You may have heard people say that caffeine, soft drinks, or those energy drinks can be bad for your kidneys and even cause renal failure. Well guess what? They weren’t joking when they said that!
I have always enjoyed the occasional soft drink, especially with a really big meal. There is nothing quite like the taste of a coke (or off brand cola) with a good pizza or steak dinner…ahh.
But unfortunately, my occasional enjoyment of the soft drinks progressed from a couple of soft drinks per week, to 1 soft drink per day, to a couple of soft drinks per day, to sometimes as many as 3. This all occurred over a 8 month period slowly, and I have regularly consumed 2 soft drinks per day for the last 2-4 months at least.
I knew it probably wasn’t good for my body (and I did plan on cutting back soon), but I kept chugging them down with every meal anyway, not really realizing that I was over-doing it big time. Well, that was until about 2 weeks ago, when my kidneys started to KILL me!
My Kidneys Were Very Sore and Painful from Drinking Soft Drinks & Caffeine
I began noticing that my lower back and sides (between my rib cage and pelvis) was really started to have this odd dull ache. I also started to notice that my bladder felt full and bloated all the time, and I was trying to urinate several times per day to relieve this feeling (which only slightly helped, but not really). Sorry if that is too much info…
This pain got worse each day, until I started to get very nervous. I didn’t know if I had a UTI (bladder infection), kidney infection, or what was going on.
My kidneys ached so badly, I was practically bedridden for a few days, barely leaving my bed to simply eat and use the bathroom. I had no fever or anything, but I was in pain and felt weak. My wife had to take care of me because I felt terrible.
At first, I didn’t know what was causing this. Then, my lovely wife (who is an RN nurse), suggested that it could have been all the soft drinks I have been chugging at my meals (while she drank usually drank water). She said, “Bennie, it’s probably all of those soft drinks. The caffeine in soft drinks can be really bad for your kidneys. Trust me”
I immediately agreed because it reminded me of how I went through this same thing when I was 18 years old (I had almost forgotten). My sides and back had this terrible dull ache. I went to the doctor about it back then, and had a urine test to make sure I didn’t have an infection or something. They said it was fine and I had no infection, but I did have some protein in my urine. I guess that is sometimes normal.
The doctor at the time said that the soft drinks didn’t cause the pain (yeah right), because (listen to this), “soft drinks go in your stomach, not your kidneys.”
That is what he said word for word, I swear. Wow. Some doctors aren’t too bright. Keep in mind this is the same doctor that told me that my hives was probably due to “dry skin.” Well, at least there are some smart doctors out there, I just haven’t dealt with most of them…
Your kidneys filter all sorts of things, and we now know over consumption of energy drinks, soft drinks, caffeine, etc. can lead to kidney problems, and even renal failure in some cases. I stopped drinking them back then, and my health bounced back in a week or two, and there was no doubt in my mind the soft drinks were the ONLY thing causing this pain, as that is the only thing I removed both times from my diet to improve my health.
Anyway, I made a vow to scrap any soft drinks for a long long time once again. I bought a bunch of gallons of cranberry juice (just in case I did have any bacteria in my bladder), and drank lots of water instead of my usual Sam’s Club cola. It took about a week and half, but after going back to drinking water and juice, my kidneys are back to normal, and I feel great again (minus the regular cholinergic urticaria). It was rather scary, and to anyone with kidney problems, my heart goes out to you.
So no more soft drinks for me! I honestly feel better anyway, as those things can zap your energy and make you feel like crap (and gain weight). Oh well, just thought I’d share. If anyone starts having pain in your lower back and sides, you may want to look at your diet and/or drinking habits. If you drink lots of coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, or caffeine, it may be wise to cut it out and drink more water to make them stop hurting. And see a doctor ASAP if necessary.
Water and juice is the best thing for your kidneys anyway. So drink plenty of water! It may also help your Cholinergic Urticaria (as some say drinking more water seems to help).
Update: An interesting thread was started exploring the possibility of cholinergic urticaria being a kidney disease. After some thought, I no longer think there is a link,k however.