The consumption of alcoholic beverages increases a patient's risk of developing gout. It is a major trigger for gout flares as well. In recent studies based on self-reporting from patients, alcoholic beverages were listed as the trigger for over fifty percent of gout flares among participants. Beer has a higher amount of purines than any other alcoholic beverage. It contains a high percentage of brewer's yeast, another ingredient that raises the risk of gout flares. While wine is lower in purines, consuming any alcoholic beverage forces the kidneys to excrete alcohol instead of purines. This alteration raises uric acid in the patient's blood, leading to a gout flare within one to two days. Gout patients are advised to limit their consumption of alcoholic beverages to keep uric acid levels as low as possible.
Doctors suggest that individuals consume alcoholic beverages in moderation. Patients who consume large amounts may need to significantly reduce their intake to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of flares. Women should limit themselves to one serving per day. Men under sixty-five years old can consume two servings each day, though men older than this should only have one serving daily. One serving equates to twelve ounces of beer that is five percent alcohol by volume. Patients should always check with their doctor to see if alcohol consumption is safe for their overall health, especially with gout. Their doctor can advise them on safe intake levels as well.