Currently, about 3.5 million people suffer from kidney disease in the UK. About 1.5 million people have chronic kidney disease. This condition can substantially reduce the quality of life. It often also leads to mortality without proper management.
Now, what is the cause? Some cases of the condition result from alcohol addiction. There is a connection between alcohol abuse and kidney dysfunction that should be explored.
If you have a loved one currently under the burden of this condition, contact our admissions team and we can guide you through the intervention options we offer as part of our treatment programme.
What Is the Kidney's Role?
- One of the primary responsibilities of the kidney, also sometimes called ‘renal’ in medical terms, is to filter waste products and toxins from the bloodstream, which are then excreted through urine. This process helps maintain the body’s internal balance and prevents the buildup of harmful substances.
- Another essential function of the kidneys is maintaining the balance of electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium. These electrolytes are essential for various bodily functions, including nerve and muscle functions.
- The kidneys also control the amount of fluid in the bloodstream and release hormones, such as renin, that help regulate blood vessel constriction. This process is crucial for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
- Kidneys produce several hormones, including erythropoietin, which stimulates red blood cell production, and calcitriol, the active vitamin D. Calcitriol helps maintain calcium balance and supports bone health.
Interactions between Alcohol and the Kidney Functions
Here are some ways alcohol can contribute to kidney problems:
Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, which increases urine production. This leads to dehydration. When the body is dehydrated, the kidneys must work harder to effectively filter waste products from the blood. This strain on the kidneys impairs their function over time.
Direct damage to kidney cells: Excessive alcohol consumption can cause direct damage to kidney cells. It leads to inflammation and scarring. This damage may result in alcoholic nephropathy, progressing to chronic kidney disease if left untreated.
High blood pressure: Heavy alcohol consumption is often associated with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This is due to the dehydration effect on the blood vessels in the kidney.
Liver disease: Alcohol abuse can also cause liver disease, indirectly affecting kidney function. When the liver is damaged, it may not produce enough proteins needed for proper blood clotting and fluid regulation. This can lead to an increased workload on the kidneys, which may contribute to kidney dysfunction.
Aggravation of existing kidney problems: If your loved one already has pre-existing kidney conditions, excessive alcohol consumption can worsen their kidney function. Alcohol may interfere with prescribed medications, making it harder to manage kidney disease effectively.
The primary treatment for alcohol-related kidney disease is medicinal and involves medical interventions such as:
However, if you manage the problem early on, you can work on preventing a kidney condition to develop. This is where treatment for alcohol abuse can help you. Our team includes highly experienced medical personnel can assist in supplying the needed information and care during detoxification. And once you’re cleansed from the physical effect of alcohol in your blood, we will help you rebuild your self as a sober person with no danger to your kidneys.
Combined with traditional therapies, our holistic method helps you restructure your relationship with alcohol and discover new ways to find tranquillity, calm and excitement without falling into the trap of alcohol abuse.