Does Beer Help Kidney Stones?
When it comes to beer and kidney stones, people tend to have a few different theories as to whether beer can be helpful for kidney stones, or alternatively harmful.
The following provides an overview of what to know about beer and kidney stones, and answers the question “does beer help kidney stones.”
There are many different reasons a person might get kidney stones throughout their life, ranging from genetics to lifestyle.
They don’t tend to cause complications unless an infection occurs, but they are painful. Some people find them incredibly painful.
There will be more details about kidney stones below, but how does alcohol affect the kidneys in general?
When you drink, particularly in excess, it can affect or even damage almost every part of your body, including your kidneys. Your kidneys are a part of your body responsible for filtering harmful substances, one of which is alcohol. When you drink too much, it can change the functionality of your kidneys so they’re less able to filter blood. If your kidneys aren’t functioning well, it can also make it harder for your body to keep the right amount of water, leading to dehydration in some instances.
Drinking too much also affects your liver, and that can make it more difficult for your kidneys to function properly as well.
Does beer cause kidney stones? What about other types of alcohol?
Beer doesn’t necessarily directly cause kidney stones, but it can increase the likelihood a person will develop kidney stones, and this can happen in multiple different ways. First, if you drink, particularly in excess, it can cause kidney issues that can dehydrate you, and dehydration is one of the biggest reasons kidney stones form.
Drinking excessively, particularly beer, also means you’re getting a lot of empty calories, and that can cause weight gain. Being overweight or obese are also risk factors for kidney stones.
Beer contains something called purines. Purines can lead to the formation of one particular type of kidney stones, and beer could exacerbate problems that you have with high purine levels.
Kidney stones and beer might not be directly associated with one another in a causal way, but there are a lot of reasons to watch your alcohol consumption if you’re concerned about kidney stones.
So, is it true? Does beer help kidney stones?
There are two main ways that people believe beer could help kidney stones.
The first is the fact that there is some research showing that drinking in moderation can prevent the formation of kidney stones. This is true and based on scientific information, but people may having varying definitions of what moderation means, so it’s important to be aware of what moderate drinking truly is, and you should never start drinking as a way to avoid kidney stones.
When a medical professional talks about drinking in moderation it usually means no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. A serving size would be around 12 ounces of beer, or five ounces of wine.
There’s another way people believe beer helps kidney stones as well. There is a myth that drinking beer can help you pass kidney stones when you already have them because it causes you to urinate more.
While drinking plenty of fluids when you have kidney stones is important, beer might not be the best choice. This is because, as touched on above, beer dehydrates you and when you’re dehydrated it can actually cause you to urinate less, which can make it harder to pass existing stones.
For most types of kidney stones, there’s no medication or substance that helps them dissolve faster, and it’s a process that has to occur naturally.
If you currently have kidney stones there’s not likely much you can do to dissolve them any faster, and the idea of beer for kidney stones when you have them isn’t one with much merit.
The overall concept to take away from this discussion of beer and kidney stones is that drinking in moderation is okay and can even be helpful, but anything more can be dangerous, not just in terms of conditions like kidney stones, but it can make it harder for your kidneys and other vital organs to do their work.
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