Beer And Kidney Stones

2012 Health Benefits of Beer

Is there a connection between beer and kidney stones? In recent years, this question may have been met with a dismissive shrug by the many who think that beer drinking does not offer anything beyond the opportunity to relax and unwind. Recent studies, however, have all sought to rebuff this thinking and instead cement the importance of beer drinking as a potential way to reduce the risk for kidney stones – among other benefits. If you want to know more about how beer drinking can help you avoid kidney stones, read on and embrace some of the more recent good news about the positive effects of drinking man’s favorite drink.

Kidney stones are often formed when calcium and other mineral crystals in the urine coalesce to form bigger crystals which then continue to grow until they become full-blown kidney stones. While some people are more susceptible to this than others, everyone is capable of growing kidney stones especially when bad bladder habits are in confluence with a highly salty diet.

So how does beer and kidney stones relate in this regard? The good news is that moderate beer drinking can help foster a healthier kidney because of the diuretic effects of alcohol. Ever notice how you always end up running to the bathroom every time you have a few beers? Alcohol stimulates the kidneys to work harder to excrete the by-products of alcohol metabolism and this allows you to urinate more frequently. In fact, urinating is actually a natural way for the kidneys and bladder to cleanse themselves; thus, urinating because of drinking a couple of beers stirs up the bladder, prevents the coalescence of mineral crystals, and actually excrete those minerals while they are still at their smallest. The result: reduced risk towards beer and kidney stones.

A study in Finland has shown that drinking a pint of beer a day, particularly of the stout and porter varieties can actually help lower the risk for kidney stones by up to 40%. That is significant considering that today, only personal urinating habits can help mitigate the risk for developing kidney stones. If one were to reinforce good urinating habits with a regular glass or two of beer, it can help establish a healthy long-term attitude towards regularly emptying one’s bladder in order to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

In addition, research has also found that drinking beer dilates the urinary tract allowing for “bigger” stones to be passed through, something not possible without experiencing a lot of pain in non-beer drinkers. So beer and kidney stones aren’t interconnected at the formation stage; taking to drinking beer well after stones have formed may also help pass those stones before they continue to grow any bigger and requiring sonic therapy or surgery for removal.

Beer and kidney stones remind us of the importance of learning about the health benefits of common foods and drinks around us and then using this to make our lives better. If you are one of those who can benefit from a more productive way to mitigate kidney stone formation, it wouldn’t hurt to regularly grab a pint every now and then. When you do that, you can believe you are doing your kidneys a very healthy favor.