Author: John Carter

Drinking Alcohol Affects Your Kidneys National Kidney Foundation

Can Alcohol Cause Blood In Urine

A person may feel intense back pain or pain in their genitals or stomach as the body attempts to pass the stone. If the body does not pass the stone, a person can develop a severe infection or blockage. Hematuria is the medical name for the presence of blood cells in urine (pee). Healthcare providers label blood in urine as gross, microscopic or dipstick.

Can Alcohol Cause Blood In Urine

Blood that can’t be seen with the naked eye is called microscopic hematuria. It’s such a small amount that it can be seen only under a microscope when a lab tests the urine. Either way, it’s important to figure out the reason for the bleeding. Even if used externally and not ingested, it’s possible that products containing alcohol will cause you to test positive for alcohol consumption.

In contrast, the “overflow” theory postulates that ascites follows when the kidneys retain sodium in response to signals sent by a dysfunctional liver to expand plasma volume. The answer to this version of the “chicken-and-egg” question remains to be elucidated. Low blood levels of phosphate commonly occur acutely in hospitalized alcoholic patients, appearing in more than one-half of severe alcoholism cases. Interestingly, age makes a difference in how rapidly the body escapes alcohol’s ADH-suppressive effect.

How Is Alcohol Detected in a Urine Test?

You’ve been doing it since you were born, after all, which means you have a solid idea of what your pee should look like. See a health care provider whenever urine looks like it might have blood in it. If you disagree with your test results, you may be able to request a re-test from the entity that requested the test (for example, the court, your employer, or your doctor). If you have trouble interpreting your results, consider consulting a medical professional. However, more research is needed into the link between alcohol use and kidney injury. The color, odor, density, and frequency of your urine can tell you a lot about your health, as can the presence of proteins and ketones.

  1. Smokers who are heavy drinkers have about five times the chance of developing CKD than people who don’t smoke or drink alcohol to excess.
  2. Although blood in your urine doesn’t always mean you have a disease, it can be an important warning sign to a possible health problem.
  3. In contrast, the “overflow” theory postulates that ascites follows when the kidneys retain sodium in response to signals sent by a dysfunctional liver to expand plasma volume.
  4. See a health care provider whenever urine looks like it might have blood in it.
  5. Although fluid overload—not alcohol itself—is considered the major contributor to beer drinkers’ hyponatremia, alcohol does appear to directly influence the kidney’s handling of sodium and other electrolytes, potentially resulting in hypernatremia.
  6. Alcohol can induce abnormally high phosphate levels (i.e., hyperphosphatemia) as well as abnormally low levels.

The kidneys have an important job as a filter for harmful substances. Alcohol causes changes in the function of the kidneys and makes them less able to filter the blood. Alcohol also affects the ability to regulate fluid and electrolytes in the body. When alcohol dehydrates (dries out) the body, the drying effect can affect the normal function of cells and organs, including the kidneys.

Kidney pain, kidney stones and kidney infections: an alcohol link?

A compromised diluting ability has important implications for the management of patients with advanced liver disease. Restricting the fluid intake of hyponatremic patients eventually should restore a normal fluid balance; unfortunately, this restriction may be difficult to implement. Patients frequently fail to comply with their physician’s orders to limit their fluid intake. Furthermore, clinicians sometimes overlook the fact that fluids taken with medications also must be restricted for these patients and mistakenly bring pitchers of juice or water to their bedsides. Despite the multiple possible causes of acidosis, disturbances in acid-base balance are more frequently manifested as low acidity (i.e., alkalosis). Alkalosis was present in 71 percent of patients with established liver disease in 11 studies, and respiratory alkalosis was the most common disturbance in 7 of the studies (Oster and Perez 1996).

When you drink heavily, your kidneys have to work harder to filter out the alcohol. And in rare cases, binge drinking — five or more drinks at a time — can cause a sudden drop in kidney function called acute kidney injury. This serious condition occurs when toxins from alcohol build up in your blood so fast your kidneys can’t maintain the proper fluid balance.

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EtG urine tests can detect recent drinking with a 70% accuracy — although one 2017 study showed that they’re about 85% accurate for moderate to heavy drinking. Someone may test negative for drinking alcohol when they have had alcohol recently. Most urine tests detect alcohol up to 12 hours after your last drink. Advanced urine tests, however, may be able to detect alcohol 24 hours after drinking. These are signs that the kidneys are not working as they should, and they can be symptoms of acute kidney injury due to a high alcohol consumption.

Alcohol’s Impact on Kidney Function

Your provider will work with you to find out what’s causing blood in your urine and a successful treatment. Contact a healthcare provider as soon as you find blood in your urine, as earlier detection for any problem is helpful. Your treatment will depend on the size, shape, and location of your stone, the NIDDK says.

Both acute and chronic alcohol consumption can compromise kidney function, particularly in conjunction with established liver disease. Investigators have observed alcohol-related changes in the structure and function of the kidneys and impairment in their ability to regulate the volume and composition of fluid and electrolytes in the body. Chronic alcoholic patients may experience low blood concentrations of key electrolytes as well as potentially severe alterations in the body’s acid-base balance.

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Typically, chronic alcoholic patients are losing up to 1.5 g/d of phosphate through their urine when they have reached the point of being sick enough to accept hospitalization. The combination of low phosphate excretion and low blood levels indicates that phosphate is simply being shifted from the bloodstream into body cells, implying that kidney dysfunction is not a likely cause of phosphate wasting in this case. Another study with dogs (Beard et al. 1965) disclosed that the effects of chronic alcohol consumption endured even longer. The investigators noted increased plasma and extracellular fluid volume 1 week after chronic alcohol ingestion, and these volume expansions persisted for the remaining 7 weeks of the study. Similar alterations have been found in body fluid volumes among chronic alcoholic patients. Chronic alcohol consumption may cause both fluid and solutes to accumulate, thereby increasing the overall volume of body fluids.

For example, in an early study on dogs (Chaikoff et al. 1948), investigators observed several striking alterations after chronic alcohol administration. The basement membrane of the glomerulus (see sidebar figure) became abnormally thickened and was characterized by cell proliferation. Further changes included enlarged and altered cells in the kidney tubules. In another study, Van Thiel and colleagues (1977) compared kidney structure and function in alcohol-fed and control rats.

The events leading to abnormal sodium handling in patients with cirrhosis are complex and controversial, however. Investigators have advanced several theories suggesting the involvement of a constellation of hormonal, neural, and hemodynamic mechanisms (Epstein 1996; Laffi et al. 1996). The traditional hypothesis holds that the kidneys of cirrhotic patients retain sodium in response to ascites that develops when liver dysfunction causes blood vessels to expand beyond available plasma volume (i.e., the “underfill” theory).