The Relationship Between Alcohol Intake & Gout
A common form of arthritis that causes inflammation is gout. Gout, although extremely painful, causes flare-ups that may come on suddenly but then dissipate. Thankfully, there are likely long periods in between these gout attacks.
However, excessive alcohol consumption can also cause a gout flare-up. Those who have been diagnosed with gout should avoid alcoholic beverages, such as beer and liquor, that are known to worsen gout symptoms.
What Causes Gout?
Hyperuricemia, a condition that occurs when you have too much uric acid in your body, causes gout. Purines, which are chemical compounds found in our bodies and in our food, are broken down by uric acid.
Uric acid is mostly excreted through the kidneys in urine. However, a buildup can cause uric acid crystals. These crystals can later form kidney stones. Those with a high purine diet will likely have higher uric acid levels and an increased risk of gout.
When this happens, you will develop too much uric acid in the body which may cause uric acid crystals to build up in the fluids, tissues, and joints. This inflammatory arthritis is painful.
Gout usually begins in the big toe, occurring in only one joint at a time. Other joints affected may consist of your knee, ankle, and smaller toes.
How Alcohol Use Affects Gout
Alcohol has been associated with an increased risk of gout and high levels of uric acid. Although beer and liquor increase blood uric acid levels, a couple of glasses of wine can even cause a flare-up.
Drinking alcohol, especially binge drinking, can cause increased urate levels which may lead to a gout attack. Repeated gout attacks may lead to gouty arthritis.
Amount Of Alcohol
The amount of alcohol you drink is related to how serious your gout flare-up may be. In fact, a large intake of alcohol can lead to acute gout.
Beer and liquor are among the types of alcohol that may cause more severe or frequent gout attacks. However, all forms of alcohol are risk factors for people developing this painful type of arthritis.
Lifestyle Changes & Dietary Improvements
If you develop gout, it’s important that you see a rheumatologist right away. Not only does your alcohol quantity intake make a difference in the seriousness of gout, so do other foods and substances.
Avoid Some Foods & Medications
For instance, those who develop gout will likely need to avoid foods high in purine such as red meat, seafood, and organ meats. Certain medications can also cause a greater risk of gout such as diuretics.
Some of the lifestyle changes you may want to make include staying away from foods with high purine content. Gout patients should avoid purine-rich foods to avoid the risk of recurrent gout attacks.
Hypertension, obesity, congestive heart failure, and poor kidney function can all lead to gout and cause complications. Be sure to contact your local rheumatology specialist or healthcare provider for more advice.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment
If you or a loved one are consuming too many alcoholic drinks, it may be time to seek help, especially for those who have developed gout.
Alcohol use disorder, or alcohol addiction, is treated with a combination of therapy, medication, support groups, and other recovery services. To learn about our treatment programs and services, please contact us today.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Gout
US National Library of Medicine - Alcohol and Gout
US National Library of Medicine - Alcohol quantity and type on risk of recurrent gout attacks: An internet-based case-crossover study
US National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Gout
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