Kidney Cleanse

Can Coffee Cause Kidney Pain?

The kidneys have numerous different functions that are crucial and imperative to the smooth operation of various bodily systems.

The kidneys are responsible for removing waste products such as urea, creatinine and other nitrogenous byproducts from the body, balancing the filtration of bodily fluids, controlling the production of red blood cells and releasing certain hormones that regulate blood pressure. 

Maintaining good kidney health is crucial for ensuring that various bodily functions and organ systems are operating satisfactorily. Kidney health is an extremely important factor for avoiding certain ailments such as chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, kidney cysts, kidney cancer, hypertension and kidney pain. 

Many have debated whether or not drinking excessive amounts of coffee can contribute to kidney pain or other ailments related to kidney health. You must be wondering if it's the coffee or the caffeine that is harmful for us. 

This is when the question arises, 'Does caffeine cause kidney problems?'

Coffee in moderate amounts can be beneficial for overall health. However, excessive intake may impact kidney health in the long run. Let’s find out more about this. 


 Can coffee cause kidney pain?

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1. Signs Of The Kidney Being Unhealthy

There are several indicative warning signs of faltering kidney health that can help people catch growing kidney ailments before they begin to affect crucial bodily systems and impact long-term health. 


The following list of signs or side effects can help serve as warning signs for faltering kidney health:


  • Swelling In Hands, Feet, Ankles and Legs

  • One of the kidney’s primary functions is removing excess fluid from the body. However, if one has faltering kidney health, there may be excess fluid and sodium retention in certain parts of the body such as the hands, feet, ankles and legs. Spontaneous swelling may be a cause for concern in terms of kidney health. 


  • Fatigue and Weakness

  • Healthy kidneys secrete a hormone known as erythropoietin that encourages the production of red blood cells in the body. However, decreased kidney function can substantially reduce red blood cell production.

    Since red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to various parts of the body, a decrease in red blood cells can result in fatigue and weakness. A reduction in erythropoietin levels may also result in anemia, reduced hemoglobin levels and pale skin. 



    Image Credits: Unsplash


  • Decrease in Appetite

  • The kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste such as urea from the blood. However, deficient kidney health may result in a buildup of waste in the bloodstream.

    Many people with faltering kidney health have reported experiencing a metallic taste while eating; which can significantly reduce appetite. Nausea caused by reduced renal function may also contribute to a decrease in appetite.


  • Nausea and Dizziness

  • Reduced renal function and a buildup of waste in the bloodstream can lead to nausea, dizziness and vomiting. This may also be a contributing factor to a decrease in appetite. 



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  • Itchy and Dry Skin

  • During failing kidney health, the body is unable to remove various waste products and toxins from the body. As waste products continue to build up and accumulate in the body, patients may experience dry and itchy skin. 


    Dry skin

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  • Changes In Urine Production

  • Changes in urine frequency may be indicative of issues related to kidney damage. This is because the kidneys are responsible for bodily fluid filtration and urine production. Therefore, changes in urine frequency should be carefully monitored and reported to a doctor if continued for extended periods of time. 


    2. Coffee and Kidneys: Does Coffee cause kidney pain?

    Does coffee cause kidney damage? Studies have shown a correlation between kidney health and the amount of coffee that subjects consumed daily. The caffeine found in coffee has been shown to increase blood flow and blood pressure which may place unwanted strain on the kidneys. 

    However, further studies have also indicated that controlled intake of coffee may be beneficial for the kidneys and can even reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease. Active ingredients in coffee may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which are substantial contributing factors to kidney pain and chronic kidney disease. 


    3. Can Too Much Coffee Cause Kidney Problems?

    Here’s what too much coffee can do to you:

  • Kidney Stones

  • One of the most common forms of kidney stones is calcium oxalate stones which are usually caused by increased consumption of oxalate through the diet. Since coffee contains large amounts of oxalate, consumption by patients at risk for kidney stones should be moderated; especially those caused by excess oxalate levels in the body. 

    However, alternate research indicates that consumption of 1 cup a day to 1.5 cups a day may reduce the risk of kidney stone formation by up to 40%. Therefore, it may be beneficial for patients to drink coffee in regulated and moderated amounts.


     Kidney stones

    Image Credits:Freepic


  • Kidney Cysts

  • A kidney cyst is a fluid-filled cluster of fluid that may grow on the surface or inside of the kidney. Kidney cysts can lead to fever, back, leg, hip and rib pain, frequent urination and more. However, can too much coffee cause kidney problems? Coffee contains high levels of caffeine; a stimulant that increases brain and nervous system activity. Studies have shown that the high levels of caffeine present in coffee may increase the risk of growth of kidney cysts for patients with polycystic kidney disease. 


  • Kidney Cancer

  • Extensive studies have shown a potential link between caffeinated coffee consumption and a reduced risk of renal cell carcinoma; a common type of kidney cancer.

    Therefore, it may be helpful for patients to consume moderate amounts of caffeinated coffee. However, some studies have suggested that decaffeinated coffee may increase the risk of renal cell carcinoma; although this relationship has not been proven yet. 


  • Hypertension and Blood Pressure

  • Although coffee may not directly contribute to kidney disease, it has been known to increase hypertension and blood pressure.

    High blood pressure has been proven to be one of the leading contributors to kidney disease and kidney failure. High blood pressure can significantly damage blood vessels in the kidneys that are responsible for removing waste products from the body.

    Therefore, patients at risk for high blood pressure should moderate coffee intake or completely remove it from their diet to avoid kidney disease and kidney failure.  


  • Preservatives and Additives

  • The added sugar, preservatives and additives added to coffee may be more harmful than the coffee itself. 

    Studies have shown that certain creamers, syrups and added sugars that are commonly added to coffee may contain high amounts of potassium, phosphorus and chemical phosphates that may be easily absorbed by the body and harm the kidneys. 


    4. How Much Coffee Is Okay?

    Can too much caffeine cause kidney pain? Although large amounts of coffee intake may be harmful to the kidneys and overall bodily functions, moderate consumption is considered to be safe and may even have certain benefits that could help keep the kidneys healthy.

    Studies have shown that drinking less than 3 cups of coffee a day is considered to be safe and shouldn’t substantially impact kidney health.
    However, any more than 3 cups of coffee a day is regarded as potentially increasing potassium levels in the body; which could affect kidney health.  


    How much coffee is okay for healthy kidneys 

    Image Credits: Unsplash


    5. General Tips To Keep The Kidneys Healthy:

    Here’s a bit on how to avoid kidney problems and keep them healthy:

  • Regular Exercise

  • Research has shown that regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease. Exercise can also reduce blood pressure and improve coronary health which may also positively impact kidney health. Therefore, light exercise such as walking, cycling or swimming may help maintain kidney health and avoid chronic kidney disease. 

    Other benefits of regular exercise include a reduced level of blood fats such as triglycerides and cholesterol, improved muscle strength and optimized physical function. 


    Regular exercise 

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  • Regulate Blood Pressure

  • High blood pressure has been shown to cause damage to blood vessels and filters in the kidney and can hence hinder their ability to filter out waste products from the body.

    Therefore, patients are recommended to carefully regulate their blood pressure levels to prevent irreversible damage to their kidney function. Blood pressure can be reduced by decreasing caffeine intake, reducing the amount of sodium in the diet, avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and prioritizing stress reduction.


  • Maintain A Healthy Diet And Monitor Weight

  • Patients that are overweight may be at risk for numerous diseases and ailments that can harm the kidneys such as kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, you can avoid kidney damage by maintaining a healthy diet and carefully monitoring your weight. 

    A healthy diet should be low in sodium and processed sugars as well as contain satisfactory levels of nutritional value. You can try out a kidney detox smoothie if you want to up your diet game with some pro-kidney foods. 


    A healthy diet for kidney pain 

    Image Credits: Unsplash


  • Stay Hydrated

  • Consistent and sufficient intake of fluids is vital for satisfactory kidney function and health. Staying hydrated can help clear out excess sodium, external toxins and harmful chemicals from the kidneys. Furthermore, staying hydrated has been proven to reduce the risk aof chronic kidney disease. 

    Patients that have previously had kidney stones may benefit from a larger intake of water to prevent future kidney stone formation. You can even consume lemon water for kidney detox to improve your overall kidney health. 


    Stay hydrated 

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  • Regularly Test Kidney Functioning

  • Certain people may be at a higher risk of kidney pain and disease. Therefore, patients that are above the age of 60 years old, have a history of hereditary cardiovascular disease, are overweight and have pre-existing kidney damage should be screened and tested for issues with kidney functioning at regular time intervals to prevent irreversible damage. 


  • Limit Usage of OTC Medication

  • Some types of OTC (Over-The-Counter) medication may have certain side effects that can affect kidney health and result in the formation of kidney stones. Therefore, patients must ensure that they limit the usage of certain types of medication that could impact kidney health. 


    6. Conclusion

    Maintaining kidney health is an extremely important aspect of preventing various ailments and illnesses such as chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, kidney cysts, kidney cancer, hypertension and general kidney pain. Therefore, many patients have wondered, ‘Can coffee cause kidney damage?’ 

    Although some studies have shown that excessive intake of coffee can lead to increased blood flow and hypertension; which could consequently place undue stress on the kidneys; recent studies have also shown that moderate consumption of coffee can actually reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease.

    Therefore, if consumed in moderate and limited amounts, coffee should be safe for people at risk for kidney pain. If you’re addicted to coffee, you can even try alternating between tea and coffee. And while we’re at it, a tea for liver and kidney health is also a great idea. 

    However, it is crucial for patients to ensure that they prevent kidney damage and diseases by undergoing regular exercise, preventing high blood pressure, maintaining a healthy diet and weight, regularly testing kidney function if at risk for kidney damage and limiting usage of certain types of medication. 

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