If you frequent brewpubs, you’ve most likely heard of the term “beer flight". However, if you’re…
Well, “can beer cause kidney stones?” isn’t an easy question to answer with a simple “yes” or “no”. While there is no distinctive correlation between the consumption of alcohol and the appearance of kidney stones, there are some aspects of excessive drinking that can definitely lead to the formation of kidney stones.
Before we get into the specifics, please keep in mind that the information provided in this article is solely for educational purposes. It should in no way substitute the advice your doctor has given you. If you worry that you may suffer from kidney stones please consult your primary care physician. If you or someone that you know is suffering from alcoholism, do not hesitate to contact addiction specialists in your area.
What are Kidney Stones?
Without getting into many details, kidney stones are masses of waste from chemicals such as salts and minerals that are naturally found in urine. Normally, the kidneys filter these chemicals out of the body through the urine. When they can’t do this, these waste byproducts build up and lead to the formation of kidney stones. Kidney stones can be very small and able to pass through without even realizing it, but as they get bigger they can block urine flow making it difficult to pass them without severe pain.
Beer and Kidney Stones
As we have already mentioned, drinking in moderation isn’t related to kidney stones. However, alcohol consumption has some side effects that can lead to kidney stone formation.
Beer, or any other alcohol that comes from grains such as vodka or whiskey, can increase the risk of kidney stones. Because of their high concentration in specific chemical compounds called purines. Purines can lead to the formation of a specific type of kidney stone called Acid kidney stones. Acid kidney stones occur when the acidic content of the urine gets too high.
Furthermore, excessive drinking can lead to dehydration. Which is one of the reasons behind the appearance of another type of kidney stone called Calcium Oxalate stones. Calcium oxalate stones occur when the concentration of calcium in the urine gets high. Beers are diuretic which means that they increase the need to urinate. Therefore it is important to drink water when consuming beer.
Can Beer Cause Kidney Stones Wrap Up
Finally, another factor that may lead to the formation of kidney stones is obesity and weight gain. Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the reasons that can lead to weight gain. Alcoholic drinks contain a significant amount of carbohydrates. Beers with high ABVs, such as Triple IPAs, Imperial Porters, or Imperial Stouts, can have many calories. Because they have a high concentration of sugars. If you want to limit your calorie intake when drinking, opt for low-calorie beers, beers with low ABVs, or for beers that don’t contain sugary additives such as maple syrup.