Is There Any Connection Between Alcohol And UTI?

Alcohol And UTI

Alcohol has a significant effect on the functioning of the urinary system. It makes urine more acidic resulting in irritation in the lining of the bladder. In a study, it was shown that alcohol may cause urinary retention in young people who do not have obstructive urinary tract disease. The mechanism of urinary retention by alcohol remains unknown. Although, drinking alcohol in a limited amount may not affect kidneys but large quantity worsens kidney diseases. This may even lead to acute kidney failure. Regular heavy drinkers are significantly at greater risk of developing chronic kidney diseases. Alcohol causes the drying effect that hampers the functioning of kidney cells. Further, hormonal disruption due to alcohol reduces the ability of the kidney. Thus it is prudent to separate alcohol and UTI.


What Is UTI And Its Symptoms?

Urinary tract infection occurs when the pathogens invade any part of the urinary tract and cause symptoms. Women are at increased risk of urinary tract infection as compared to men. The organs that may affect are kidney, bladder, ureter, and urethra. Urinary tract infection generally involves the lower part of the urinary tract such as urethra and bladder.

Following are the symptoms you may experience when suffering from urinary tract infection;

  • You may have a burning sensation while urinating
  • Your urine appears cloudy
  • You may have urine with a strong pungent smell
  • You may have a strong urge to urinate
  • In some cases, you may see blood in your urine

Is It Safe To Drink Alcohol In UTI?

It is not recommended to drink alcohol when you are suffering from urinary tract infection. Apart from the antibiotics that are prescribed to you to treat infection, your immune system also plays an important role in fighting against infection. Drinking alcohol reduces the activity of the immune system which may delay in treating infection. You may have worsened UTI symptoms after drinking alcohol. You are already suffering from burning sensation when urinating during infection, alcohol, which increases the acidity of urine, further worsens the symptoms. Alcohol also reduces the functional activity of the kidney during urinary tract infection. Thus, the healthcare provider advises refraining from drinking during urinary tract infection. Some antibiotics, indicated in urinary tract infection, may also interact with alcohol, leading to reduced potency of antibiotics.


Can Drinking Alcohol Cause Urinary Tract Infection?

There is no direct relationship between alcohol consumption and UTI. As the urinary tract infection is caused by pathogens, alcohol does not directly create pathogens in the urinary tract. However, it increases the risk of developing urinary tract infections through several mechanisms. First, it lowers the immune system, the first line of defense against pathogens, which may lead to urinary tract infection. A study concludes that there is a correlation between drinking alcohol and the frequency of sexual activity that may also increase the risk of urinary tract infection.


What Are The Causes Of Kidney Pain After Drinking Alcohol?

Alcohol causes various alterations in the functioning of the kidney that may lead to kidney pain;

1. Excess work

To remove the excess alcohol from the body, the kidney has to work hard leading to kidney pain.


2. Dehydration

The kidney is responsible for maintaining the level of fluid and electrolytes. Alcohol, because of its dehydrating property through increased urination imbalances the electrolyte and fluid level that may hamper kidney function. Excessive dehydration may also lead to the formation of kidney stones.


What Other Drinks You Have To Avoid In UTI?

Apart from alcohol, certain other drinks should be avoided during urinary tract infection. These drinks either worsens the symptoms of UTI or may interact with the anti-infective therapy. These drinks include;

  • Caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee worsen the symptoms of urinary tract infection. On one hand, they irritate the urinary bladder and on the other hand, they have mild diuretic action which increases the frequency of urination.
  • Acidic citrus fruits may also irritate the bladder leading to worsening of symptoms. Juices of lemon, oranges, and grapefruit should be avoided in urinary tract infections. Lowering consumption of irritating liquid such as acidic liquids improves the efficacy of the urinary tract.

Does Alcohol Interacts With The Medications Of Urinary Tract Infection?

Alcohol and UTI are incompatible in terms of medications. There is an interaction between UTI antibiotics and alcohol in various ways. It increases the excretion of these antibiotics, therefore, it does not allow them time to act against pathogens. Taking alcohol along with antibiotics may also lead to certain side effects such as stomach upset and nausea. It is advised to completely avoid alcohol when taking metronidazole and tinidazole. Alcohol may also interact with linezolid and doxycycline and reduce their potency. Your healthcare provider will provide more information about the interaction of various drugs with alcohol.

Author:

Rohit Jain

Rohit Jain is an IPR Specialist and Medical Content Writing Expert. For over a decade, he has written several articles in the areas of female infertility, Erectile dysfunction, hemangioma, cervical cancer, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, mononucleosis, mitral valve disorder, nerve sheath tumor, shin splints, mild cognitive impairment, cellulitis, brain metastases, atelectasis, MCAD deficiency, lymphoma, sepsis, cardiac rehabilitation and metabolic disorder among others.