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Gout and the Alcohol Debate

January 7, 2013 by Teresa.

Do you enjoy a cold beer on a hot day? When gathering with friends is it common celebrate with alcohol? Many of us in one way or another include alcohol in our diet, but if you have been diagnosed with gout, there is a great deal of controversy as to whether the alcohol that you are consuming actually contributes to your gout attacks.

Anecdotally, the drinking of alcohol has been touted as a big contributor to gout. So much so that for years gout was largely thought of as a rich man's disease, one who overindulged in spirits and food. However, the debate over the alcohol question is still alive. The answers to some of the questions that have arisen due to a few studies surrounding the topic remain a tad allusive. Are all types of alcohol equal? How much is too much? Who is at the highest risk?

According to the latest studies, the common man's drink, beer, may be the worst liquor that you can drink if you have gout, dispelling the myth that the disease is a rich man's disease. Many researchers suspect that beer consumption leads to gout because of its high purine content. In one of the largest studies to date, even two beers a week may raise the odds of an attack by as much as 25%. Whereas men who consumed a daily quota of beer have a 200% more likelihood of developing gout than the nondrinkers of beer.

When it comes to wine, however, it appears that drinking in moderation may be tolerated. In fact, one glass a day of wine could even reduce the chances of a gout attack. Once again, the old adage of moderation in all things applies. Two glasses a day of wine may be one too many. There is a fine line between a little and too much.

There is beginning to be a body of evidence linking alcohol and gout, but it is not extensive. Nevertheless, when combined with many years of anecdotal accounts, men with gout may choose to refrain from alcohol and beer specifically. There are medications to treat gout, but being proactive by making lifestyle changes that could significantly lower your risks from developing gout in the first place is a sensible approach.

Filed under: New Study, What is Gout.

Tags: alcohol and gout, alcohol debate, controversy, gout attacks, rich man's disease, lead to gout, developing gout.

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