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Having beer or a drink now and then.

Southwest966's picture
Southwest966
Posts: 18
Joined: Jun 2013

Hi Everyone:

 

I am sure you all think I am crazy to even ask this question, but I did find on this forum that having a beer or drink does not hurt the one kidney as long as you still drink lots of water.  Is this malarky?

 

LuckyDucky
Posts: 8
Joined: Jul 2013

I have no idea whether having a drink now and then has any effect....I know my husband thinks I'm a complete nutcase as I have announced that "I will NEVER drink again..never never never"...This whole experience has freaked me out enough that I don't even want to test it....but that's just me.

My husband said that he read also that a drink here and there is fine, but I think I would check up on that first....

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

[It always beats me to know why anyone who says they have "no idea" of the answer bothers to post a reply to a question!]

Drinking enough water is essential for good kidney (and general) health.  That in itself isn't protection from damage by alcohol but an occasional alcoholic drink is not going to do you any harm, unless you're an alcoholic.  However, it's dangerous to generalise because we're all biochemically unique and our circumstances are different too.  So, you need to be sure that alcohol isn't going to have a bad interaction with a medicine you're taking, so check this with your doctor or a pharmacist.  Another factor is other conditions you may have - for instance if you have high blood pressure alcohol isn't helpful.

LuckyDucky
Posts: 8
Joined: Jul 2013

From time to time I have a tendency to chat and bs, but not have all the answers...no apologies from me!!

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

I talk too much so I can understand that, and nobody has  all the answers.  However, people come on here to ask for help and put questions.  You said "I think I would check up on that first" - that was exactly what he was doing by asking the question! It's not exactly a lot of help to post a reply "I have no idea" is it?  Was there a point? Maybe you just wanted to tell us that your Husband thinks you're a nutcase? Smile

It was just a wry throwaway remark on my part and not something to take to heart.  You know you're welcome here.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1570
Joined: Jan 2010

Southwest,

My answer is that A beer or A drink every week is fine.

 

As an attorney over the years I have seen too many persons who drink too much and are masters of minimizing what they drink. That is why I have used the word A not one ot two and qualified it over a week period. For those of you who have had too much to drink on a regular basis in the past, my answer is NO.

 

 

Icemantoo

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Ain't that the truth - wise words indeed!

Galrim's picture
Galrim
Posts: 278
Joined: Apr 2013

Unless your remaining kidney isnt in good shape, having a beer or occassional glass of wine wont hurt you at all. Neither will having more than just a couple of glasses, if you limit it to maybe a couple of times per year at the most and drink plenty of water at the same time. Obviously if completely rigid about it, you could stay off anything remotely harmfull to your kidney, but that would probably be a very dull life to lead...

Just my angle on a recurring subject.

/G

todd121
Posts: 603
Joined: Dec 2012

I really liked these articles when I read up on this after my nephrectomy:

http://www.davita.com/kidney-disease/diet-and-nutrition/lifestyle/alcohol-and-chronic-kidney-disease/e/5330

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh21-1/84.pdf

http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-health/kidney-basics/common-questions.html

If you're otherwise healthy (your remaining kidney is working ok, no high blood pressure, diabetes, or on any medicines that interact with alcohol in a bad way, etc.), a drink now and then won't hurt you. Drinking plenty of water after is a good idea, since alcohol dehydrates you and dehydration has a big impact on kidney function. Alcohol does affect how well the kidney does its job, so too much/too frequent is bad.

I thought I would never drink again in the first 3 months following my nephrectomy, but now I have a glass of wine or a beer now and then (1-2 times a week), or maybe even a martini! All indications from my frequent blood work is that my remaining kidney is doing just fine. Don't drink too much alcohol, soda, or caffeine. Moderation (err on the side of too little) is key I think.

Todd

 

 

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1935
Joined: Oct 2011

Here is what I think about the subject. I probably had renal cancer for several years prior to diagnosis. It is questionable if my kidney was even functioning. Because once removed, I saw no difference in my bodily functions. So just don't be a drunkard unless you want to die from something other than kidney cancer. Also I ask, "What am I saving it for?" If I owned a 3 piece suit I would wear it to mow the lawn or work on my car. My future is probably not forever so I am gonna use everything I have and enjoy it. So, hell yeah, I'm having a beer any time I want to. Probably a slice of pizza too. cholesterol, smolesterol. Live in the moment my friends.

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

As any good Episcopalian will tell you, "All things in Moderation!"

 

JoeMoose
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2014

I love this response....

BDS's picture
BDS
Posts: 100
Joined: Aug 2012

I am with Fox on this one. I am stage IV and I want to enjoy my life so I do not give a damn – believe me I am a bit of a heath nut. This does not mean I am an alcoholic. If I am at a baseball game - I am having a beer and a hot dog (Hot dogs are not good for you either!). If I am eating crabs - I am drinking beer. If I am on my brother’s boat on Lake George on a beautiful summer’s day - I am having a beer.  If I am taking my wife out to a nice restaurant I am having a nice glass of wine.  I have an alcoholic drink about three times a month. Unless your doctor tells you no alcohol at all or alcohol causes a serious reaction with your meds then do not drink. Otherwise enjoy your life. l'chaim - BDS

cheatinlil's picture
cheatinlil
Posts: 36
Joined: Jun 2014

Old-timers do you still feel the same way?

New People what is your take?

My husband is stage 4 aggressive and advanced.  The Oncologist told my husband no alcohol.  However, the pharmacy we are getting the Votrient from says an occasional drink in moderation is ok.  He starts Votrient today with our next scan set for August 13th.  He usually only drinks Saturday and Sunday.  He was already to go without alcohol but the pharmacist said it is ok.  Now he is reconsidering. He said he will won't drink for "awhile".  He sounds a little too happy about the news! What's your take?

Srashedb
Posts: 193
Joined: Dec 2013

stage 4 and aggressive; doctor said no alcohol. The pharmacist does not have all the information the doctor has.

My opinion: NO ALCOHOL.

Sarah

todd121
Posts: 603
Joined: Dec 2012

It's hard on the kidneys, hard on the immune system, dehydrates you.

IF I was going to drink at all in this condition (which I would not), I would limit to 1-2 beers or a glass of wine a week.

Since I had my kidney removed, I really feel it when I drink alcohol. I still do very occasionally, but I sure can feel it. I don't think my system processes it as efficiently as it used to. Why put the extra burden on the body?

The votrient is processed in the liver. You have to check which enzymes are involved to see how the alcohol affects those enzymes. It "may" interfere by either causing you to absorb the votrient faster or slower (both bad).

I'd go with the oncologists advice. I'm sure he's being careful, though.

But I can also understand if it was me and I enjoyed have a drink or two, and I was stage 4 aggressive and advanced, might consider having a drink if I wanted one. Consider letting him decide...another idea is to ask the oncologist to explain why he said no alcohol? Might be worth understanding his reasoning. Tell the oncologist what the pharmacist said, and ask for an explanation, then your husband can make an informed decision.

Todd

cheatinlil's picture
cheatinlil
Posts: 36
Joined: Jun 2014

Sarah,

I'm going to post your feedback on the bathroom mirror :)

Todd,

This made me LOL:  "consider letting him decide". Uh NO! :)  The rest is great advice.  I will get with the Oncologist.  Thanks!

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2013

My sister's mother-in-law donated her kidney to her son 45 years ago.  So, she's been living (and drinking) just fine with 1 kidney for 45 years.  She's NOT a heavy drinker - and has never had cancer - but she has been known to enjoy a drink or two several times a week.

Also, I'd side with the pharmacist as I believe they have a much more comprehensive understanding of drugs, interactions, etc.  The docs will always err on the side of caution (although that's not always a bad thing...).  We all must decide how to live our own lives - just do the research to ensure you understand them.

J

Srashedb
Posts: 193
Joined: Dec 2013

true that pharmacists are very knowledgeable and drug interaction may be an area where they excel. I find that pharmacists are very knowledgeable but where I part ways is that kidney cancer is much more than living with one kidney.

alcohol consumption and smoking are two known causes of kidney cancer; doctors may be more cautious but with this disease, the doctor has a thorough picture of the patient than the pharmacist.

Staying hydrated is very important and alcohol dehydrates; in fact, so does caffeine. My husband was told it was ok to drink a cup of coffee but he needed to drink an extra glass of water.

A random, celebratory drink now and then is probably alright although I personally would not choose it. Once your body has cancer, why ingest any additional toxins?

i am sorry but your story of the donated kidney and her subsequent longevity does not apply to a grade 4, aggressive cancer.

Sarah

aamdsi
Posts: 177
Joined: Apr 2014

Both before and after my partial.

I could do everything I was doing before the surgery - after the surgery. BUT!  Watch taking of both Tylenol and Ibuprofin, and watch the alcohol intake. It was suggested that a glass or a beer or 2 were okay, but not everyday.  This was not just because of the kidney, but because of the damage it could do in general. 

My husband is a wine rep. (I call him a Cork Dork) and we have a rather large cellar of wine. So much wine "tasting" goes with living in our house. 8-)

It is strange though, since the surgery I really have no desire for my nightly "glass of cheer".  I still have a glass a night on the weekends, but that's it.  Don't miss it - and really I think the backing away from it has helpedf me keep all the weight off that I lost during all this. 

I did check with all doctors to make sure it was okay though, because of my HBP meds and such.  Which I think all do anyway.

But as always - talk to your doctor.  Everyone is different. 8-)

Cheers!

 

 

JoeMoose
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2014

I just had a partial a week ago and the discharge papers said that alcohol in moderation was fine as long as I was not taking the pain Meds at the same time. I have also read some random studies that claim there is a reduced risk of RCC in drinkers. Surprised me a bit... 

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1570
Joined: Jan 2010

My post last July 28 still holds.

 

 

Icemantoo

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jan 2013

A glass of red wine every now and then is thought to be helpful... moderation is the key word.   For any medications, read the warning documents...  Both doctors and pharmacy people make silly statements at times...  How many times have people come in here saying their doctor told them they were cured with surgery, only to have Mets show up..?   In the end, each person has to make their own (informed) decision...

Ron

Darron's picture
Darron
Posts: 223
Joined: Jun 2013

It is a personal preference. I have had a few beers and a couple glasses of wine sonce October 2012. My doctor says moderation is the key. To be honest, since I am on Sutent, it tastes like crap anyway, so I have gotten used to not drinking. The biggest adjustment was at parties and in social settings I was so used to having a beer or drink in my hand. I can now out drink everyone at a party because I drink water only. It is my choice, and I do miss it a little now and then. Maybe if I go off Sutent it will taste better, bit for now, water is not a problem.

Add any soda to the list Sutent makes it taste like crap also. I think it is the carbonization.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1935
Joined: Oct 2011

I've said it all along. Pizza and beer didn't get me into this mess. I don't believe a lifestyle change is going to be the thing that saves my life. I'm going golfing today. You can place your bets as to whether I drink some beer. My blood work is done at least once a month. My kidney and liver function has always remained perfect. Should things change, then it will be a different story.

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 200
Joined: Mar 2014

I had a partial nephrectomy in March and didn't drink at all for quite a while. But then I started having a glass of red wine with dinner and it's nice :)

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jan 2013

Most likely I will end up at Pizza King at least one night on the Isle of Man..  After all, they often sponsor a rider or two, by giving major discounts on food.  The beer will be extra...!

Cheers..!!

Ron - 14 more sleeps to go...!  Laughing

Laura76's picture
Laura76
Posts: 44
Joined: Aug 2014

Lol. 

 

I'm four days post surgery for kidney removal and all I'm worried about is the fact I haven't yet had a bowel movement and should I eat the enchiladas my husband has just made... Lol.

 

Glad to know life will return to normal :)

 

<3

todd121
Posts: 603
Joined: Dec 2012

I sure wouldn't be eating cheese yet or anything spicy.

Sorry! Lol.

Seriously. Bland, light, non-constipating foods until things are back to normal. Those pain meds are constipating. Canned fruits, white bread, low fat meat and not too much lots of water, low fat/fat free milk, some cereal, stay away from high fiber also until things stabilize. No cheese. :)

You may need a stool softener with some push to get things going. Senna Plus is a natural product with a little bit of push, not as much as milk of magnesia. Drink lots of water with it and walk a lot.

The fact you want to eat it, is pretty darn good news.

But then everyone on here told me not to go to Vegas 2 weeks after my nephrectomy, and I did it anyways and I lived. I even had a pretty good time.

Todd

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 532
Joined: Oct 2012

Sorry Todd but I disagree with your culinary choices.  Canned fruits are full of sugar. White bread is processed and worthless. Meat should always be eaten with sufficient fat to digest it properly.  Lean meats - even though this has been the "mantra" for decades - are not optimal because there is insufficient fat for healthy digestion. I do agree with lots of water though. Low fat foods - of any kind - are full of excess carbohydrates (i.e. sugars). 

I agree that constipation can be dealt with using Senna-R or Senna-Plus.  However, the routine needs to be defined.  Start with 2 tabs in the morning.  If no results after two days, increase to 2 tabs at night as well (i.e. 2 tabs twice a day).  If still no joy, add Miralax or similar product.

 

-N

todd121
Posts: 603
Joined: Dec 2012

Great seeing you Neil!

This was only what I ate for the first week after surgery before my stomach/bowels had returned to normal. I did select canned fruits with fruit juice only and drained it, but I found fresh fruits difficult for me right after surgery. Also, animal fats, for me, are constipating, and eating animal fat was not a good idea for me at that time. It would have no doubt nauseated me.

Don't get why you say all low fat foods have excess carbohydrates? Low fat, low sodium turkey, for example, has almost no carbohydrates. As does nonfat/lowfat cottage cheese. I suppose you meant lowfat processed foods like lowfat yogurt which has added sugar?

This diet worked well for me the first week after surgery when my bowels weren't moving.

I was not suggesting this as a permanent diet.

I did use the Senna Plus the way you recommend and it did work for me. Took 4-5 days, though.

Todd

P.S. By the way, my dietician recommended white bread for a person on a renal diet, which surprised me. I ate it that particular week just to avoid too much fiber. White bread is recommended for people with renal insufficiency because of the reduced phosphorous I believe (or maybe it was another mineral...). Normall I eat a whole grain bread and love it.

 

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 532
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Todd.  Very interesting info.  Thanks.  However, most if not all low fat foods would taste like cardboard unless some sort of carb (usually, but not always sugar or HFCS) is added to them.  Unfortunately, due to major loop-holes in the laws about labeling it is easy for the producer not to list all the ingredients - especially sugars.  This is often the reason that the "recommended" portion on the label is so small and not indicative of the amount that one normally would ingest.

And yes, virtually all processed foods are highly suspect and really should be avoided.  That Low Fat Sodium Turkey would be considered processed and likely packaged with a bunch of weird chemicals that neither you nor I have ever heard of...

Regardless, it sounds like your temporary diet did the trick for you and that is all that really counts.

todd121
Posts: 603
Joined: Dec 2012

I didn't realize they get away with not listing all the ingredients, but it doesn't surprise me.

As much as possible I'm staying away from processed foods now. I'm cooking at home and starting with raw ingredients, organic where possible. The biggest part of this is because I'm trying to limit protein and salt, and this seems to be the only way I really can control what's in the food.

I do slip up once in awhile and I have a meal outside once or twice a week.

I've noticed that the low fat or nonfat yogurt always has a lot of sugar in it. So I buy plain nonfat yogurt and add my own fresh fruit in.

With them leaving things off the label, that makes it even harder for us to track what we are eating.

It's great to see you posting. Hope you're feeling better.

Todd

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 131
Joined: Feb 2014

Hi Todd, those diet changes sound a lot like what I'm encouraging with my husband. This is SO hard to do even when cooking from raw ingredients. Added sodium to raw meats (chicken), etc presents such difficult challenges. My husband is 47, Stage T3a, almost 1 year post radical, and has changed his diet around almost 100% (pizza and beer in moderation, of course). The issue with yogurt you mention really bothers me, so I buy plain yogurt as unprocessed as possible (even plain yogurt gets additives a lot too!) and add small amounts of honey and a teeny tiny drop of high quality vanilla extract for flavor. My 8 year old love it this way. Best of luck to everyone making changes in their diets, it CAN be done. If my husband can do it, anyone can!!!

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 532
Joined: Oct 2012

Thanks so much Todd.  Yes, I am doing much, much better.  But that is only because Sutent, Inlyta, MedImmune's anti-PDL1, and Cabozantinib all had failed me; while - mercifully - Afinitor is working to keep my liver mets in check.  It was my last drug of resort.

To be honest I have been given a wonderful reprive of unknown duration.  At this point I am pain free and only recently free of all pain medications. The pain meds (morphine) had kept me from posting very much these past few weeks.

My big issue is now to put back on some weight.  Thanks to being hospitalized 3 times I had been filled with lots fluids both in my lungs and abdomen.  What I did not know was that this fluid was masking the fact that I had actually lost over 20 lbs.  I only realized this when I finally got rid of all the excess fluid - and my weight dropped virtually overnight from 145 lbs to 123 lbs.  Rather scary.

At this point I am very slowly gaining back that weight (and yes, I am doing it by violating some of my own dietary guidelines regarding excess carbs).  Today I was up to 129 lbs...

I really appreciate your concern.

Best wishes,

-Neil

todd121
Posts: 603
Joined: Dec 2012

I'm glad Affinitor is helping. Morphine seems to be a necessary evil at times.

I'm amazed how much fluid weight I can put on when I don't control my salt intake (for example) and am not exercising. When I get off my diet and am eating too much salt and not exercising, and then start back I can drop 7 pounds in just a matter of a few days. I'm sure that's fluid. I don't think I can lose fat that fast.

Thanks for the update.

Best wishes to you Neil.

Todd

Positive_Mental...
Posts: 38
Joined: Jul 2014

Good luck.  The first bowel movement was a challenge for me.  Be patient.

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