Gout is a painful condition that is affecting more and more people every year. It has always been speculated that alcohol is a leading cause of gout; a recent study put it to the test. Does drinking beer cause gout? Read on to find out.
What is Gout?
Gout is a painful inflammatory arthritis that commonly affects men. Gout is typified by sudden and severe pain, tenderness, and swelling in joints, usually in the big toe.
What causes Gout?
Gout is triggered by an excess of uric acid crystal deposits in the joints. These deposits provoke the immune system and an inflammatory response is produced, usually beginning in the big toe.
Some factors that may contribute to gout include:
Poor dietary habits like increased alcohol and red meat intake
Recent research has highlighted alcohol, especially beer, as a certain cause of gout (1).
Alcohol and Gout
You know that gout is your body reacting to uric acid buildup in the joints. Did you know that alcohol is a large contributor of uric acid in your body? Researchers have illuminated two ways in which alcohol factors into your risk for gout:
Alcohol impedes removal of uric acid in the body. Alcohol is metabolized into lactic acid in the body. The lactic acid then competes with uric acid in the kidneys for elimination through urine; thus, greater levels of uric acid remain in the body.
Alcohol contributes to uric acid levels in the body. Alcohol raises the amount of ATP that is converted into AMP-a good foundation for uric acid.
The study found that one alcoholic beverage per day was enough to significantly increase the risk of gout in that person. The risk grew as number of drinks consumed grew.
Does Drinking Beer Cause Gout?
The study reported interesting these interesting results:
Compared with non beer drinkers, those who drank two or more servings of beer per day suffered a 2.5 times greater risk of gout.
Compared with non liquor drinkers, those who drank two or more servings of liquor per day suffered a 1.6 times greater risk of gout.
Wine was not associated with an increased risk of gout compared with those who did not drink wine.
Also interesting, the risk grew as servings grew. For example, the risk of gout increased by 49% with each serving of beer per day. The risk of gout was increased by 15% per serving of liquor each day. Because liquor is more alcoholic in beer, researchers concluded that a non-alcoholic factor in beer was the real culprit of the risk.
Beer, There and Everywhere
Some researchers postulate that non-alcoholic ingredients in beer, like purines, play a factor in the risk for gout. This is widely debatable though, as purines have also been shown to decrease the risk of gout. Most researchers feel that the link lies in the lifestyle of the beer drinkers-those who choose to drink beer may be more likely to be less active or eat risky food than those who drink wine.
Drink to Your Health
Your best plan to steer clear of gout is to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan. Don't drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages a night, and don't let your drinking affect your diet and exercise plan. If you have gout and need help keeping it under control, try natural supplements guaranteed to maintain healthy uric acid levels.
I had a flare up of gout this week and believe it was the ceral Sugar puffs that may have been the cause as it happened two years ago also when coincidently the last time I had Suggar puffs. Could this cause gout? Commented on HelloLife · May 14, 2009 at 7:01 AM
According to a number of sources on what sorts of food can cause gout flare ups, sugary and processed foods are on the list of potentially troublesome ones.
Since you appear to have reacted to this cereal more than once, it might be a good idea to avoid it. Try a really basic cereal without added sugars and sweeteners, maybe something like Cheerios.
Hope that helps! Commented on HelloLife · May 14, 2009 at 8:21 AM
high fructose corn syrup... this has replaced simple sugar and gout attacks are on the rise... Commented on HelloLife · January 19, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Paul, I'd have to side with you...i haven't seen any studies yet...but I think high fructose corn syrup is probably causing us a lot more problems than simple sugar. Commented on HelloLife · January 19, 2012 at 12:58 PM
I have had mild flare ups. I now know beacuse i had a bigger one were i couldnt move my big tow. Usually it just feels like i need to "crack" my big tow. I am 29 and drink about 10 michelobe ultra beers a day...a very light beer. On the other hand my diet is very poor. No veggies all meat. What do you think is the bigger factor in my gout, and if i start taking medication for it can i continue my consumption of beer and poor diet? Commented on HelloLife · January 20, 2012 at 11:19 PM
My son-in-law has a gout flare-up every time he stops drinking beer. This last time he was dieting so was eating healthy, too. He is not sedentary. He's also developed his first pseudogout episode. This is different from the general belief about drinking and gout. What do you think? Commented on HelloLife · January 27, 2012 at 8:12 PM
There is absolutely no difference in the way high fructose corn syrup and cane sugar are processed by the body. Ignore the headlines from the MSM the silliness from the dietary whackos. Commented on HelloLife · February 16, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Interesting about NOT drinking beer. I stopped drinking beer about 2.5 weeks ago. I am currently experiencing a gout attack and similarly, this is my second attack in 2 years and my first one was also after I had STOPPED drinking beer (trying to cut back)... Commented on HelloLife · May 5, 2012 at 7:59 PM
Stinks that cutting out beer didn't stop you from getting an attacks, but of course, beer isn't the only thing that can contribute to gout. High purine foods in general are a problem and beer is only one among those. Commented on HelloLife · May 7, 2012 at 8:51 AM
Hey guys u had a flare up for the first time 3 weeks back . . . .am having febutaz 40 a day . . . .they say u got to stop eating red meat and shell food Nd stop drinking. How does one service then? Can I have whiskey and rum once a week ? Commented on HelloLife · June 15, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Black cherry juice, GNC. Dried sweet and tart cherries, Sams or Cosco. Mix cherry juice with other jucies or use a sweetner in tea ect. Works for me and I drink beer. Commented on HelloLife · September 4, 2012 at 2:03 PM
got a gout attack in the wrist of my right hand after drinking too much beer two days ago. I just read the posts about apple cider vinegar and drank some mixed with water. After 10 minutes it seems to get better already. Even the swelling goes back! Commented on HelloLife · October 6, 2012 at 10:23 PM
I also had some bad attacks of migraine lately every time I drank one or two beers.
I read in the past migraine attacks could be caused by high purine levels.
Commented on HelloLife · October 6, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Hi i`m a newbie i just tried the acv did`nt do much for me i`ve been dealing with gout for along time if you have it or get it you will know. Very painful. I`m gonna try the cherry juice. Thanks for all the good info.
Commented on HelloLife · October 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM
I too quit drinking beer about 2 weeks ago and guess what? First gout flare up in approx 3 years.... @celeste and jake: prior to reading this I was also trying to connect the dots b/w quitting and flare up. I was thinking it may be similar to what happens when you start taking allopurinol. I don't take it, but have read that as the allopurinol starts to work, you have a major gout flare at first as your body is being flushed of the actual crystals built up in your joints. Maybe by quitting alcohol, your body has a chance to do its job and flush all of the built up uric acid hence the similar, initial flare up. What do you all think? Commented on HelloLife · November 18, 2012 at 9:10 AM
will non alcoholic beer also cause gout attacks??? Commented on HelloLife · November 21, 2012 at 6:32 PM
First gout attack came after a long weekend of heavy beer drinking, which I assumed is what triggered it. Then I went 3 years before the next one. During that time, I had several weekends of heavy beer drinking, with no gout. And the recent flare up came not after beer or lots of red meat. I stubbed my big toe. 2 days later it swelled up. Doctor says stubbing can trigger gout. So nice. Commented on HelloLife · November 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM
drinking 4 beers a day for 35 years never any problem,now gout above the big toe any help Commented on HelloLife · January 19, 2013 at 9:44 AM
I'm 41, had gout for about 4 years now. Drink about 12 beers a day. Only drank once in last week. Been eating only fresh fruits and veggies for last week, including juicing entire lemons with my other veggies. Having the worst gout attack ever! First time have both big toes flare up at same time. Took hot bath yesterday, think that my have caused some issues. Scale says I've lost 14 pounds in 7 days, 4 in the past day. In retrospect, I would not have quit drinking cold turkey. Instead I would have started to exercise every day as I eased off the drinking. Last time I quit drinking was a year ago and quit for 1 month and no gout attack, but was walking approximately 7-8 miles per day, every day. Exercise seems to be the key, it doesn't have to be rigorous but I would say a minimum of 1 hour walking per day would keep the gout away. Commented on HelloLife · March 7, 2013 at 8:01 AM
Guys, I am drinking atleast half a bottle of scotch/bourbons twice a week from past 5 years, and beer during summers. But recently, had a beer marathon of about 6-8 long necks a day for about 6 days in a row. And had a severe gout attack after a couple of days. Doc says, my body cannot take carbonated drinks (incuding beer) and even a coke. So I am sticking to my scotch/whisky pattern and never had an attack then. But I avoid meat and drink a lot of water before I hit the bed... Commented on HelloLife · April 10, 2013 at 7:32 AM
I've been suffering periodic gout attacks for the last 40+ years. Not the crippling attacks...just painful....the kind that makes one hobble and limp when moving around. Toes, ankles, other bones in the feet and an occasional elbow. I drink alcohol every day, but there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to why I could go weeks without a flare up, then get 3 within a week. I read all the books and tried all the meds. Nothing worked better than indomethacin, which usually reduced the flare ups in a couple of days. At age 67 (two years ago), I had my Eureka Moment. I discovered that my flare ups were caused by Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke....and likely the artificial sweetners that I used when drinking iced tea. Honestly, I kid you NOT! The fact is, I would often go days or weeks without drinking diet colas or iced tea without realizing that I was gout free. Once I sensed the connection I cut out diet colas and artificial sweetners and went pain for months and months.
I'm a beer drinker (6 to 10 bottles a day of light beer) and beer consumption seems to have no relation to my flare ups. I'm a bit underactive and more than a bit overweight, but I do have a strong constitution.
On a side note, my son, in his late 30s, has periodic attacks of gout that knocks him off his feet for a couple of days. He was a big diet Coke drinker. He's active and healthy....a long distance runner, and was knocked on his butt every couple of months with painful gout attacks. I shared my experience with him and he guffawed in disbelief. Now he is a believer. He falls off the wagon every once in a while and he gulps down a 6 pack of diet cola, and as often as not, he gets a flare up.
So.....for those of you who have tried lots of cures with little or no success...try abstaining from diet colas and avoid the packets of artificial sweetner that are on every restaurant table. Good luck. Commented on HelloLife · April 16, 2013 at 2:19 AM
gout treatment Commented on HelloLife · April 16, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Your son is hardcore, getting stuck on the diet drinks, maybe he should go to AA without the A. Commented on HelloLife · April 25, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Hello fellow gout suffers,
I have been living with gout for close to ten years, this is the reason I am writing. I have heard it all. They started me on the allapurnial, colchasine two years ago and now probenecid, none of them work. I have tried all the juices mentioned, all the home remedies listed. Good luck on those. I finally went to a rumetolagest, we are trying heavier doses of probenecid. The only thing that has worked for me in prednisone. I know when a attack is coming, I take 10-15 mg, depending on pain level, reduce the quantities the next day, and I am back to normal Commented on HelloLife · May 25, 2013 at 7:40 AM
I had a severe gout attack, big toe. Walking was painful. My friend suggested to drink BEER to flush out uric acid, as he had benefitted doing so. I did it, and my big toe disappeared. I drink 3 cans of beer twice or thrice a week. Now my feet are ok, but is swelling and pain in a finger. So I guess drinking Beer helps reduce uric acid. Commented on HelloLife · September 21, 2013 at 5:24 PM
I have been suffering on and off for the past 15 years and I am only 36. I used to drink copious amounts of cider when I was younger and played rugby. I trained one session and couldn't run as much as the previous week. The pain got worse and went to hospital when it was confirmed as Gout.
I had diclofenic and the pain went within days. Since I have had massive attacks in my elbows,knees and ankles.
Last week I was on holidays and drunk Fosters,white and rose wine, vodka,cider,ale and jim beam within the week I was away (which I ain't proud of) and had pain in my left middle toe. I took Naproxen straight away. It got worse by Thursday from the wednesday and by sunday it was in my ankle 30/9/13. I went to hospital and they sent me home with no pain killers. Monday I went to hospital again and they referred me to my GP where he gave me Arcoxia. Tuesday I managed to go to work and Wednesday I went back to hospital where I had co codamol and colchecine. My dad gave me Zapains where I managed to get some sleep.
Thursday I went to work and Yesterday Friday 4/10/13. I cam walk better now and the swelling has gone down. Its the worst attack I have ever experienced since I had it in my knees two years ago. I haven't drunk since. I have drunk loads of water and have been taking celery tablets from the health shop.
I have a doctors appointment to have bloods Monday 7th October, and will hopefully have the results Tuesday when I go back and see him to see if my acid levels have gone up.
I don't wish this pain on my worst enemy.
Thanks for reading. Commented on HelloLife · October 5, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Same here, i used to drink on average 5-6 pints of beer a night and ate everything from beef to nuts. Once i started a new diet to stop drinking as much a night and eating less of what affects gout. My foot started to swell up. Commented on HelloLife · November 22, 2013 at 11:30 PM
I found a good way to decrease gout attacks... I used to suffer them frequently. If I even looked at some foods I'd get an attack... LOL
Then one day I was thinking about fish tanks. No matter how good the filter is in a fish tank, it never removes ALL the toxic substances. I imagine our kidneys are the same. with a fish tank, the solution is to regularly discard a portion of the water and replace it with clean fresh water. So that got me thinking. Gout is caused by a build up of uric acid etc in the blood. What about getting rid of a portion of the blood and therefore the uric acid it contains? So I started donating blood regularly. Each donation is replaced by your body naturally and dilutes the overall quantity of uric acid in the body. My results were pretty dramatic, after the first donation, my regular attacks decreased in both number and length as well, the intensity and pain was less. Now after several donations, attacks don't happen and I can eat and drink with relative normality.
Aside from all that, I feel better in general and it's less expensive than meds.
Commented on HelloLife · December 30, 2013 at 2:25 PM
My wife noticed that my toes swelled twice the size when i had a gout attack, she wondered if there might be a good chance it affected my penis. Commented on HelloLife · January 16, 2014 at 6:20 AM
NATURAL REMEDY for GOUT......
Brigg's Apple Cider Vinegar. Drink and ounce every 3 hours followed by a bottle of spring water. Drink as much water as you can to flush out the body. Cut out all alcohol and meat.
You will notice a decrease in pain in 24 hrs. Trust me... works for me every time. Good luck guys. Commented on HelloLife · January 31, 2014 at 5:09 PM
No, alcohol does not cause gout. Gout is cause by the way the body handles uric acid. Yes, alcohol raises uric acid and can raise the chances of a flare up but it is not the underlying cause of the disease. If it actually caused the disease, there would be a hell of a lot more people suffering from it. Commented on HelloLife · July 6, 2014 at 7:58 PM
It was mentioned previously that correcting diet (eliminating junk, red meat, purines, booze) seemed to sometimes trigger an attack. I read that too rapid a weight loss (elimination of body fat) resulting from dramatic dietary changes can cause a gout flare up. It is in fact similar to the mechanism that sometimes occurs when starting anti-purine meds. In the case of meds, uric acid deposits are dissolved back into the bloodstream causing an episode. With fat (loaded with purines)metabolism, the purines in the fat are similarly released back into the bloodstream inducing an attack. Unfortunately, medical science seems very vague concerning gout...lots of conflicting theories. Commented on HelloLife · July 25, 2014 at 2:55 PM
I take uloric for gout, 120mg a day. No gout. BUT, every time I start drinking beer it comes back after 2 or 3 Beers. And I was drinking the lightest beer made, Budwiser select 55! Less than 1 carb a can and 55 calories! Thats about as close to near beer as or not really beer as you can get. !! There goes my weekly fish sandwich and a beer :( Commented on HelloLife · May 4 at 2:38 AM