ALCOHOL — The Full Monty

Latest research and happenings
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 11401
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 3:18 pm
Location: Please give your location so we can help better

ALCOHOL — The Full Monty

Post by webslave »

There are many questions about the effect of alcohol (technically, ethanol) on pelvic pain syndromes. I thought I'd put the full story here for reference.
  • Alcohol can have a relaxing effect on muscle and a psychologically relaxing effect too, so that many sufferers feel better while under the influence.
  • Alcohol increases urination. Generally, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases urination and flushes water from the body. The more alcohol you drink, the more water your body loses. This is because when alcohol is consumed, it enters the bloodstream and causes the pituitary gland in the brain to block the creation of vasopressin (also known as the antidiuretic hormone). Without this chemical, the kidneys send water directly to the bladder instead of reabsorbing it into the body. This is why drinkers have to make frequent trips to the bathroom after urinating for the first time after drinking. According to studies, drinking about 250ml of an alcoholic beverage causes the body to expel 800-1000ml of water; that's four times as much liquid lost as gained. This diuretic effect decreases as the alcohol in the bloodstream decreases, but the after-effects help create a hangover. ❌
  • The day after drinking alcohol, the body needs to re-hydrate (get back the lost water urinated away), so the need for urination is temporarily suppressed. What little urine gets to the bladder/prostate area is therefore concentrated (high uric acid). Ouch! Drink as much water as you can the next day. ❌
  • 5% of alcohol is excreted unchanged by the kidneys, and alcohol is a solvent. Ouch! ❌
  • Alcohol is processed into the highly irritant chemical Acetaldehyde, some of which ends up in the bladder. Ouch! ❌
  • Alcohol is oxidized to acetic acid (vinegar) and then further metabolised, but some of that acetic acid ends up in the bladder too. Ouch! ❌
  • On another level, alcohol is a mast cell trigger. It causes mast cells to degranulate. Ouch! ❌
  • On another level, alcohol is a fermentation product (yeasts and molds). If you have an allergy to molds (common), alcohol can affect you badly. ❌
  • On yet another level, some alcohol contains gluten (eg beer) which flares some chronic prostatitis / chronic pelvic pain syndrome sufferers. ❌
  • The worst forms of alcohol are darker and have a high level of congeners (toxic fermentation byproducts).

Finally, from a paper on Interstitial Cystitis, a form of Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain that overlaps with CPPS:
The Effect of Alcohol

Alcohol use as a potential trigger for IC/BPS symptoms was evaluated in a survey... They found that 94% of 535 patients responding reported that their bladder symptoms worsened when drinking various alcoholic beverages. While only 5% of patients reported flares lasting > 1 week, 75% of patients reported in increase in pain after drinking alcohol.
On a personal note, I have found that drinking alcohol (a couple of glasses of unoaked white wine per day) is enough, after a month or two, to provoke symptoms. And this after being symptom-free for many years!

So in general, avoid alcohol.
Say Thanks! by making a small donation
PayPal link at end of page ↓
Please fill out your signature, click here for how to do it
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:22 am
Location: California

Re: ALCOHOL — The Full Monty

Post by kevkos »

Wow, thanks for posting.
Red Wine and tequila are two of the only alcoholic drinks that don't contain gluten, but yet are the worst offenders for congeners. Sadly, even vodka contains gluten. Tough to do alcohol right if you're a chronic prostatitis / chronic pelvic pain syndrome sufferer!
Age: 43 (UPDATES 1/2015) | Onset Age: 39 | Symptoms: pain when bladder fills (MUCH BETTER NOW), some pain in urethra (ALMOST NO PAIN NOW), low libido (90% back to normal), some pain in upper pelvic area (80% not there anymore), not able to void completely (This is still a problem but slightly better now), dribbling (still a problem but slightly better), pain after ejaculation (sometimes 24 hrs or so) (ALMOST NO PAIN NOW EVER AFTER EJACULATING!) | Helped By: Relaxation, breathing, mindfulness, reading "Get Out Of Your Head And Into Your Life", light but consistent exercise, taking the herb kratom (once a day max), not sitting for long periods, not focusing too much on the problems. | Worsened By: stress, masturbation (sometimes), sex (only occassionally), not sleeping enough, drinking lots of caffeine. No longer taking Terozosin (3 months with only minor relief), Elavil 10mg (3 weeks with minor relief, but side effects of brain fog too much). Now taking: 6000mg vitamin D (over a year), 3000 mg fish oils (over a year) 3mg/1 teaspoon kratom several days a week with breaks
User avatar
Old Hand
Old Hand
Posts: 316
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:51 pm
Location: Beijing, China

Re: ALCOHOL — The Full Monty

Post by robertpagen »

I just love the clarity of this page. It keeps me from ever drinking alcohol again.

Be well,

Age: 43 | Onset Age: 17 | Symptoms: previously: constant urgency, premature ejaculation, burning at tip of penis, pelvic ache current: semi annual flares. | Helped By: PT, yoga, stretch, keeping warm(long johns) boxer briefs, regular sleep routine | Worsened By: cystoscopy, antibiotics (fluoroquinolones) alcohol, coffee, stress, masturbation, cold
Post Reply