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How Does Alcohol Affect Kidneys – Long Island Center for Recovery

Gone are the days where commonly used substances like alcohol can be considered non-harmful. We know consuming alcohol is not good for health related reasons, but far less discussions have been had around the type of harm alcohol causes and effects on our bodies. Long Island Center For Recovery (LICR) is open to discussing these affects but with this article, will be exploring an area far less discussed, but infinitely as important…our kidneys.

Facts About Kidneys

Kidneys are a vital organ which helps to keep us all living a healthy life. A human’s kidneys are quite small (only about five inches long and three inches wide) but what they lack in size, they more than make up for in effort. Kidneys are our own built-in filtering system; they filter the blood, remove the waste, regulate blood pressure, and help to provide vitamins and nutrients throughout our bodies. The kidneys are truly titans of biology, but what happens when they don’t work? The facts that aren’t discussed enough are just how at risk we become when our kidneys are under attack, and we as humans are very much under attack, when it comes to kidney health:

The Kidney Facts

  • 1 in 3 Americans are at-risk for kidney disease
  • 37 million people have chronic kidney disease
  • 660,000 people live with kidney failure
  • 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant
  • 8th ranked cause of mortality stems from kidney disease

Our kidneys need our help, and the abusive consumption of alcohol is one of the worst things we can do to our kidneys.

How Alcohol Affects Our Kidneys

To be clear, this is not an attack on alcohol consumption. A few drinks here and there will likely not become a detriment to your overall health, but when the abusive consumption of alcohol takes place, it has a horrible effect on our bodies, especially the kidneys. As we mentioned above, the kidneys have several important functions, but where the battle with alcohol begins is the function of kidneys to maintain the appropriate amount of water in our bodies. This function is impacted first when alcohol abuse occurs, as alcohol dehydrates the body, affecting the kidneys ability to regulate. From this point on, it’s all downhill for the kidneys. With the blood flow and water regulation in flux, high blood pressure increases, medications are dampened through the blood stream, and electrolyte imbalances occur as sodium, potassium and calcium levels begin to fluctuate. Alcohol overworks our kidneys, straining them overtime, leading to damage, a build-up of scar tissue, and eventually kidney disease.

 

Seek Help For Alcohol Addiction

Kidney disease is one of the most detrimental impacts of alcohol addiction, but there are many other harmful impacts from consuming large amounts of alcohol consistently over time. If you or a loved one is battling alcohol addiction you should seek treatment immediately from an addiction treatment facility such as Long Island Center for Recovery.

We hope you found the information on how alcohol affects kidneys helpful. If you or a loved one needs any additional assistance with addiction treatment services, please reach out to Long Island Center for Recovery at 631-728-3100, and we’d be happy to assist you or your loved ones in any way possible.

References:
National Kidney Foundation: Alcohol and Your Kidneys
https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/alcohol

Pan American Health Organization: Burden of Kidney Diseases
https://www.paho.org/en/enlace/burden-kidney-diseases#:~:text=For%20example%2C%20kidney%20diseases%20are,of%20increase%20in%20the%20Region

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