Gout is a painful form of arthritis and occurs due to hyperuricemia, an excess of uric acid in the blood. It is characterized by sudden severe pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness of joints. Gout develops in stages and can affect anyone.
In the first stage, uric acid increases though symptoms are not visible. During the second stage, one gets painful attacks which sometimes make it difficult to walk. Risk factors for developing gout include genetics, gender, age, weight, alcohol, and underlying medical issues.
Let us learn more about how alcohol and gout are related and affect your body.
How Alcohol Affects Gout
Gout is caused by uric acid buildup in the joints. Consuming too much alcohol can lead to gout – alcohol is high in purines, and increased levels of purines lead to high amounts of uric acid. This lowers the ability of the kidneys to remove uric acid from the blood.
The continuous elevation in uric acid causes crystals to form in joints, and in turn, one experiences intense pain and inflammation. Studies have shown there is a greater risk of developing gout for people who consume too much alcohol.
Any type of alcohol can contribute to the risk factor of gout, but the occurrence of flares and symptoms may be different according to the amount taken. There has been an ongoing debate of whether wine can influence gout, just like other types of alcohol.
However, a 2014 study concluded that all types of alcoholic beverages, whether wine, liquor or beer, can affect gout, though in varying degrees. Out of all alcoholic beverages, beer has the highest chance of causing gout. This is because it has the highest number of purines that lead to the production of high levels of uric acid.
Can Quitting Alcohol Reverse Gout?
Gout is sometimes caused by one’s genetics, so changing your diet and lifestyle will not necessarily reverse gout. Getting rid of alcohol alone will only reduce the amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. But it can lower the likelihood of recurrent attacks or stop its spread in your body.
Apart from genetics, various factors such as age, alcohol intake, eating habits, weight and general health can affect the risk for gout. Thus, it is important to discuss your alcohol use as well as diagnosis with your doctor. Keep in mind that a lack of symptoms does not mean gout has gone away because damage can still be present in your body.
How Much Can I Drink if I Have Gout?
You should not use any alcohol during the first 6 months of treating gout. It is because the medication is meant to lower uric acid levels in the bloodstream, and will not work effectively if you are drinking alcohol at this time. If you do not experience any gout-related flares in the next few months, it is an indication that the crystals in the joints have been significantly reduced.
Consuming more than one alcoholic drink in a day can raise the risk of encountering a flare up of gout. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, limiting your alcohol intake might help you prevent gout attacks in the future. This is vital mainly when those flares were triggered by alcohol in the past.
Managing gout can be done by including other changes in one’s diet and lifestyle. These changes include limiting foods with high purine levels such as shellfish, eating more low-purine foods, avoiding drugs that raise uric acid such as diuretics, maintaining healthy body weight, avoiding sugary drinks, and sticking to foods with high amounts of vitamin C.
Can Alcohol Lead to Other Gout Complications?
Alcohol is a huge risk factor for gout as it accelerates the painful flares and symptoms associated with it. The condition can lead to complications, though its progress and outlook can vary between individuals based on a variety of factors. These factors can be effectively managed or treated during medication.
Gout is not life-threatening, but it can lead to other severe issues which are not limited to:
- Infections along with damage to affected joints, including deformity
- A type of progressive arthritis called Gouty arthritis
- Formation of kidney stones and kidney damage, leading to chronic kidney diseases
- Increased risks of developing heart issues and overall immunity system complications
2022 Update: A Natural Effective Solution to Stop Gout in 15 Mins?
As mentioned above, some medications can stop and prevent gout attacks. However, it turns out there is a better way and devoid of side effects.
It doesn’t have to do with avoiding meat, but rather, it involves inducing key changes to your gut microbiota which in turn enables them to become much more effective at breaking down purines. This means no uric acid crystal formation.
Watch the following video about this incredible new cure: