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What are the effects of wine on gout, and is it safe to sip?

is wine bad for gout

High blood uric acid levels induce gout, a severe form of arthritis. This uric acid can form sharp crystals in the joints, causing sudden and intense pain, swelling, and redness, particularly in the big toe. Many people with gout are careful about their diet to avoid triggering an attack, but what about wine? Is wine bad for gout, or can it be enjoyed in moderation?

Understanding Gout and Its Triggers

High blood uric acid levels are a symptom of hyperuricemia, which causes gout. Uric acid is a waste product produced when the body breaks down purines found in some meals and beverages. When uric acid levels get too high, it can crystalize in the joints, causing severe gout attacks.

Common triggers for gout attacks include:

  • Diet: Foods rich in purines, such as red meat, seafood, and organ meats, can raise uric acid levels.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol use, particularly beer and spirits, is known to increase uric acid levels.
  • Obesity: Excess weight raises the risk of gout.
  • Medical conditions: Hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease can contribute to gout.

Is wine bad for gout? Understand the Purine Content

Gout occurs when the body can’t properly process purines, chemicals found in many foods. When the body degrades purines, it creates uric acid. If there is too much uric acid, it can accumulate and form crystals in the joints, resulting in gout attacks.

Alcoholic drinks like wine have lower purine levels compared to foods like red meat, seafood, and organ meats. However, alcohol can still increase the risk of gout because it affects how the body processes uric acid.

Is white or red wine worse for gout?

Both red and white wines contain purines, but the levels can vary. Red wines generally have a bit more purine due to the fermentation process and the use of grape skins. However, the difference between red and white wine is insignificant, and both can increase uric acid levels in the body. Some people with gout might tolerate one type of wine better than the other, but this varies from person to person.

Does wine affect gout attacks?

While wine may not be as harmful as some other alcoholic drinks for gout, moderation is crucial. The American College of Rheumatology suggests limiting alcohol intake to no more than one glass per day for women and two for men. A serving of wine is about 5 ounces (148 ml) for red wine and 6 ounces (177 ml) for white wine.

To manage gout effectively, it’s important to:

  • Maintain a balanced diet low in purines.
  • Stay well-hydrated.
  • Engage in regular physical activity.

However, even moderate wine consumption can affect gout attacks in several ways:

  • Increased Uric Acid Production: Drinking wine can lead to higher production of uric acid because it affects how purines are broken down.
  • Decreased Uric Acid Excretion: Wine can hinder the kidneys from removing uric acid efficiently, leading to higher levels in the blood.
  • Dehydration: Wine is a diuretic, which means it can cause dehydration. This can increase uric acid levels and cause gout.
    Inflammation: Alcohol can trigger inflammation, exacerbating the pain and swelling associated with gout attacks.

It’s best to avoid alcohol, including wine, during a gout attack. Alcohol can make your symptoms worse by raising uric acid levels and causing more inflammation. During an attack, drink water and other non-alcoholic drinks to stay hydrated. After the attack is over, you might be able to enjoy wine in moderation if your doctor says it’s okay.

Tips for Managing Gout and Alcohol Consumption

If you enjoy wine but suffer from gout, here are some tips to help you manage your gout while still enjoying an occasional glass:

  • Consult Your Doctor: Always discuss your alcohol consumption with your healthcare provider. They can provide individualized advice based on your medical history and current health status.
  • Limit Intake: Stick to the recommended limits for moderate wine consumption. Avoid binge drinking or consuming large amounts of wine in one sitting.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water will help eliminate uric acid from your body, lowering your risk of gout attacks.
  • Monitor Your Diet: Pay attention to other purine dietary sources and avoid high-purine foods. A balanced diet low in purines can help manage uric acid levels.
  • Keep a Journal: Track your wine consumption and any resulting gout symptoms. This can help you identify patterns and better understand how wine impacts your health.
  • Choose Wine Wisely: If you drink wine, avoid red wine in moderation due to its potential anti-inflammatory properties. However, this does not guarantee that it will not trigger an attack.
  • Avoid Alcohol During Attacks: Refrain from drinking wine or any other alcohol during gout attacks to prevent worsening symptoms.

Manage Your Alcohol Intake & Gout

High uric acid levels are the cause of gout, which manifests as painful joint symptoms. While both red and white wines have purines that can increase uric acid, their impact on gout varies with each person.

Moderation is essential when it comes to wine. Avoid alcohol during a gout episode because it can exacerbate symptoms. To manage gout effectively, keep a diet low in purines, stay hydrated, and exercise regularly. Always consult your doctor for personalized advice. By being careful with your wine intake and overall lifestyle, you can better manage gout and reduce the risk of painful attacks.


  • Diane Silva

    Diane is a travel enthusiast, content creator, and master storyteller, capturing her adventures through captivating blogs and engaging vlogs. With a passion for the great outdoors and a love for literature, she brings a unique perspective to the travel world. Whether she's exploring hidden gems or discussing the latest trends, Diane is your go-to source for all things travel and beyond.