Gout pain is caused by crystals of uric acid that form inside the joints. If you have ever had a gout attack, you know that it is a very painful type of arthritis. You should also know that the risk of developing gout increases when your diet is high in purines. Purines are found in foods rich in protein, and they are also found in some drinks.
Patients at risk for gout should avoid beverages with high purine contents. Ultimately, purines are converted by the body into uric acid. So a high purine diet will elevate uric acid levels, which can precipitate gout in the patient at risk,” says Jennifer Sloane, MD, a rheumatologist at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. Here’s our list of the worst offenders.
the study estimated that patients who consumed a 12-ounce serving of beer daily were 1.5 times more likely to have gout compared to those. Beer contains a large number of purines and has a strong association with gout attacks.
As beer is especially harmful if you suffer from gout symptoms, it is high in alcohol and brewer’s yeast, both of which can lead to gout pain.
Although beer may be the worst drink for gout, any alcoholic drink can trigger gout symptoms in people who are susceptible to this disease. Alcohol causes the kidneys to excrete alcohol instead of uric acid.
David Freeman, a rheumatologist at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, warns that this increases the amount of uric acid in the blood, which could trigger a gout attack in about a day or two.
Several studies have found an increased gout risk from sugar-sweetened drinks. This link has been found in both men and women. One large study found that just one sugar-sweetened drink per day doubled a woman’s risk of developing gout compared with women who had less than one sugar-sweetened drink per month.
“Studies show that sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices are associated with an increased incidence of gout attacks. Interestingly, these studies show that diet soda intake is not related to increased frequency of gout attacks,” says Sloane.
Some studies indicate that caffeine may protect you from gout because caffeine is similar in chemical structure to the common gout medicine. But other research shows that increasing caffeine intake can actually lead to gout pain – in fact, one study found that suddenly doubling your caffeine intake may increase your risk of developing gout symptoms.
By up to 80 percent. So if you drink coffee or tea, caffeine can help protect you – just remember that a sudden binge-eating can trigger a gout attack.
Coffee isn’t the only drink to watch out for. However, consuming some energy drinks is similar to the overuse of caffeine. These drinks may also be high in sugar, so you may risk “doubling your risk of gout every day”. Sloan warns that “no studies have examined the effect of energy drinks on gout. However, given that the majority of these drinks are sweetened with fructose, one can conclude that it is also possible to increase gout attacks.”
Not everyone with high uric acid has gout pain, but studies show that uric acid is an excess in the American diet. Protect yourself by watching what you eat and drink.