Fructose Sugar Gout

Fructose and Gout: What’s the Link?

Most of us know how sugar affects our waistline. Too much of the sweet stuff contributes to obesity, and with it, diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Overdoing it on one type of sugar in particular—the high fructose corn syrup found in sodas and processed foods—can also set off painful gout. Considering that the average American eats 22 to 30 teaspoons of sugar daily, gout is yet another health risk worth noting.

Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruit and honey. High fructose corn syrup is a man-made sweetener produced from corn. It’s composed of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose. Why is this type of sugar harder on your joints than other forms, like glucose? “Fructose is metabolized differently from glucose,” explains Peter Simkin, MD, emeritus professor of medicine in the University of Washington School of Medicine division of Rheumatology.

As the body breaks down fructose, chemical compounds called purines are released. The breakdown of purines produces uric acid—the substance that forms painful crystals in the joints and causes gout. Within minutes after you drink high fructose corn syrup-sweetened soda, your uric acid levels rise. Continue reading Fructose and Gout: What’s the Link?

Coffee Gout

Does Coffee Help or Hurt Gout?

Nearly two-thirds of Americans start their day with a cup or more of coffee. Besides its wake-up java jolt effect, coffee could be good for your health. Studies have linked regular coffee consumption with a lower risk for heart disease, some types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions.

Could your morning cup of Joe also help prevent bouts of painful gout? While some evidence suggests this popular beverage might help you avoid joint pain, the caffeine it contains might actually lead to more flare-ups if you already have gout.

Coffee and Gout Prevention

A 2007 study investigated the potential link between coffee intake and gout risk among nearly 46,000 men. The authors found that men who drank four to five cups of coffee a day had a 40 percent lower relative risk of gout compared to men who weren’t coffee drinkers. Decaf coffee also modestly lowered gout risk, but tea didn’t have any effect, suggesting that something other than caffeine is responsible for the effect on gout.
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Wine and Gout Flares

Wine Implicated in Gout Flares

Beer and hard liquor have long been known to increase the risk of gout, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, but according to a 2014 study in The American Journal of Medicine, wine also can contribute to recurrent gout attacks.

Gout occurs when excess uric acid builds up around joints – often in the big toe, but also in the feet, ankles, knees, wrists and elbows – leading to episodes of intense pain, redness and swelling. It affects more than 8 million adults in the United States, and the numbers are rising sharply, due mainly to obesity and other lifestyle factors.

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Vitamin C Gout

Vitamin C May Help Prevent Gout

Vitamin C has been touted as a preventive for problems ranging from cancers to the
common cold. But can a daily vitamin C supplement protect you from gout? Possibly, researchers say, but results of studies on vitamin C and gout are mixed.

In a 2009 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Hyon K. Choi, MD, of the Boston University School of Medicine, showed that the more vitamin C men took, the less likely they were to get gout.

 During the 20 years that researchers studied nearly 47,000 men, 1,317 of them developed gout. But the risk was not shared equally. For every 500-milligram increase in vitamin C intake, the risk for gout fell by 17 percent. The risk dropped by 45 percent when study participants took more than 1,500 mg of vitamin C a day.

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Weight Gout Risk

Controlling Your Weight May Be Effective For Lowering Gout Risk

If you are trying to lower your risk of gout or reduce your risk of painful attacks once you have it, one of your best defenses may be to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

“Higher weight is associated with higher uric acid levels in the blood, which therefore increases gout risk,” says Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the body and then crystallizes in the joints, causing intense and often crippling pain, inflammation, stiffness and swelling.

In 1991, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that men who gained excessive amounts of weight in young adulthood were more likely to develop gout later in life, with the greatest risk occurring with the highest body mass index (BMI) at age 35.

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Today is Gout Awareness Day!

National Gout Awareness Day is recognized annually on May 22 to help raise awareness around gout, a painful disease that affects approximately 8.3 million Americans.

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops as a result of excess levels of uric acid in the blood, which results in a condition called hyperuricemia.. The uric acid can form needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling.

Although gout appears to manifest itself suddenly as an acutely red, hot and swollen joint (often the big toe) with excruciating pain, it’s actually the result of a process that’s been occurring in the body for quite some time. The disease may be chronic for some patients, and for others it may remit for long periods of time, followed by flares for days to weeks.

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