Article at a Glance:
In summary, alcohol damages the kidneys, both directly and indirectly, and increases the risk of kidney disease. However, alcohol does not directly cause blood in the urine. Important takeaways about alcohol and blood in urine include:
- Alcohol is not typically directly responsible for blood in urine
- Alcohol indirectly and directly damages the kidneys
- A healthy liver regulates blood in the kidneys
- Causes of blood in urine can be related to kidney stones, infections or certain medications
- Limiting alcohol intake can boost kidney and liver health
- Reducing alcohol intake can improve a person’s overall health
Table of Contents
Can Alcohol Use Lead to Blood in Urine?
Alcohol is not typically a direct cause of blood in urine. However, that is not to say it doesn’t contribute to other conditions that may cause blood in urine.
If long-term alcohol use occurs, it can damage the kidneys, which may cause blood in urine. Prolonged or excessive alcohol use harms the kidneys and may lead to kidney disease. Most frequently, damaged kidneys can cause the presence of blood in urine.
Causes of Blood in Urine
So, what causes blood in the urine? There are many causes of blood in the urine. Some examples include:
- Bladder or kidney infections
- Effects of certain medications
- Kidney stones
- Kidney disease
Kidney Functioning and Alcohol Use
The kidneys act as filters in the body. As blood passes through, kidneys filter out waste products and toxins which are excreted in urine.
Another function of the kidney is to balance bodily fluids, which is done through a complex process of filtering blood and electrolytes and excreting them in the urine as needed. Kidneys also regulate blood pressure, help produce active vitamin D and control the production of red blood cells. Ultimately, kidneys are essential to many critical bodily functions.
Alcohol can affect the kidneys and can damage kidneys directly in several ways. It can harm the kidney structure and function, making it increasingly difficult for the kidneys to filter blood. Alcohol also affects hormones that act on the kidney and disrupts the regulation of fluids and electrolytes.
Alcohol also damages kidneys indirectly. High alcohol consumption affects blood pressure. People who drink too much tend to have high blood pressure, which is a known cause of kidney disease. In general, drinking more than two alcoholic beverages per day raises blood pressure and increases the risk of kidney disease.
In addition to the kidneys, the liver plays an important role in healthy urine excretion. A healthy liver helps regulate how much blood the kidneys receive to filter. However, in a person who has liver disease, which can be caused by alcohol, the fluid balance is less regulated. The kidney will receive too much or too little blood to filter, making it work harder.
Reducing Alcohol Use Can Boost Urinary Health
Because alcohol impairs kidney and liver functioning, normal urine excretion can also be impaired. To boost urinary health and improve internal organ functioning, it may be best to lower alcohol intake.
Reducing alcohol intake lowers the risk of kidney damage. Limiting alcohol intake can have many health benefits, including:
- Improved kidney functioning
- Better liver health
- Decreased risk of alcohol-related conditions, like liver disease
- Reduced risk of developing an alcohol addiction
Finding blood in your urine can be frightening, but it may only be a temporary issue. If you experience this problem, schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause. Have additional questions about alcohol or its effects on the body? Are you interested in different alcohol-related topics? The Recovery Village can help you better understand how alcohol use affects the body.
If you need help reducing your alcohol intake, or if you need treatment for alcoholism, contact one of The Recovery Village representatives today. Our representatives can answer your questions about alcohol abuse, talk with you about rehab and discuss which programs could meet your needs. The telephone call is free and confidential, and you don’t have to commit to a program to learn more about treatment.
National Kidney Foundation. “How Your Kidneys Work” (n.d.) Accessed March 10, 2019.
National Kidney Foundation. “Drinking Alcohol Affects Your Kidneys” (n.d.) Accessed March 10, 2019.
Epstein, M. “Alcohol’s Impact on Kidney Function” Alcohol Health and Research World, 1997. Accessed March 10, 2019.
The Mayo Clinic. “Blood in Urine (Hematuria)” Updated August 17, 2017. Accessed March 10, 2019.