The Pain Base » Q and A Pain » kidney pain after drinking alcohol

kidney pain after drinking alcohol

A: Odd, try a different drink and see if the same thing happens. Add to your question if you do, I am curious.
No, talk to your doctor. Others have complained about the same thing too. You need to make sure it actually is your kidneys.
From a site online…
The symptom of flank pain after beer drinking is well-known to be a sign of, perhaps, a kidney problem.
The large volumes of urine produced by beer-drinking, in other words, urine is being formed faster than the kidney is able to excrete it.

Q: Kidney Pain after excessive drinking?
A weekend of too much alcohol, now have pain in my right kidney area. I can’t tell if it’s the muscle or the kidney, but it doesn’t hurt unless i press down on the area or move in certain ways. Can alcohol use cause kidney problems? Will it go away? Should I go to the doctor?

A: aahh binge drinking, a past time that never seems to get old.

Q: Pain after drinking alcohol – male 33 yrs?
For the last few months I have been getting pain in my upper right quadrant after drinking alcohol. I have been a heavy drinker since my university days, I’m now 33, and at one point would probably have been consuming up to 100 units per week.

In January of this year I decided that my drinking had to stop as I realised that I was abusing drink and using it as a tool to mask depression, anxiety and general unhappiness. Around the same time as I decided to tackle my mental issues I started getting these pains on the right hand side of my abdomen (coincidence?) around the bottom of the ribs.

I visited my doctor and explained the situation and he referred me for some liver function tests (2 months ago) and subsequently an abdominal ultrasound (3 weeks ago). Both the liver function tests and the abdominal ultrasound appear to indicate that there is absolutely nothing physically wrong with my liver, gallbladder or kidneys. No inflammation, signs of fatty liver, signs of it not processing toxins properly etc…I have seen three different doctors at my local surgery regarding this and all say that there is nothing physically wrong with me. I have also been physically examined and again nothing would indicate any liver problems.

I have naturally cut drinking down to an absolute minimum and didn’t drink at all for around 2 months whilst I was undergoing tests etc. I feel so much better mentally and physically since changing my habits and have also been taking up a lot more regular exercise: running, swimming, pilates and squash which are naturally helping to increase my sense of well-being.

However on the rare occasions that I have had an alcoholic drink, since being told that I’m fine, I get the pain back. All it takes is one glass of wine or pint of beer/cider and the following day I will have this inner pinching type of pain under towards the bottom of my rib cage, right hand side that heads up towards the navel area.

Can anyone share any similar stories, diagnosis or suggest a line of enquiry I should take with my doctor? Things I am thinking about include:

• allergy to alcohol or yeast/hops/grapes(?!?)
• irritable bowel syndrome (I think the pain would be lower down however)
• gout/high levels of uric acid – can you test for this?
• psychological – am I creating the pain through worry?

I just want to get on with the rest of my life. I feel I have taken some huge steps and have a much more positive outlook but all the time things hangs around it keeps niggling at my brain and my worry is that my symptoms all seem to indicate liver problems but tests prove otherwise.

Thanks for taking the time to read – any advice warmly received!

A: Another case that leaves the doctors scratching their heads? I suspect you have a weird case of gout where the tiny urate crystals exist in your upper abdomen. To confirm this, go for a blood test for and see if your blood uric acid level is above the range. And then run your own urine test for uric acid, here is how…

1. Get a transparent plastic cup or mineral water bottle
2. As soon as you wake up in the moring, collect the first round of urine into the bottle.
3. Cover the bottle and keep it in cold dry place far away from the reach kids
4. After a few hours, observe (pay close attention) if there is any crystal like substances deposits at the bottom of the bottle.
5. If you see some small white particles in the fluid, then it means you are having hyperuricemia.
6. If no sediments observed, then leave it there for another 1 or 2 days and check it again.

Good luck!

Q: Enlarged Kidney after Alcohol Only Eighteen?
I am Eighteen and am not addicted to alcohol. Over the Christmas period I really drank a lot I mean continuous for over three weeks.This ranged from beer, whisky, rum and wine. I felt the left side of my body and my kindey was enlarged. I thought I had drank too much and stopped. I was ashamed that I had overdone it so much that my lower back ) i found out it is my left kidney) is enlarged. After stop drinking the pain went but I have been stressed latley and it is painful. I am taking antibiotics. Fine I have not drank for three weeks and do not wan a drink. However I am getting this uncomfortable sometimes burning pain in my left kidney. Occasionally it is very uncomfortable and as I am eighteen am very scared as to what I have done to it. Please help…

PS It may be that I have a water infection or cold but nothing burns when I go to the toilet or drink liquids.

A: How do you know that you are not addicted to alcohol? If you drank for three weeks straight, you got something going on! You don’t have to drink every day to have a problem. Alcoholics go years, decades without drinking but they are still alcoholics! Consider why you did that before you decide you don’t have a problem. Second, be honest with your doctor. With HIPPA, they can’t tell anyone! It is not their job to be judgemental, just to help you. Call the doc back and tell him/her what is going on. Heck – you could have something unrelated to the binging all together.

Q: Does Drinking Kill Your Kidneys?
I seem to have kidney pain the day after I drink alcohol. Is this normal? It is especially bad when I drink multiple days in a row.

A: Try drinking more water and less salt…it should improve. However, kidney’s are vital so ask a medical professional and get checked.

Q: Pain in my left hand side after drinking?
I get numb hot pain in my left hand side between my ribs and my pelvis after drinking. It has been getting progresively worse for the last couple of years. I have had tests for water infections, ultra sound on my kidney and cell counts. The pain seemed to be at the back to start with but is now more at the side and front. It settles down after about a week but as soon as i have alcohol again it triggers it off. I am 39 and do not want to give up drinking as i enjoy a glass of wine or three with my wife. Please sensible answers only.

A: If it’s only drinking alcohol that causes the pain – then it would be a good idea to change your drink to something non-alcoholic. That would be the most sensible thing. Then go and see your doctor and ask for their opinion.

If you feel like you absolutely cannot give it up – then please do ask for help. You don’t need to be a drunkard to have a problem with alcohol — sometimes even a tiny little bit is too much for some people to handle. Your body obviously doesn’t like it anymore, even if your brain is telling you otherwise. Listen to your body. Take notice when it’s trying to tell you something is wrong. Don’t let it become a problem.

You don’t need alcohol to have fun. Honest! :-)

Q: I had pains in my back during a heavy session of drinking alcohol. Could this be a kidney or liver problem?
Last night I was drinking a lot of alcohol. And towards the end of the night, just after Id come in from outside having a cigarette, I had excrutiating pains in the middle of back going through to the front, pains that kind of took my breath away and made it hard to sit up. They lasted about 10 minutes.
My family have history of bad liver problems. But Im worried because I drink a lot as Im a student, and I worried Im beginning to do damage and these pains were just warning signs?

A: Could be. You should see a doctor and get a blood test for your liver function. In the meantime, you should stop drinking and smoking yourself into an early grave.

Q: I am 25 an i have a pain in my lower left side, its not a sharp pain but more of a spasm, kidney infection?
I am 25 years old, I drink alcohol so I was wondering if this could be a kidney problem. The pain is mild, and I don’ even think its a pain its more of a spasm that doesn’t hurt at all just feels a little unconfortable. Its on my lower left side of my back, and it will sometimes travel up my spine. Also my urine has been cloudy, especially when i go for the first time in the morning, then after its starts to get less yellow and cloudy. Also if it is an infection how do I get rid of it?

A: Go to the Doctor!

Q: Kidney pain when I drink large glass of water?
I feel it other times, too, but it is strong after drinking fluids. My Dr tested me for a UTI last week. I had a severe one about a month ago, so we thought that maybe it didn’t go away, but there is no sign of infection.
I looked up stones, as they run in the family, but it seems that, if anything, water would ease pain instead of increasing it. I have not had alcohol in over a year (due to pregnancy and breastfeeding.) When I did drink, it was a few drinks at a time, once in a blue moon, so I doubt this is at all alcohol related. I drink mostly water and milk, occasional juice, and a glass of 7up about once a week.
Oh – I do have a job where access to the bathroom is limited. We get a lot of UTIs there from holding it too long. Sorry for TMI
Anyone had this or have any ideas?

A: Hi,

Okay, it could still be kidney stones. They’re sharp and jagged and all that water does is increases the flow of liquid down the urethra, which pushes the stone down more quickly, and it does sometimes cushion the stone slightly, but it’s still cutting as it moves down, and the faster it moves the more it cuts (however drinking too little liquid will make the urethra constrict and that may cause a blockage… which is pain on a level with childbirth, so not drinking water is not an option).

Cranberry juice is good for both kidney stone and UTI’s, so I recommend drinking that as a starting measure. Lemon juice is also a good option, so you could try this home remedy. It really helps with kidney stones, but will also help alleviate a UTI.

Pour 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of honey into a glass. Cover the top with saran wrap and shake it until it forms a cloudy emulsion (this isn’t 100% necessary, but stops you from drinking the oil and lemon juice as separate liquids, which tastes disgusting). If it’s cold you may want to heat the liquid a little to room temperature so it’s easier to down. Down it as quickly as possible and then drink as much water as you can (1 litre or more).

Finally, at work go to the toilet whenever you feel the need. For men holding it can cause prostate problems and erectile disfunction, and for both genders it can cause UTIs, incontinence and bladder infections. In other words “holding it” for too long is a serious medical risk, and your employer has no right to request that you “hold it” any more than they can legitimately expose you to hazardous chemicals or insist that you work long hours without food or sleep, in short this is a basic human right and your employer is acting unethically and illegally. Now be polite about your toilet visits, but be firm. If your employer becomes unreasonable then insist that they provide the instruction in writing, so that if/when they fire you then you can take them to court and sue them for present, past and future health problems, plus punitive damages, plus you can organise the other employees so its a class action law suit… don’t be threatening, but make it clear that if they try to continue this policy you will sue the company into the ground and walk away very rich, while the low level manager who’s insisting on this harassment will be both out of a job and unemployable because you’ll be sure that the blame falls squarely on his shoulders during the court proceedings.

Q: Problem with alcohol, energy drinks and pain killers?
Hi all,

Hopefully someone can give me some advice on this. I live with my fiancée and 2 daughters, have a half decent job and my life is comfortable.

However, it started when my fiancée started to have an issue with me drinking (over the last couple of years), my family are big drinkers but hers are not. I never felt that I drank anywhere near as much as some of my family. I don’t really go out to the pub so tend to drink at home after work or on a weekend, this is about 3-4 times a week and I usually stick to drinking 4 cans of strongbow or lager. I never get violent, nasty or anything along those lines when I drink, I probably talk too much which can sometimes do her head in! But that is about as far as it goes. She asked me why I could never only have 1 or 2, it always had to be 3 or 4 and I said because I want to feel the effect of it.

On a few occasions I have stopped drinking for a few weeks to show her that I am not dependent on it and I just enjoy having a few cans a few times a week. However only yesterday she said that when I stop for a few weeks I seem to substitute the drink for something else, like energy drinks or co-codomol…basically anything that I could feel the effect of, anything that makes me feel different.

I thought long and hard about this, and although I never drink massive amounts of alcohol or energy drink or take packets of tablets at a time, I realised the issue was with having to have something that made me feel different. I thought about the obvious reasons of stress, not been happy etc, etc, but to be totally honest I have never been a massive believer in stress/depression and am not unhappy in my life, I try to make the best of everything and always think positive.

I wondered where this need to feel different came from. I don’t know if it is just a coincidence or not but 6 years ago I had a kidney stone, the pain was excruciating and I had to go to hospital for the first time in my life. They give me morphine and the way it made the pain disappear and made me feel was amazing! I was on it for a week around twice a day and on one occasion I told the doctor I had the pain again when I didn’t. So basically I took it once when I didn’t need it.

I didn’t drink as much and never took pain killers or anything like that before this. But ever since then I have liked taking things (pain killers, energy drinks/tablets etc) that made me feel good, made me forget about any worries I had or at least look at things more positively.

I know this is something I need to deal with, but what do I do? Doctors? I really feel embarrassed about it and my fiancée wants to come to the doctors with me and thinks I may need something like counselling to sort it out.

Any advice would be massively appreciated.

Many Thanks


A: Hi joe,i think i know what your talking about.I drank alot was hooked on solpadeine which contained codeine and would use energy drinks to pick me up.

First i had to stop taking the solpadeine because they were bad for the liver and addictive because the codeine made me feel relaxed and took away the headaches i would get from drinking all those energy drinks which put you on a high and then when they wore of dropped you like abrick being thrown into the sea.

So when i got home i felt down so i would get a bottle of wine to cheer my self up and relaxe.Next mornig to solpadeine to take away headache and then to work.On the way stop of and buy energy drink because i need to be on ball in work the solpadeine would make me feel to relaxed so energy drink to pick me up.

I got of the pills it was hard work.I stopped smoking .That was hard work and now i have stopped drinking.I have been of the solpadeine for two years,the cigs for eight months and the alcohol for six months and i feel great.

I feel more socialble.I like to go out more and in the evenings after work and my tea i go walking ,the pictures watch a dvd whilst having a glass of lime and cold soda over ice .Great.

I got of the pills and the cigs by myself,but im only human and i needed to go to my gp to get of the alcohol.Ive never looked back.

So the first step for you is to go to your gp on your own because you will feel more comfortable about talking to your gp this way and then be honest with everything you say.

If you dont go to your gp or change from my own exsperience things will slowly get worse.You wont notice them yourself because you will think nothing is wrong its the people around you that see it and the hardest part about this is you are jumping from one high to another in the form of relaxiation to hyperactivity.(drink and energy drinks to co codomol).its just like taking caffeine to pick you up in the morning to get you started if you feel abit tired after the night before.

Good luck to you.You will sort this out and become a better person for it


Q: How long after consuming alcohol can I take medication?
I went out drinking last night for a friend’s going away party, and today I’m having pain from my kidney stones so I need to take the percocets my doctor prescribed me. I’m not sure how long after having consumed alcohol I’m able to take it.

A: 24 hours after your last drink.

Q: Why do I get severe lower back pain only when I drink alcohol?
I’ve never been a heavy drinker, pretty much no alcohol until about a year ago when I turned 21 and now maybe a drink or two per week if I’m with friends. I never had a problem before, but beginning in June I started getting excruciating lower back pain right after I’d start drinking. The pain would come in ‘pulses’ and lasts about 5-10 minutes. Once it goes away, I can continue to drink without a problem. I currently have an enlarged spleen which is being removed in August and past CT scans have shown my liver to be slightly enlarged as well. Any thoughts on where the pain might be coming from or why? Could it be my kidneys?

A: You really need to see a doctor, however if it only happens when you drink, then maybe your putting extra work on your liver because It’s probably working overtime because of your spleen issue, and alcohol only makes it work even harder. Also if you take alot of pain medicine (anything with Acetaminophen as the active ingredient) that is hard on your liver as well

Q: Alcohol, energy drinks, and kidney infections?
I have had multiple kidney infections, about 1 every month since October of 2008 and have had kidney stones too. I notice that when drink liquor, it seems to set off a kidney infection…or if I drink an energy drink I get terrible stomach pains, pains so terrible I end up in the er and end up having a kidney infection. I did a little drinking Friday night (I rarely drink, maybe once a month…2 kids hardly ever have time out). I woke up the next morning with the same pains. Terrible pain the in the stomach where I couldn’t stand all the way, horrible back pain, nausea and chills and shaking. He came back after taking blood and urine and stated everything came back fine. No UTI or anything, said the only think left would be to do a pelvic exam. I am pretty worried now. I am not afraid of std’s. I always use protection. I tend to bleed sometimes while having intercourse and when I do, it is lots of blood. It stops almost immediately after we are done. I then find it hard to sit down because it feels like my insides are being stabbed. I also feels this way when we have no had sex. Going over bumps in a car or going from standing to sitting makes the pain terrible. Has anyone else had these experiences?? How long does it usually take to get pelvic exam results back from an emergency room. Thanks!

A: well as far as your kidney’s are concerned you need to take it easy with alcohol, and drink alot of water. The pelvic exam doesn’t take that long they should get result back relatively soon, you may have PID or another type of infection that your doctor missed. just aways be safe, drink water, and fee better soon.

Q: Lower right abdomen/back pain…alcohol?
After an absolutely insane weekend of much drinking/little sleep, I’m feeling a dull, aching pain on the right side of my body (about belly button level, except more on the back then the front). I drank a lot friday and didn’t sleep at all except for 2 very short naps Saturday before drinking again saturday night. Obviously I slept well Saturday!

Noticed the pain Sunday, not severe at all, just a very dull pain not really made worse by movement/touching or anything. Slept well Sunday night but it wasn’t any better Monday…

I’m a 20 year old male… Could it be appendicitis? From what I know, alcohol wouldn’t bring that on, and I’d be surprised if alcohol isn’t to blame after my wild weekend… From what I’ve been able to find liver pain is higher and more on the front then the lower back right pain I am feeling… Kidney? Like I said, the pain isn’t bad at all…. Just there ever so slightly.

Additionally, I know drinking is bad… I’m in college though, so it happens sometimes… :-) Definitely don’t plan on missing the sleep like I did this weekend though ever again!

This one is stumping me!?! Anyone have any idea???

A: dude, been there done that

yea its probably you liver screaming “stop!, help me!”

probably nothing serious unless it is painful enough for you to want to get it checked out.

key point*
you got to sleep man. when you stay up all night your body does not properly break down and exit all of the alcohol. So pretty much your liver/pancreas was experiencing poisening for an entire 48hours. Binge drinking will take its toll on you, the key is in moderation but I doubt you like the word “moderation”.

Q: Pains in right abdomen – Mostly after alcohol although now becoming more constant?
Hi, basically my friend has been having these pains, she says its like a crampy achy feeling in her right abdomen area. She started getting them a few weeks ago after shes been drinking alcohol although she has started to get them more regularly. She has been to see a Dr although they weren’t that helpful and just dismissed them and sent her away with pain killers. I think its starting to worry her and its not like her to be like this! She has had a kidney infection before but she says that its a different pain to that and she doesnt think that that is the cause. It may have nothing to do with this but she has also been feeling sick quite alot and seems a lot more tired than normal. Does anyone know what could be wrong with her or recommend anything?

A: these will provide you with good information from medical professionals

Or you can ask a WebMd doctor with this link

Please be a real friend and never let her drive under the influence. I am disabled from an accident with a drunk driver.

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