Alcohol = Body Pain…

God Bless the Internet (sometimes)

Alcohol consumption does many things to the human body. One of your ancestors explained it thus:  

Macduff: What three things does drink especially promote?  

Porter: Marry sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine.

Lechery, sir it     provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance…           Macbeth (Act2 scene 3)

However this Porter did not have the benefit of the internet and 21st Century science. Alcohol inhibits the pituitary secretion of ADH ( Alcohol Dehydrogenase ) which acts on the kidney to reabsorb water. Alcohol acts on the hypothalamus/pituitary to reduce the circulating levels of ADH. When ADH levels drop, the kidneys do not reabsorb as much water; consequently, the kidneys produce more urine. You also retain fluid which in turn can collect in the joints and increase the pain level. Alcohol also is known to increase the retention of purines and the metabolic end product of purines is uric acid. An increase of uric acid is what causes gout or in your case, possibly, gouty symptoms. I do not advise that everyone jump on the wagon, if that happened I’d be out of a job. I would advise that you consult with your doctor and do some homework on ADH and gout, in the mean time have Larry get you an ice cold O’Doules and enjoy the game. — JDShine

And another thing…

What does it mean if your joints hurt when you drink beer?  

Certain food or drink can be a trigger for arthritis pain.  Besides the obvious (DONT DRINK BEER), I would consult a Rheumatologist.  A Rheumatologist is best equipped to diagnose and treat the over 170 different diseases that fall under the general heading of arthritis. Char “Remember, I’m pulling for ya’.  We’re all in this together.”  Red Green

(I have to reschedule my visit to the Rheumatologist by the way)

I have had bouts of recurring pain since I was done with the chemo in 2007. Some bouts have been really, really, really bad, much like the bone pain I had on a regular basis during my treatments. I received a shot of Neulasta the day after chemo, to boost white cell production. The bone pain experienced then was excruciating at times. My Onc told me to take Tylenol, yeah right. More than a few times did I need to take a Percocet in order to sleep. When I told my Onc about the recurring pain he looked at me like I had 3 heads. So I dropped it.

Anyway, 3 years later I still have these occasional flare ups that ruin a week of my life at a time. But according to my wife I have not had a problem since the last time I had a beer. (went out for a friends birthday in January) it’s been a good 5 months…This past thursday after a really crappy day at work I had two beers. (Coors Light)…no big deal. Had another one the next night. Still no big deal…

On Saturday of this same week we were celebrating my wife’s birthday and my 3 years in Remission with some friends at a local restaurant/pub and I had 3 beers and a shot that night. I drank 1 Black and Tan and 2 Black and Blues. And the shot was Cafe Patron…got a little buzzed but that was it.

By Sunday evening my bones were making noise like they often do, but fairly loudly. Enough for Dawn to hear them. Shoulders, Knees, Wrists, (today ankles) lower back, all hurt. That’s when Dawn and I put together that the noise my bones often make hadn’t been heard in some time.

Just prior to connecting the dots on this we had read another friends account of similar pain issues/possible auto immune issues/previous cancer experience (minus the chemo) and I think she mentioned cutting out alcohol and it occurred to me that I had not had a drink in a while and had felt just fine for a long time.

Not thinking at all that alcohol had anything to do with it. But it appears to have everything to do with it… File this under: “Food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food”, I am poorly quoting Hippocrates here. Unfortunately our food is going to kill us, I figure the Barley or Wheat in the beer is responsible for inflammation and then the arthritis pain that follows.

According to what I found on the web (see above) Kidney/Chemical response or inhibition there of has a lot to do with it and my having only ONE kidney probably has everything else do with my personal response to alcohol as well. I cut back to begin with because I don’t want to continue to stress it out. (see previous posts about Adrenal Fatigue) …but now that I know beer (or whatever is in beer) causes a negative reaction I will have to stop drinking beer.

BUT…in the time between flare ups (January to May) I had tried O’Douls. Just because I had developed a taste for beer after our trip to Milwaukee last year and I noticed I had NO PAIN with the O’Douls.

So it’s more alcohol than what’s in the beer. Right? O’Douls is non-alcoholic and I was happy with it as an alternative.

I know about as much now as I did before I sat down to write this post. Damn Internet.

So it seems further experiments may be needed…Wine doesn’t affect me this way. I understand the dehydration issue but to have pain for several days in a row? All bone related and severe at times?

Can’t just be dehydration…but the similarities to our other friend who also has this pain and had NHL stop here. She didn’t get chemo, I did. I was blaming all of this as fallout from chemo.

 Now I’m not so sure.

I hate trying to figure this out. Next stop has to be a Rheumatologist. We’ll see what that yields.

…Oh yeah, my wife just reminded me, before I was treated for the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma I had a beer or two when grilling (prior to 2006) and never had bone pain of any kind regardless of the explanation above I found on the web this morning. So I still can’t tie this together but human nature wants me to.

-Be well.


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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Interesting correlation between the two. Sucks, doesn’t it? Can’t even have a good time without paying for it later.

    Michael seemed to be doing really well on Sutent up until Thanksgiving. He indulged himself at dinner that day by drinking wine. I thought he had a glass, but he said it was more than that as his BIL kept pouring for him. His health went downhill from there. I can’t say for sure if the alcohol was the tipping point, but it sure seems like it.

    I’m having some digestive issues, and I think it’s time that I start eliminating dairy or wheat or something to see if I can feel better on a restricted diet. I hate the thought of having to do so, but I know that feeling better would be so worth it.

  2. I am so glad that I read this. All I really drink for alcohol is beer and I do recognize that the more of it consumed, I wake up and can barely move around, I always assumed it was V-D defeciency but now that’s taken care of, I still have the symptoms, I also eat wheat bread and products, so now I guess I have some research to do as well, It may be the barley, I dont know or the retention of the water flaring up the joints, I do feel swollen sometimes, we’ll see. Good luck to you and thank you for writing this…cheers

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  10. Very good! I am currently lying on my bed with pain in my shins, arms and wrists. The pain feels as if my bones are on fire. Of course I’m not as panicked as I first was when I first experienced the pain at 19 years old. I am now almost 24 and I have realised over the course of 5 years that mine is aggravated by alcohol. Or should I say, wine. Mainly red wine. Although I have now come to the conclusion that it is getting worse and all wines seem to have this effect. Let me throw a new idea to you, it may not be the barley or wheat. it may be the yeast found in high concentration in beer and wine. I’m not sure why you aren’t affected by wine and I’m not affected by beer but there is something that triggers our symptoms. I don’t drink a lot at all but every now and then I’ll enjoy some wine with friends, but mostly I will rather drink cocktails (tequila and vodka) or whiskey (which probably also has yeast). I’m definitely with you on the whole alcohol just being poison to the system. I also happen to have gestational diabetes (basically transferred from my mother to me in the womb) so alcohol just wreaks havoc on my entire body in general.

    I think the answer is simple. Don’t drink alcohol or find a type of alcohol that you find enjoyable and stick to that.

  11. digital playground account

    Alcohol = Body Pain… | nobody gets out of here alive.

  12. Thank you, I also drink Coors and have noticed I get pain after only after reading your post. I cracked my hip in a crazy fight a few years ago. I recovered quickly but started getting pain in the area about 6 months after it stopped. I realized I started drinking again around that time… I’m going to just smoke herb and report back. I think that the alcohol is leading to inflammation in our areas that have been hurt either due to cancer, chemo or trauma. I think that anyone that has had scar tissue in their bones or muscleskeletal tissue is suseptive to this. Can a researcher please take this on? We are all bright but lack the training

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