Swollen feet- Another health complication arising due to alcohol

Swollen feet

Swollen feet are common problem and it can occur after standing for too long, during pregnancy, working in a hot environment and with certain medical conditions. Surprisingly, alcohol is one of the main causes for swollen feet and most of the people are not aware about it. If you are suffering from swollen feet and you don’t understand the cause, you should limit your alcohol intake and see the difference.  Drinking beer or any other alcoholic beverages can cause swelling or edema. Edema occurs when an excess of fluid collects in the tissues of your feet, hands or other parts of the body. However, if your feet or ankles consistently swell after drinking and stay swollen for several days, it may indicate a problem with your kidney, liver and heart.



Temporary swelling

Temporary swelling-


    Alcohol affects your kidney’s filtering ability. As alcohol enters in your bloodstream, it suppresses release of antidiuretic hormone or ADH.  The reduced levels of ADH along with direct effects of alcohol on kidney leads to rapid loss of water and frequent trips to the bathroom for urinating. Alcohol can change your kidney’s ability of handling electro-cycles such as sodium and potassium.  Your total body water is temporarily increased after a bout of drinking. This can manifest as swelling of your feet and hands.


Hepatitis and cirrhosis


Hepatitis and cirrhosis-


Heavy drinking of beer or other forms of alcohol for many years can cause a swelling in your feet and much more serious conditions like liver problems. Alcoholic hepatitis is a condition in which your liver becomes stretched, inflamed and cannot function as normal as they used to do. Swelling of the feet and hands, fluid accumulation in belly are common in this condition. Especially if you are malnourished it is very common. Heavy drinking over a period of years can cause cirrhosis. With this condition your liver will not work properly. This condition can cause swelling of your feet, hands and belly.



Drinking a beer is not typically very unhealthy, but when there is excessive use, your liver can become damaged which can cause swelling. Cirrhosis is chronic condition that can develop with the alcohol use. Your liver cells can become hard or die which results in your liver shrinking and inability to function properly. When this happens, swelling of legs, ankles and feet is a common sign.  Another reason because of which you may experience swelling is allergic reaction to what you are drinking.   Some people have an allergy to beer or yeast (the beer is made from). If you experience frequent or persistent swelling of your feet or ankles, see your doctor first. The problem may or may not be related to alcohol dinking, but you have to find out the underlying cause. Also discuss with your doctor if you face difficulties in controlling you drinking habits. Frequent, short-term swelling of your feet, hands after drinking might be a signal that your alcohol consumption needs to be reduced now.






Keep an eye on your symptoms. If your swelling is persistent, painful or consistent after drinking alcohol, it is very important to consult your doctor. It could be a sign of liver damage or an underlying problem you might not be aware of.

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