Gout Concern? Alcohol Can Be a Problem

Published: 11th March 2010
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Uric acid build up in your system is caused by many different factors that lead to gout. At the top of the list is the consumption of alcohol. If you are concerned about the possibility of getting gout or if you already have it, then yes, alcohol can be a problem.

This does not mean that everyone who consumes alcohol will get gout. Those who moderately drink on a regular basis may never develop the disease.

Research has shown that the type of alcohol consumed impacts uric acid levels differently.

It is a known fact that gout is linked to specific lifestyles. Those who indulge in diets that are high in red meats, alcohol and salt are at a higher risk for the development of gout. The lack of exercise is another contributing factor.

Dating back to the Middle Ages, gout has been known as "the disease of kings" for obvious reasons: the consumption of lots of red meats, rich foods and alcohol. Things are not much different now. The older we get the more we tend to indulge ourselves in this type of lifestyle.

Research has shown that men who drink excessive amounts of certain types of alcohol (beer topped the list) are more at risk of developing gout.

Alcohol affects the production of uric acid in the body, but it also affects the removal of it. When alcohol changes into a lactic acid, the kidneys have a decreased chance of removing the uric acid from the body. The uric acid and the lactic acid have to compete with each other in order to be removed by the kidneys.

There are certain types of alcohol that have less of a risk of causing gout than some of the others. As we already know, beer is the biggest culprit of causing gout, while low to moderate use of wine or spirits, has been shown to have very little or no increase in the risk of gout.

Beer has a non-alcoholic ingredient that includes purines, which makes it the only alcoholic beverage that does include purines. Because of this, there is a higher amount of uric acid produced. Therefore, the increase of gout is much higher than other alcoholic beverages.

Some researchers do not believe purines in the drink will increase the risk of gout. These same researchers do not believe that the risk of gout is increased by too many purines in the diet.

There was a study done in Taiwan, where vegetarians had a diet high in purines. It was found that these people had a lower chance of getting gout.

So are you completely confused yet? Let's think about this.

Maybe it is not the purines in the beer but instead the lifestyle of some beer drinkers. Those who drink beer tend to eat snacks like chips and peanuts, which are high in salt and fats. At the same time, they are probably lounging around, hour after hour, watching television.

Then there are the people who drink wine. This group is more likely to have a glass of wine with either dinner or a healthy snack of crackers and cheese, fruits or vegetables.

This is not meant to categorize people according to their drinking habits, but rather to show the preferred foods that go with each type of alcoholic beverage.

The bottom line, as far as alcohol consumption, is to drink modestly. This will decrease your chances of getting gout.

There will be occasional over-indulgences of alcohol but this should not lead to a greater chance of getting the disease. However, that excruciating pain in the toe may come with regular overindulgence of alcohol.

Are you or someone you care about suffering from gout? Discover more information about Gout And Relieving Gout Symptoms at All About Gout at http://www.squidoo.com/all-about-gout.

Are you making the right treatment choices for your health issues? Debbie has been researching natural health care treatments, cures and remedies to help people become aware of the natural alternatives available for a healthier life.

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