes our kidneys generate more urine and flush out extra fluids.

Can Beer Cause Kidney Stones?

Frequent heavy alcohol consumption significantly raises the risk of alcoholism and kidney failure. Due to their high purine content, beer and grain alcohol can lead to kidney stones. Purines are chemical substances that can result in kidney stones made of uric acid.

Alcohol and Kidney Stones & The 4 Types of Kidney Stones 

The four primary types of kidney stones disease include the following:

  1. Calcium Oxalate: Most kidney stones (80%) are calcium stones. Calcium stones are classified into two types: calcium oxalate (the most common) and calcium phosphate, which may be detected on a simple x-ray. Insufficient calcium, hydration intake, and other factors may affect their development.
  2. Uric Acid: This is yet another sort of kidney stone. Purines are a natural chemical component in foods such as organ meats and shellfish. High purine consumption causes an increase in the formation of monosodium urate, which can create kidney stones under certain conditions. These sorts of stones tend to develop in families.
  3. Struvite: Struvite, or infectious stones, account for 6% of all kidney stones and, unlike other stones, originate in alkaline urine. Struvite stones are more common in women, newborns, and the elderly and are frequently linked to recurring bacterial urinary tract infections.
  4.  Cystine: Cystine stones are the least frequent, accounting for approximately 4% of all occurrences. Cystine stones form due to a hereditary (genetic) condition caused by an excess of the amino acid cystine in the body.

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What is The Best Alcohol for Kidney Stones? Alcoholism and Kidneys

Kidneys are the most vital organ of the body. They filter our blood, remove the chemical waste products and excess water, and then produce urine. Because of dehydration in the body, sometimes our urine gets concentrated, which certainly leads to the accumulation of minerals & salt, consequently forming a small crystal. Ultimately these small crystals together form a large mass called a kidney stone.

Does beer help in removing kidney stones? A few brief studies have suggested that drinking beer in moderation may aid prevent kidney stones. This is uncertain, although it might be because beer is a diuretic which aids with urination. Urination, in turn, can help remove small stones from your kidneys before they get bigger. You should never start drinking to avoid kidney dialysis and drinking alcohol problems.

While drinking enough fluids when suffering from kidney stones is essential, beer may not be the best option. This is because alcohol causes dehydration. Dehydration may cause you to hold water and urinate less, making existing stones more difficult to clear.

How Alcohol Affects the Kidneys? Kidney Stone and Alcohol

Does alcohol cause kidney stones? The answer is yes, although the damage to your kidneys is not always noticed at once. As mentioned above, kidneys serve as a body filter, removing harmful toxins from the system. Alcohol is a toxic substance mainly excreted through the kidneys and liver. Therefore, these organs suffer the most. Alcohol negatively affects the kidneys in the following ways.

Alcohol dehydrates the body, affecting the kidneys’ ability to function properly.

  • As alcohol dehydrates (dries out) the body, the drying impact can interfere with proper cell and organ function, including the kidneys. This affects the ability of the kidneys to regulate the body’s fluids, acid-base, and electrolyte balance. This is because alcohol selectively increases renal perfusion and basal metabolic rates of renal tubes, consequently causing an increase in diuresis, leading to massive dehydration. Dehydrated kidneys cannot function properly, and the subsequent consumption of the next portion of alcohol makes this situation even worse, eventually leading to kidney malfunction.

Alcohol causes high blood pressure, which is harmful to the kidneys.

  • Does drinking alcohol cause kidney stones? Too much alcohol can cause blood pressure to rise. Individuals who consume excessive alcohol are more likely to have high blood pressure. Moreover, drugs for high blood pressure might have negative interactions with alcohol. A common cause of kidney disease is high blood pressure. More than two drinks each day might raise your risk of hypertension.

Alcohol affects the liver, which makes the kidneys work harder to filter blood.

  • By causing liver diseases, such as alcoholic cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis, chronic drinking adds to the kidney’s job. The blood flow rate to the kidneys is normally kept constant so that the kidneys can filter the blood effectively. This important balancing task is hampered by established alcohol liver damage. Most people identified with liver-related renal disease in the United States are alcoholics.

 Alcohol may cause type 2 diabetes which also affects the kidneys.

  • Diabetes has proven to be a severe condition that affects many people worldwide. It is a condition that affects blood sugar by either spiking it or decreasing it. Can alcohol cause type 2 diabetes? The answer is yes. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is recognized clinically as a complication of alcoholism. Alcoholic drinks, especially beer, are usually rich in carbohydrates, which can raise blood sugar levels, leading to type 2 diabetes. Drinking heavily also makes the body less sensitive to insulin. 

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Alcohol Inpatient Treatment Near Me

Alcohol is the most abused addictive substance in America, as more than 17 million people in the United States are considered to suffer from addiction to alcohol. SAMHSA publishes that over 1.5 million american adults are considered to be currently abusing a prescription drug. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that binge drinking can cause acute kidney failure, but the damage can frequently be reversed if you quit drinking and allow your kidneys time to heal.

Alcohol and kidneys have direct connections. Kidney disease can eventually lead to renal failure. You may then need to have frequent kidney dialysis to filter your blood and keep things balanced, or you may need to get a kidney transplant. Drinking heavily might make it difficult to qualify for a kidney transplant.

If you are struggling with alcohol use, getting an accurate assessment of all the symptoms is crucial. When a mental health professional has evaluated the symptoms, it may be determined that another form of mental condition is present and needs a particular type of treatment. Very often, some combination of psychotherapy, medication, and/or lifestyle changes are effective for coping with functional. 

Kidney Pain and Alcohol Medically-Assisted Detox

Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of alcohol withdrawal but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient rehab helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide the necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.

Inpatient alcohol rehab center treatment allows for 24/7 monitoring, counseling, and access to a rigorous schedule of behavioral therapeutic programs as advantages compared to outpatient alcohol and kidney stones treatment.
Inpatient alcohol rehab center treatment allows for 24/7 monitoring, counseling, and access to a rigorous schedule of behavioral therapeutic programs as advantages compared to outpatient alcohol and kidney stones treatment.

Alcohol and Kidney Function Issues Psychotherapy 

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with alcohol use disorders, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – It is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – This therapy is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Person-Centered Therapy – This strategy allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
  • Solution Focused Therapy – This approach is interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. Traumatic experiences can often result in mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual-diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.

Alcohol and the Kidneys Medication-Assisted Treatments

Medication-assisted treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life make you rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

 If you or a loved one are struggling with long-term drug abuse and a co-occurring mental health condition such as depression, contact one of our helpful treatment specialists today. We Level Up can provide information on dual diagnosis and detox programs that may fit your needs.

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Top 5 Alcohol and Kidney Stones FAQs

  1. How to detox liver and kidney from alcohol?

    Kidney failure and alcohol liver toxicity, or liver cirrhosis, are severe consequences of heavy alcohol drinking. It is not the time to search for the worst alcohol for kidney stones or if there’s alcohol good for kidneys. Avoid alcohol consumption if you want to prevent issues with alcohol and kidney stones, and liver diseases.

  2. Which alcohol is good for liver and kidney?

    There is no safe amount of alcohol for individuals with alcoholic liver disease and kidney failure. Moreover, the quantity of alcohol you drink is important, not the kind of alcohol you drink.

  3. Does drinking alcohol help with kidney stones?

    No. Alcohol does not help one wash a kidney stone. Research evidence does not suggest alcohol can help someone prevent or pass a kidney stone. The only decisive studies and cases are liver and kidney failure due to alcoholism.

  4. Does alcohol affects brain cells your liver stomach and kidneys?

    Yes. There is a huge probability for people who are heavily drinking to develop liver and kidney failure from alcohol.

  5. What is the connection between horseshoe kidney and alcohol?

    Researchers are not sure why some infants develop horseshoe kidneys. Exposure to certain substances or alcohol in the uterus may play a role. It is also more typical in people with specific chromosomal conditions. Some individuals are unaware they have horseshoe kidney and do not have alcohol and kidney failure symptoms.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms, Stages, Syndrome, & Detox Video

When you stop drinking, alcohol withdrawal timeline symptoms like jumpiness, tremors, dehydration & anxiety can be expected. The severity of alcohol detox withdrawal treatment can be felt within hours of discontinuing drinking. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms happen when someone drinking too much alcohol regularly suddenly stops drinking. The more a person drinks regularly, the more likely they will develop alcohol withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking.

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Search We Level Up Alcohol and Kidney Stones Detox, Mental Health Topics & Resources

[1] Symptoms & Causes of Kidney Stones – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

[2] Ferraro PM, Taylor EN, Gambaro G, Curhan GC. Soda and other beverages and the risk of kidney stones. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Aug;8(8):1389-95. DOI: 10.2215/CJN.11661112. Epub 2013 May 15. PMID: 23676355; PMCID: PMC3731916. Tag: Alcohol and Kidney Stones

[3] Alcohol and Kidneys – We Level Up New Jersey Treatment Center Tag: Alcohol and Kidney Stones

[4] Bhat PS, Ryali V, Srivastava K, Kumar SR, Prakash J, Singal A. Alcoholic hallucinosis. Ind Psychiatry J. 2012 Jul;21(2):155-7. DOI: 10.4103/0972-6748.119646. PMID: 24250051; PMCID: PMC3830167. Tag: Alcohol and Kidney Stones

[5] Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders Research Report – National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

[6] Saitz R. Introduction to alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol Health Res World. 1998;22(1):5-12. PMID: 15706727; PMCID: PMC6761824.

[7] First-Episode Psychosis and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders Guide – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Tag: Alcohol and Kidney Stones

[8] Alcohol-Induced Psychosis – We Level Up FL Dual-Diagnosis Center

[9] Alcohol – World Health Organization (WHO)

[10] Alcohol Facts and Statistics – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Tag: Alcohol and Kidney Stones

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