Gout and Excess Alcohol: Risk Considerations


Gout Sufferers Should Reduce Alcohol Intake

The overconsumption of alcohol can seriously take its toll on the body. There are numerous potential causes behind gout, but it wasn’t called ‘the disease of kings’ throughout history for nothing. There are certain medicines, physical conditions, and genes correlated with an increased risk of gout, and about twelve percent of the cases of gout can be traced to diet. The relationship between gout and alcohol in particular is quite well documented across the board.

drink-22659_640Patients with gout are instructed to significantly reduce their consumption of alcohol, or eliminate it altogether. Persistent high concentrations of uric acid in the bloodstream can lead to gout. Some foods increase the levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. The consumption of alcohol simply makes it significantly more difficult for the body to excrete existing uric acid levels, which can have similar widespread effects.

Culturally, many of the same people who consume large quantities of alcohol will also eat diets high in meat and saturated fats, which can also raise a person’s risk of developing gout. The fact that the upper classes in Western Europe frequently ate large quantities of meat helps explain why gout is stereotypically associated with the rich.

At one point in history, before clean water supplies, alcoholic beverages may have been the only clean sources of liquid available, which could only have increased the collective risk of gout further. Today, gout is no longer a rich person’s disease, given the widespread availability of meat and unhealthy food.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is Another Culprit for Gout

Some alcoholic drinks also come with compounding variables. High fructose corn syrup is associated with an increased risk of gout. Many mixed alcoholic drinks, such as rum and coke, margaritas made with fruit juice, and some other sweetened alcoholic mixed drinks may contain high fructose corn syrup.

Gout patients who are not experiencing attacks of gout can usually get away with single five ounce servings of unadulterated wine daily, but nothing else. Beer in particular tends to be sweetened and caloric, and should be avoided. In the midst of an attack of gout, patients must abstain from all forms of liquor, from wine to beer.


Those with Gout Should Drink Lots of Water

To add insult to injury, alcohol is notorious for its dehydrating effects. One reason people experience such terrible headaches during their alcohol hangovers, is because of the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Gout patients are encouraged to increase their intakes of liquids to encourage the elimination of uric acid. The dehydrating effects of alcohol will only work to prevent the proper elimination of uric acid further, to the detriment of the patient.

Interestingly enough, although the notion that black coffee can work to sober someone up is fallacious, black coffee may be somewhat instrumental in combating gout. Half a dozen daily cups of coffee may work to combat the risk of gout or reduce the symptoms. The relationship between gout and alcohol is somewhat complicated, but alcohol will ultimately have to be a sacrifice for many patients affected by gout.

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