More Info: Research indicates that heredity can play a role in the incidence of gout but is only one small factor regarding the portion of the population affected. Environmental factors and causes are likely a major contributor to incidence rates including behaviors such as alcohol consumption. A study published in the Lancelet Medical Journal demonstrated that men who drank daily doubled their chances of a gout attack. Beer drinkers increased their risk by 50% for each drink.
Can Drinking Alcohol Affect Gout?
Drinking alcohol can affect gout as most alcohol contains purines. These purines lead to the formation of uric acid, which is the root cause of gout. Different types of alcohol contain different amounts of purines. Beer contains the highest amount and hard liquor contains a high amount as well. Wine, while still high in purines, may not cause as much uric acid to form as other types of alcohol.
Who Is More Likely to Get Gout Men or Women?
Men are more likely to develop gout. Gout is an increase in the production of uric acid in the blood that crystallizes and settles in the joints, tendons, and tissues of the body. The symptoms of gout often mimic arthritis. Men are more likely to develop gout because a man’s body naturally produces more uric acid. While women are less likely to develop gout, they still run a risk, especially after menopause. During menopause, a woman’s body decreases its production of estrogen. Estrogen helps the kidneys excrete uric acid. When estrogen levels decrease, the amount of uric acid in the blood rises.
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“New Data on Diet and Alcohol and the Risk of Gout – HSS.edu – HSS.” Hospital for Special Surgery : Top Ranked Hospital for Orthopedics and Rheumatology. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2011. <http://www.hss.edu/conditions_new-data-diet-alcohol-risk-gout.asp>.
“Gout – Causes and Risk Factors.” University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2011. <http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_symptoms_of_gout_000093_3.htm>.