Destination Hope Blog » Effect of Alcohol Abuse on the Kidneys

Effect of Alcohol Abuse on the Kidneys

Alcohol abuse can cause damage to many parts of the body.  Beyond the heart, lungs and stomach, alcohol abuse can affect smaller organs such as the kidneys.

The kidneys are organs that act as the body’s waste management system. They filter the blood in order to keep it clean by excreting water and waste products in the form of urine. The kidneys control the composition and amount of electrolytes in the body. For example, they can assist in clearing waste material from cells, aid in the absorption of nutrients that help in forming cells and provide the right environment for those cells as well.

They also produce certain hormones and help stabilize the cell’s acid-base equilibrium. Consequently, they play a major role in significant bodily processes, and alcohol abuse compromises their ability to function properly. When this occurs, the consequences can be quite serious, and our metabolic reactions may change, resulting in physical harm.

Danger of Alcohol Abuse on the Kidneys

When alcohol abuse interrupts the kidney’s equilibrium process, a disturbance such as low phosphates levels can lead to low acidity and hyperventilation. Within 20 minutes of consumption, alcohol can increase urine flow, causing a change in the anti-diuretic hormone that assists in the conservation of fluid, which increases the blood’s electrolyte levels.

Alcohol has a negative effect on four very important electrolytes—potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium. Every cell, particularly neurons in the brain, depends on the stability of these electrolytes and when their levels are disturbed, the brain finds it difficult to regulate bodily processes, which can cause modifications in behavior.

Alcohol and Serious Chronic Conditions

High blood pressure can result in chronic kidney disease, and alcohol abuse may increase the risk for developing this serious condition. Since it is high in calories, alcohol also causes people to gain weight, which can result in high blood pressure. In addition, alcohol can also prevent certain high blood pressure medications from being absorbed and processed properly by the body.

People who are diabetic can also develop chronic kidney disease, and alcohol abuse can prevent the liver from producing glucose. After alcohol enters the liver, it will only produce glucose again when that alcohol has been eliminated from the body, which can lower the glucose levels of diabetics.

Alcohol abuse has serious side effects on your body.  It effects all aspects of the way the body functions, and can be especially dangerous for people who have existing health problems. Fortunately, there is hope for people suffering from addiction and alcohol abuse problems and as soon as you stop using your body begins to heal.

If you or someone you love needs help with substance abuse, dependency or addiction, please call us today. Our addiction treatment program can help you deal with physical, emotional and psychological consequences of alcohol and drug abuse on the entire family.

Drug abuse treatment is effective, safe and has helped many men reclaim their lives. Destination Hope is a full service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility in Florida for men suffering from substance abuse issues.