Can I Enjoy a Glass of Wine or Beer When I Have CKD?

Nov 29, 2020

The holidays are here and it’s tempting to sit down with a special drink to celebrate. For most people, an occasional drink is no problem. Still, it’s helpful to know a little about how alcohol affects the work kidneys do.

Kidneys work hard to filter out harmful substances, like alcohol, from blood. If your kidney function is low, alcohol puts extra stress on your body.

Too much alcohol can…

  • Change how kidneys function and make it harder for them to filter the blood.
  • Make it harder for kidneys to regulate fluids and electrolytes in the body.
  • Dehydrate (dry out) the body affecting the normal function of cells and organs, including the kidneys.
  • Disrupt hormones that affect kidney function.
  • Affect your blood pressure and/or the medications taken to control high blood pressure.
  • Lead to liver disease which makes the kidneys work even harder to do their job.

How much is too much? What’s safe?

  • A drink or two every once in a while, is generally safe for healthy people.
  • Keep in mind, that one alcoholic drink is a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a one-ounce (one shot) of ‘hard liquor’ such as gin or vodka.
  • Because everyone is different, be sure to ask your kidney doctor or kidney dietitian about how much alcohol is safe for you.

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Categories: Kidneys