Beer and Kidney Stones: Reality behind Belief

Kidney stones have become one of the prevalent diseases all over the world in the past years. Many researches have been made about this type of disease, because for one, the cause of Kidney stones is still unclear. Before discussing the main topic beer and kidney stones, it is better to gain further understanding of what kidney stone is. It is also important to discuss its cause, types, signs and symptoms as well as other treatments.

To start with, kidney stone is a small stone that forms in one part of the kidney where urine collects. According to some articles, the stone usually does not cause too much harm to the person until it falls into the Ureter. If such case happens, the stones will prevent urine from draining out of one’s kidney and will cause severe pain.

As to what have been mentioned before, the cause of kidney stones is somewhat indistinct to all because it has no single, definite cause. One thing is for sure though; dehydration or an episode of it begins the formation of stones because the urine then becomes highly concentrated. Another factor to consider is the high intake of foods rich in protein, sodium, refined sugar, and fructose, among others. It is said that high intake of these substances increase the chances of kidney stone forming in one’s kidney. It is also said that kidney stones may also be a result of underlying metabolic conditions such as hyperparathyroidism and distal renal tubular acidosis among others.

Aside from knowing the cause of kidney stones, it is also important to know the different types of kidney stones. There are 5 types of kidney stones, the first and most common type of kidney stone is Calcium Oxalate stone. This type of kidney stone tends to form when urine has low pH or is acidic; too much oxalate intake in our body may cause this.

Another type of stone is the Calcium Phosphate stones; this is the less common type of stones and is usually formed when the urine is high in pH.

The third type is the Uric Acid stones; it is most likely to form when there is a consistent and too much intake of animal protein and Purine substances. The fourth type is the Struvite stones and lastly, the Cystine stones. Unlike the first three types of stones, Struvite stone and Cystine stones were caused not by too much intake of substances, but was caused by infection to the kidney (Struvite stone) and a genetic disorder that causes Cystine-an to leak and form into a stone in the kidney (Cystine stones).

How does one know if he or she is suffering from Kidney stones? One of the signs and symptoms of this condition is that kidney stones usually do not cause symptoms when it is still in the kidney. Once the stone goes into the Ureter and block the urine passage, preventing the easy flow of the urine, it is when the condition becomes serious. Then will only be the time the signs and symptoms manifest.

Patients would usually (1) feel excruciating pain known as renal colic. (2) Pain begins in the back of the flank side of the lower back to the groin part or inner thigh. (3) The pain is said to be alternating or discontinuous. (4) There is also pain felt during urination. (5) The color of the urine may be pink, red or brown, also (6) a cloudy or foul-smelling urine. Associated with renal colic, there is also the feeling of (7) nausea, vomiting and sweating. If the infection is persistent, one could also suffer from (8) fever and chills.

Finally, having explained what a kidney stone is, relating some of the factors that may trigger it, as well as its signs and symptoms, a treatment for such medical condition is also of concern. So before moving on to the main topic of beer and kidney stones, one should focus first on the usual medication given for patients with such condition.

Treatments for kidney stones usually involve pain control and hydration. Oftentimes, patients complain about severe pain felt. Medications such as anti-inflammatory, narcotics and such are prescribed. Along with these, medications that help promote stone passage is also prescribed, one of the known given medication with such function was Tamsulosin (Flomax). On the other hand, large stones usually need to undergo procedure such as using sound waves, surgery, and scope.

In addition, if one would surf the net, various home remedies for kidney stones had come up. One and probably recommended by experts is to drink plenty of water. Drinking fruit juice may also be of great help. But one home remedy that garnered a lot of attention and triggered the question “does it really work?” is none other than beer.

Many believed that a bottle of beer would help a patient cure or prevent kidney stones, thus, the emergence of the controversial topic beer and kidney stones.

There are two-sides for this topic. One side states that contrary to common belief, beer actually does not help treat or prevent kidney stones. In fact, according to them, beer and kidney stones is not a good combination. Some said that beer heightens the risk of acquiring kidney stones. They said that too much and continuous consumption increases the level of acid in the urine resulting in the formation of kidney stones. It may also trigger other medical condition. Remember that beer and other alcoholic drinks contain Purines that triggers or creates Uric Acid stones and Oxalates forming Calcium Oxalate stones. Just like what have been mentioned before, if these two substances were consumed too much, it may cause the aforementioned effect.

On the other hand, one side argues that beer actually prevents risk of kidney stones. In some studies, the aforementioned idea was proven but other studies have also agreed with the statement that too much consumption of beer heightens the risk and does not help at all. Many state that it is better to find other treatments and preventions than rely on a beer.

Furthermore, it would seem that many blogs and articles have one common thing to say about beer and kidney stones. A person prone to or is suffering from kidney stone should avoid beer or any alcoholic drink because in all actuality, it may induce the formation and growth of kidney stones. What it really boils down to is that both sides are right, that it could be of help but it could also worsen the condition. What would probably best describe this situation was the idea that moderate drinking could actually avoid and treat kidney stones, however too much consumption of alcoholic beverages will only worsen and heightens the risk of acquiring one. Therefore, it is important to always remember that when one drinks beer, it is always better to balance it by an intake of water or any other hydrating substances.

To end this, it is always better to consult an expert’s advice. Do not try to second guess on what is the suitable treatment for kidney stones or any other medical conditions. It is safe to follow what the doctor say. It is because at the end of the day, they know more than other people and their mere guesses. Furthermore, this is to ensure that people won’t put themselves at risk trying unproven and controversial remedies or treatments such as beer and kidney stones. It is always best to consult your physician before taking any medications.