Does Alcohol Cause Gout?

Is there a relationship between alcohol and gout? Does alcohol cause gout? You’ve probably heard about the possible links between alcohol and gout. If you’ve ever had this painful condition, you’ll likely want to know what causes it and what you can do to prevent it in the future.

The following answers the question “does alcohol cause gout?” gives an overview of gout in general, and explores the relationship between alcohol and gout.

Alcohol and Gout | Does Alcohol Cause Gout?
Before discussing alcohol and gout, it’s important to understand what gout actually is.

Gout is a type of arthritis that most often affects the joint of the big toe. A gout attack can happen quickly, and it’s incredibly painful for most people. Many experience symptoms like stiffness and swelling of the joint. Gout certainly isn’t a new condition, but there is some belief that cases have increased over the years because of more metabolic disease and health issues related to the cardiovascular system.

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. The body makes uric acid as it’s breaking down chemicals called purines, which are found in foods like seafood and meat. Normally, uric acid is dissolved in the blood and then removed from the body through urine. But if you have too uric acid or you don’t eliminate it from the body efficiently, it can crystallize and cause gout. When you experience the symptoms of gout, including pain, it’s often because this uric acid forms crystals in the joint.

Many people will experience a gout attack in the middle of the night. These attacks tend to come on suddenly and without warning. Men are at a higher risk of gout than women. There other factors that can raise your risk of developing gout, including lifestyle habits, medications, weight and genetics.

The following outlines some ways alcohol and gout have a relationship with one another and answers the question “does alcohol cause gout?”

There is absolutely a relationship between alcohol and gout. If you have gout or you’ve had it in the past, it’s important only to consume alcohol in moderation. Studies have shown that alcohol consumption, especially beer, can increase people’s chances of developing gout or worsen pre-existing gout. The reason for this relationship between alcohol and gout is believed to be due to the high purine content of alcohol. Beer also has a great deal of brewer’s yeast, which is believed to increase the chances of a gout attack.

It’s not just alcohol and gout that you should think about, however. There are links between sodas and gout, other sugar-sweetened beverages and even caffeine. Along with the relationship between alcohol and gout, there are certain foods high in purine including anchovies, dried beans, game meat, mushrooms, scallops and sardines.

So what can you do to treat or prevent gout?

One of the best things to do is make lifestyle changes. There are certain medicines that can help your body remove uric acid more effectively, but you should also make sure you drink plenty of water, maintain a healthy weight and diet, and limit the amount of meat, fish, and poultry you eat.

So, to sum up, does alcohol cause gout? Yes, alcohol can contribute to gout.

If you’re someone who is prone to gout attacks, it’s important that you drink only in moderation and speak with your physician about other possible ways you can lower your risk.

Specifically, regarding alcohol and gout, beer seems to be the biggest culprit of triggering an attack, but any kind of alcohol can increase your chance of gout. If you have trouble limiting your alcohol consumption, a treatment center like The Recovery Village can provide you the care you need.

Does Alcohol Cause Gout?
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