Many people enjoy drinking alcohol for a massive variety of reasons. This can be cultural reasons or sometimes just a way to let loose and have fun.
One of the most popular types of alcoholic beverages is beer with its long history and cultural relevance.
In almost every part of the world there will be some form of beer consumption due to its massive popularity.
However, when it comes to enjoying alcoholic beverages, it is unfortunate that some people have limitations which can stop them from enjoying them.
One of the most common limitations which stops people from being able to enjoy drinks like beer is suffering from gout.
One of the main ways of dealing with gout is going on a low-purine diet, and part of this means avoiding consumption of beer since a lot of it is high in purine.
This leads many beer lovers who have been diagnosed with gout to wonder if there are any beers which still have all the same qualities of beer without the purine which is so unhealthy and causes such disadvantageous symptoms.
This article aims to answer the question of what beer is low in purine and safe for those who suffer from gout and what beer should be avoided.
If you have any questions about beer and gout, keep reading to get the answers you are looking for.
What Is Gout?
Before getting into the ins and outs of how purines and beer can affect your health and how they can be harmful, it is best to actually understand the issue at hand, being gout and the issues it causes.
Gout is described as a type of arthritis which is complex and has the ability to affect anyone.
Like similar conditions, gout materializes in the form of ‘attacks’ which can be described as swelling and pain within the joints, most commonly within the big toe.
These attacks tend to happen quite suddenly at seemingly random times with the pain being able to wake you up even if you are sound asleep.
One of the most noticeable factors which contributes to gout is diet and what you eat.
There are lots of different foods that can affect this issue and make it harder to live with, this includes food which are high in uric acid, excessive fructose sugars, some alcoholic beverages, as well as red meat.
Any of these could increase your chances of getting gout or causing flare-ups,
Why Should Purine Be Avoided?
So throughout this article, one of the terms that has been repeatedly mentioned which you may not be familiar with is purines.
Unfortunately purines are in a lot of different foods and they are what is converting into uric acid.
However, some foods and beverages have a much higher purine content than others and this is what makes them more dangerous.
Purine is not completely harmful and is actually an essential part of a functioning human body. This is because purine is needed for DNA as it is used for creating nucleotides.
Because the body relies on purines, it will try and keep and hold on to them. Purines will need to be broken into more miniscule pieces and this is done by the kidney.
This is where the purines are being converted into uric acid, however if the body has an excessive amount of uric acid, this is where it can cause health problems.
Once the uric acids have built up too much after being converted from purines in the kidneys, you will likely experience a gout attack.
Is It Possible To Drink Beer When You Have Gout?
Generally speaking, it is recommended to not drink beer if you frequently suffer from gout.
One of the best ways to make gout a less harmful condition to daily life is to have a more low-purine diet and this is hard while consistently drinking beer.
It is recommended by medical professionals to increase the intake of liquids as it helps flush out the uric acid in your kidneys, but of course you do not want it to be getting flushed out by fluid which will add more uric acid into the system.
This is one of the reasons why alcohol and beer as severely discouraged as they can cause dehydration and add more purines into the system.
If you are drinking a beer which has a rich purine content, you are putting strain on your body.
So the main connection between beer and gout is that when you are drinking beer you will be stopping your body from being able to properly flush the excessive uric acid out of your system and instead keeping it in the blood.
This build-up is likely to negatively impact your joint health and will end up causing severe pain.
This is why it is recommended to avoid drinking most beer if you suffer from gout.
Can You Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer If you Have Gout?
If you originally have healthy drinking habits and only drink in moderation, this should be able to prevent gout from occurring in the first place, once you have your initial gout attack, it is a sign you will need to change whatever habits you have developed, especially if you regularly consume alcohol.
Many people assume that the purine is in the alcohol of the beer, so if you have alcohol-free beer, is this the same as a beer that is low in purine?
Unfortunately this is not the case and the purine is not sourced in the alcohol itself. The purines are actually sourced in the yeast which is used to ferment the beer.
So while alcoholic beer is generally a preferable choice, it still contains an above average purine-content.
It is true that both beer which is and is not alcoholic can contain a varying level of purines, and it is worth getting a recommendation from your medical professional on just how much you need to lower your purine intake.
There are medications that can help with the purine content in the body and there are also nutritionists who can recommend a diet plan to alleviate the symptoms.
What Is Purine-Free Beer?
So knowing that both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer can contain varying levels of purines, you are probably wondering if you can get beer which is low in purines?
Luckily it is true and there are such things as beer which is purine free and this is the best beer for you to drink if you have gout.
The unfortunate caveat to this point is that these beers which are good for gout are exceptionally hard to find if you live in the US or in the UK.
Most of the beers which are purine-free and good for those who suffer from gout are actually sold and manufactured within Japan, and unfortunately they are often quite hard to find outside of this country.
The Japanese method of lowering the purine content within beer is also quite secretive, so there are very few beside them who know how to produce beer like this, and this also makes home brewing purine-free beer quite difficult.
However, if you are lucky enough to live within Japan or somewhere within its shipping range like Hon-Kong, Australia, or Singapore, you will be able to order it.
There are some options which can ship to further countries, but these are often very expensive.
There is also the choice to buy filtered beers, which as the name suggests, filter the yeast out of the brew before they bottle it.
These are the type of beers which are best to look for if you do not have access to purine–free beer, and you have gout.
These are sometimes also labelled as light beers. These will limit how many purines you are ingesting and make drinking beer a lot less painful.
List Of Purine-Free Beer Perfect For If You Have Gout
Most of these purine-free beers are made using soybeans at some point in the process, so they are best to be avoided if you suffer from a soy allergy.
- Kirin Zeroichi is a beer which has a rich hoppy flavor and achieves this without any alcohol or purine content. It is made with soybeans instead of the typical barley and hops.
- Sapporo Umamishibori is described as tasting very similar to a standard beer which is great if you love the typical taste, it also has no beer or alcohol content.
- Sunatory All-Free is a heavily carbonated light beer which is seen more as a seltzer than a beer. This is a more accessible choice often being sold on Amazon and also has no purines or alcohol content.
Unfortunately it is still quite hard to find an easily accessible purine-free beer in the West but if you are willing to make the effort you can get some imported.
If you have gout, make sure to keep a close eye on your purine intake!
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