Health-Friendly Drinks

For Educational Purposes Only.

When alcohol is consumed in moderation (one or two drinks every once in a while), there are usually no serious side effects. Drinking alcohol in excess can be damaging to your well being, as well as kidney health. It can change the function of the kidneys, making them less efficient in filtering blood. Too much alcohol can also affect blood pressure by raising it, and it can destroy your liver, which helps to balance body functions, thus putting more strain on the kidneys. Heavy drinking on a regular basis has been found to double the chances of kidney disease1.

Binge drinking can raise a person’s blood alcohol to dangerous levels2. This can cause a sudden drop in kidney function known as “acute kidney injury”2. When this happens, dialysis is needed until a person’s kidney function returns to normal.2 Acute kidney injury usually goes away in time, but in some cases, it can lead to lasting kidney damage.

If you’re on dialysis, drinking alcohol may be allowable, but it must be counted within your normal fluid allowance diet, and medicines. Some medicines, both prescription and some over-the-counter, may interact with alcohol and cause them not to work properly. There are other medicines that may cause your blood alcohol level to rise. For those    with diabetes and CKD, alcohol may be safe to drink if you have your blood sugar level under control, so it is recommended that you drink with food. Alcohol on an empty stomach can cause blood sugar levels to drop in those with diabetes.

Normally the rate of blood flow through the kidneys is tightly controlled, so that plasma can be filtered and    substances the body needs, such as electrolytes, can be reabsorbed. Liver disease impairs this important balancing act by reducing the rates of plasma flow and filtration through a mass of capillaries called the glomerul3. One of the main functions of the kidneys is to regulate both the volume and the composition of body fluid, alcohol can have the diuretic effect of increasing urine volume. This can change the body’s fluid level and disturb the electrolyte balance. Alcohol can augment urine flow within 20 minutes of consumption4.

As a result of urinary fluid losses, the concentration of electrolytes in blood serum increases. Long-term misuse can cause cell damage and enlargement of the kidneys and may impact the hormones that control kidney function. Complications    are even greater if alcohol misuse leads to liver damage. Chronic alcohol consumption may cause both fluid and   solutes to accumulate, thereby increasing the overall volume of body fluids. In turn, such expansion of body fluid volume can contribute to high blood pressure, a condition of ten seen among chronic alcoholic patients.

Sponsor: Kibow Biotech®


  1. National Kidney Foundation. (2017, May 30). Alcohol and Your Kidneys. Retrieved from https://
  2. National Kidney Foundation. (2017, May 30). Alcohol and Your Kidneys. Retrieved from https://
  3. (n/a). Alcohol and You: An Interactive Body. Retrieved from https://
  4. (n/a). Alcohol and You: An Interactive Body. Retrieved from https://