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What is the Connection Between Kidney Stones and Alcohol?

Anna T.
Updated Feb 16, 2024
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Kidney stones and alcohol are connected for two reasons. The first reason is that many people believe that drinking alcohol will lead to kidney stones. This is actually not true if a person is a moderate drinker, although frequent binge drinking could lead to stone formation. When a person binge drinks, the amount of uric acid in his system increases, thus making stone formation more likely. The other connection between kidney stones and alcohol is related to the possibility that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may help a person pass stones easily and might additionally prevent them from forming.

There have been many studies done on the relationship between kidney stones and alcohol. Researchers have ultimately determined that people who drink alcohol do not tend to have more problems with kidney stones than non-drinkers. People who suffer from gout, which is a disorder that occurs due to excessive amounts of uric acid in the body, might be more at risk for getting kidney stones when they drink. Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause the body to produce lots of uric acid, which might increase the likelihood of kidney stones in gout sufferers whose uric acid levels are already too high.

People who suffer from kidney stones might actually benefit from drinking some alcohol. Studies have shown that wine can decrease the chances of stone formation in middle-aged women by as much as 50 percent. It is also possible that drinking moderate amounts of beer may help dissolve kidney stones, which should make them easier and less painful to pass. Even though the relationship between kidney stones and alcohol may be beneficial, a person who wants to drink alcohol to help eliminate or prevent kidney stones should do so in moderation. There is no health benefit to excessive alcohol consumption, regardless of the reason behind it.

When a person has kidney stones, they are generally very painful, particularly as they pass through the urethral opening. After passing, the pain almost always goes away unless there are more stones. Most of the time kidney stones can pass without medical attention being necessary, but there are some circumstances in which a doctor's help may be required. If a person goes for many days in severe pain and does not pass her kidney stone, it might be because it is too large. Kidney stones that are very large in size may need to be either broken up so they can pass easily or surgically removed.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By literally45 — On Jun 02, 2013

@burcidi-- Not only is alcohol diuretic, but it also reduces the excretion of uric acid from the body. I'm not a doctor but I think that alcohol is best avoided by those who are at risk of kidney stones.

Treatment of kidney stones is not very difficult. The body usually takes care of it itself. There are also herbal remedies that can relieve pain and quicken the process of passing kidney stones. I don't think alcohol will help. If anything, it will probably make things worse because of its effects on uric acid and diuretic properties.

By burcidi — On Jun 02, 2013

Don't diuretics increase the chances of developing kidney stones? Alcohol is diuretic.

By turquoise — On Jun 01, 2013

I don't think alcohol can cause kidney stones. When I had kidney sand, my doctor told me to drink malt beverages like beer. She said I will pass the sand more easily this way. The article also mentioned that alcohol can help the passing of kidney stones. I don't know if all types of alcohol are equally beneficial for this, but beer certainly is.

Anna T.
Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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