How Alcohol Affects Gout
Drinking alcohol affects gout risk in two main ways:
Alcohol makes the uric acid be pulled back into the body, with less in the urine. This leads to elevated blood levels of uric acid, says Theodore R. Fields, MD, a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. When uric acid isnt excreted in urine, it further contributes to the formation of crystals in joints that cause intense pain and inflammation, says Jonathan Greer, MD, a rheumatologist with Arthritis & Rheumatology Associates of Palm Beach, Florida.
An analysis of multiple studies on alcohol consumption and gout which included data on almost 43,000 people found a dose response of gout risk to alcohol consumption. That means that the more alcohol people consumed, the greater the risk of developing gout.
Compared with people who never or rarely consumed alcohol, light drinkers had a 16 percent increased risk of gout, moderate drinkers had a 58 percent increased risk of gout, and heavy drinkers had a 264 percent increased risk of gout.
What Is Gout And What Causes It
Gout is just one type of arthritis, and it most often presents itself in a joint of one of your big toes. When it hits, it develops fast and usually comes back repeatedly. Every time you suffer a new attack, the tissues in your big toe, or wherever you experience the inflammation, deteriorates more and more. If you have cardiovascular issues, or high blood pressure, you are at an even higher risk of developing this condition obesity also increases this risk.
In chronic tophaceous gout, youll notice large lumps where a gout attack is occurring. These lumps are called tophi. These are clumps of urate crystals, which develop in areas where your body is cooler, such as your fingers and other extremities. If you havent received treatment for your symptoms , this is the type of gout you may experience.
Uric acid builds up in your body when purines are being broken down. Purines are chemical compounds commonly found in seafood, red meat, poultry, and alcohol . The levels of purines in these meats are high, making them more inflammatory than other foods. To prevent the development of gout or to control it post-diagnosis, you need to learn which foods are more inflammatory and which are less inflammatory.
Does Alcohol Cause Gout And Can You Drink With Gout
Anyone who has had the misfortune to suffer from a gout attack will tell you how excruciatingly painful it is, and it can be very difficult to treat. However, it is avoidable with a monitored diet. One question which comes up time and time again with regard to this is does alcohol cause gout?
To truly understand if alcohol causes gout, lets look at the condition itself.
Gout is a form or arthritis, tiny crystals form around the joints, in the hands and feet in particular. Swelling occurs, as does a great deal of discomfort.
A gout attack can come on suddenly, often overnight. The crystals are a by-product of uric acid, which is a chemical produced by the body to break down purines.
Foods such as offal, oily fish, seafood, game, yeast extract , as well as beer, stout and port, are all very high in purines, so if any of these are your tipple of choice, then the answer to does alcohol cause gout, is that it is probably a major factor.
There is some good news for beer drinkers though. Gout is becoming more and more common, and some people have labelled purines as the new gluten. So purine free, or low purine beers are starting to hit the market. It is also important to add, that if you enjoy beer, being susceptible to gout doesnt mean that you have to abstain completely. I must add that I say this from a personal view, not a medical one.
Ive spoken to many other gout victims in the past, and there is very much two camps of different opinion.
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Soft Drinks And Gout Risk
Several studies have found an increased gout risk from sugar-sweetened drinks. This link has been found in both men and women. One large study found that just one sugar-sweetened drink per day doubled a woman’s risk of developing gout compared with women who had less than one sugar-sweetened drink per month. “Studies show that sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices are associated with an increased incidence of gout attacks. Interestingly, these studies show that diet soda intake is not related to increased frequency of gout attacks,” says Sloane.
It Isnt Just The Fructose
The fructose content of white wine is not the main problem here. It is the ethanol. Truthfully,most of the fructose has been converted to ethanol and the problem with fructose is solved. Yet,the problem in ethanol will instigate. The ethanol is in itself, a gout problem. So if you really want to avoid having gout attacks, beware of using white wine. You must watch your consumption,and dont believe on the fake news on its effectiveness as a gout treatment.
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Drinking Behaviour In Patients With Acute Gout
CR Sharpe. A case-control study of alcohol consumption and drinking behaviour in patients with acute gout. Canadian Medical Association Journal 1984 131: 563-567.
In this study, 24 patients with properly diagnosed gout according to the American Rheumatological Association criteria were matched with controls for age, weight and sex, and use of diuretic. Alcohol intake was determined by asking patients how much they drank on each occasion they were seen, over a five year period. When a range of intakes was given, the mean was taken.
Alcohol intake was calculated in grams, with one drink equalling 13.6 grams of ethanol. One drink was 340 mL Canadian beer, 43 mL of Canadian spirit, 142 mL wine or 85 mL of sherry, port or vermouth. Drinking behaviour was classified according to:
- Class 1 – abstention
- Class 2 – moderate drinking without loss of control
- Class 3 – occasional heavy drinking
- Class 4 – problem drinking, exceeding cultural limits, causing concern to family
- Class 5 – alcoholism – repeated excessive drinking that interferes with health, relationships or work
Excessive alcohol intake was set at 60 grams a day for men and 20 grams a day for women. There were 22 men and two women.
Energy Drinks And Gout Risk
Coffee isnt the only beverage of which to be wary. Consuming some energy drinks is akin to going on a caffeine binge. These drinks may also be high in sugar, so you could be risking a daily double” for gout risk. “No studies have evaluated the impact of energy drinks on gout. However, as the majority of these drinks are sweetened with fructose, one can infer that they are likely to also increase gout attacks,” warns Sloane. Not everyone with high uric acid gets gout pain, but studies show that uric acid is increasing in the American diet. Protect yourself by keeping an eye on what you eat and what you drink.
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How Can I Prevent Gout Flares If I Still Drink Alcohol
Drinking any amount of alcohol can lead to gout flares, even if its just a few drinks. The more you drink, the more you increase your risk. The frequency of alcohol intake can also make a difference. More drinks in a short period of time increases your risk more than if they are spread out.
Of course, its best to cut back or completely avoid alcohol whenever possible. If you are worried about your ability to cut back on alcohol, consider looking into some resources that can help, or talk to your healthcare provider.
You can also consider starting medication for gout, like . This can help prevent gout flares by stopping your body from making uric acid.
Can Alcohol Cause Muscle And Joint Pain
Studies have shown that moderate drinking of alcohol can have some health benefits, at least according to Medical Dailys Sabrina Bachai. For instance, its been found that it can reduce the risk of some heart problems. However, heavy drinking can have some serious health repercussions.
Apart from health-related issues, alcohol has been associated with some social and economic problems. Some alcoholics will neglect family responsibilities, work, and misuse the available financial resources not forgetting the effects it will bring to friends and the communities they interact with. In this piece, well delve deeper into the effects of alcohol on the most important parts that constitute our body structure, muscles, and joints.
The body is made up of four types of movable joints, namely, gliding joints, interphalangeal joints , pivot joint , and the ball and socket joints. These are the links between all the bones in the body.
With this in mind, there are 360 joints in a fully grown human being. These are then joined by cartilages, tendons, and ligaments that connect to the muscles.
But does alcohol consumption have anything to do with muscle and joint pain? To rephrase that, can alcohol cause muscle and joint pain? With the support of some of the pointers below, the answer is a big capital yes. Find out why and how below.
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Is There Any Links Between Osteoarthritis And Diet
Q) I would like to know whether any research findings suggest links between osteoarthritis and diet. I am a 66-year-old active retired teacher. I had a total hip replacement in August 2011 and have recovered well. My surgeon has told me that it is likely I will require another hip replacement on the other hip in about five years although at present I am not experiencing any hip pain. I hope that exercise, weight control and sensible eating plus supplements such as glucosamine and fish oil will help to slow the progression of the disease. What does the latest medical research say about nutritional therapy which claims that avoidance of specific foods that cause food sensitivities can relieve the pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis? To put it simply, can food heal me?
This answer was provided by Dr Philip Helliwell in 2013, and was correct at the time of publication.
Which Type Of Alcohol Is The Worst For Gout
All types of alcohol affect gout, but the impact on flares and symptoms may vary by type of alcohol, depending on which studies you look at. Some research suggests that beer is especially bad for gout because it contains higher levels of purines that break down directly into uric acid.
A 2004 study published in the medical journal The Lancet found that alcohol is strongly associated with an increased risk of gout, the study authors concluded. Risks varied according to type of alcoholic beverage:
- Two or more beers daily increased gout risk over non-beer drinkers two-fold
- Two shots of spirits daily increased gout risk over non-drinkers by 1.6 times
- Two four-ounce glasses of wine daily was not associated with a higher risk of gout
However, other research has found a link between wine consumption and gout risk. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine in 2014 looked at how much alcohol consumed over a 24-hour period was associated with a recurring gout attack. It found that all types of alcoholic beverages, including wine, were associated with an increased risk for recurrent gout attacks. Even though one drink didnt raise the subjects risk for a gout attack by that much, having one to two drinks in a 24-hour period was associated with a 36 percent higher risk of recurrent gout attack, compared with those who had consumed no alcohol in that time period.
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Beer And Gout Connection
In order to understand the connection between beer and gout, you first have to understand how gout works. If you have been diagnosed with it, you probably know already that it can cause excruciating pains in joints. It mostly affects feet and especially the big toes. Other than that, you know that it can bring in visible inflammations that will interfere with your lifestyle. But how does it get so far?
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Gout comes in more stages. During the first stage, levels of uric acid in the bloodstream go up, but they fail to cause any symptoms. You feel perfectly fine. The second stage involves gout attacks, flareups and visible inflammation. This is the most common stage. The third and most harmful one involves chronic gout it happens when you ignore gout for too long and it affects more joints.
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Too much uric acid will build deposits around joints. With time, they crystallize, so they feel like tiny pieces of glass in your joints hence the painful sensations. People with gout may also experience other problems if they fail to look after themselves, such as diabetes and heart related problems. If you have been diagnosed with gout, chances are your doctor has also recommended some strict dietary changes.
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Alcohol Use Can Weaken The Immune System
Alcohol can impair the immune system. This can make it more difficult for the body to heal itself.
For a person with a condition that causes joint pain, this could make it harder for the body to combat the conditions that trigger pain. For acute injuries, such as sprains or falls, that cause joint pain, this could potentially slow down the healing process, causing the pain to last longer.
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What Kinds Of Alcohol Cause Gout
Studies have shown that all kinds of alcohol cause gout flares. Doctors used to think that beer and liquor were more likely than wine to cause gout flare-ups, but recent research shows that all alcohol forms can cause gout.
Also, the amount of alcohol doesnt matter gout can flare up even if a person is not drinking heavily or often. Medical professionals usually tell people to avoid all alcohol if they have gout.
Alcohol Use And Joint Pain
Alcohol use may cause existing joint pain to become more severe. Self-medicating chronic joint pain or the reduced quality of life caused by it could lead to an alcohol use disorder.
A persons diet and lifestyle, including patterns of alcohol use, can influence the severity of their joint pain. Alcohol can interact with certain medications. This may reduce their efficacy or cause a harmful interaction. In addition to this, alcohol can cause dehydration and malnourishment, two states that can exacerbate conditions that cause poor joint health and pain.
Even low to moderate amounts of alcohol may cause problems for a person with joint pain. People who use alcohol, especially chronic, heavy drinkers, may experience their symptoms more heavily.
For a person with an existing alcohol use disorder, such as someone who struggles with alcoholism, alcohol addiction treatment can give them an excellent chance to overcome harmful patterns of drinking that are damaging their health. These positive steps may help a person gain sobriety and reduce alcohol-related joint pain.
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Alcohol Use Can Aggravate A Preexisting Condition Or Disease That Causes Joint Pain
A variety of illnesses and diseases can cause joint pain that ranges from mild to severe. This pain may be accompanied by inflammation, swelling and tenderness. With certain illnesses and diseases, alcohol use may cause a persons condition to become more severe.
Joint pain caused by the following conditions may be exacerbated by alcohol use:
- celiac disease
- other types of arthritis
- rheumatoid arthritis
Individuals with these conditions may want to consider speaking to their doctor prior to consuming alcohol, this could be especially true if they take any pain relievers or other medications to manage their symptoms.
The Effects Of Alcohol On Pre
- Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints and according to most sources, it has no links to alcohol. However, alcohol can trigger and aggravate arthritis symptoms. Most people with arthritis are advised to stay off alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is also known to interfere with normal sleep patterns, which can cause acute pain and joint inflammation, especially in arthritis patients.
- Medication: People with other bone or joint conditions and are under medication for these conditions are supposed to stay clear of alcohol. This is because alcohol may have a negative interaction with the medication. Alcohol can decrease the effectiveness of such medications and cause more harm.
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Can Protein Supplements Cause Arthritis
Q) Is there any evidence to show that taking protein supplements can cause or worsen arthritis?
Antony – 2017
A) If you’re at risk of gout, excessive protein intake may be problematic. Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis and is caused by having too much uric acid in your bloodstream. Uric acid is the waste product created when the body breaks down purines a type of protein found in many foods and all your cells.
Gout is a metabolic disease which is mainly influenced by our genes, age, gender and ethnicity. However, levels of uric acid are also affected by what we eat. If you’re at risk of gout, eating a lot of protein in the form of red meat, soya or shellfish, all high in purines, makes attacks more likely. So, eating lots of protein is bad news for people with gout.
Protein supplements in the form of whey proteins contain gycomacropeptide, a component of milk that appears to reduce the risk of attacks of gout. However, people with gout should be careful about increasing their protein load with whey. The burden on the kidneys to excrete or clear the extra whey products might become excessive, so its always worth getting a blood test to check your kidney function if you have gout and are considering using whey protein supplements.
This answer was provided by Dr Tom Margham in 2017, and was correct at the time of publication.