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    What causes flank pain after alcohol consumption?

Posted on Fri, 3 Jun 2016 in Abdominal Pain
Question: Hello, in the past few months I have been having what feels kike kidney pain. Located on the sides and my lower back. It feels like a dull pain that comes in waves. I dont have any other urinary tract symptoms. This pain is most often followed by a night of drinking. I am not a heavy drinker, but i notice the pain the next morninf after 3 to 4 drinks the previous night. This worries me that it could be serious. I fear kidney failrue or somethig of that nature. Please advise, thank you
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Flank pain after drinking alcohol:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Kidney pain after a night of drinking alcohol (even if it isn't in excess compared with other people) is usually caused by excessive urine production and dehydration.

It can also be caused by kidney stones, which can start to move because of the fluid changes, but usually kidney stones will continue to cause pain.

So, about the fluid changes: when alcohol is consumed, there is an increase demand on the kidneys. Alcohol can put stress on the kidneys. The alcohol causes dehydration and this can cause the kidneys to hurt. Treatment is to cut back or eliminate the amount of alcohol drunk.

But the increase in fluid volume from the alcohol can be a problem too. As it dehydrates the body, it also causes an increase in urine initially, and in some people a part of the kidney called the renal pelvis is effected by the larger fluid volume and then the pain goes away after urinating out the extra fluid.

So, no, I don't think you are suffering from kidney failure, but likely you need to cut back or discontinue alcohol.

I hope this explanation helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions


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