Gout has a reputation for being a disease of the wealthy due to its links to specific diets. Data indicate that, despite being there for millennia, it could be making a significant resurgence. Researchers speculate that this tendency may be related to the Western diet’s detrimental impact on the metabolic and endocrine systems.
High fructose corn syrup, a synthetic sugar made from corn syrup, is a common ingredient in the creation of sweet desserts. The sugar substitute can be found, among other things, in sodas, morning cereals with packed fruit, sweetened dairy items, and confectionery.
According to WebMD, it is created from maize that has been broken down into individual molecules, which then completely transform into glucose, a simple sugar. It states that some of this glucose is converted into fructose by the addition of enzymes.
The Arthritis Foundation cautions that when fructose is broken down, the body releases substances called purines into the blood. Purine breakdown results in the production of uric acid, which causes gout by causing painful crystals to develop in the joints.
The organization claims that drinking soda sweetened with high fructose corn syrup causes your uric acid levels to spike within minutes. When uric acid cannot be excreted by the kidneys, it tends to linger in the body and accumulate in the joints.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, among other consequences, the crystals that collect in the joints cause excruciating gout episodes. It continues, “They can also accumulate in the kidneys and cause kidney stones.
A gout episode may cause discomfort that lasts only a few hours or as long as three to 10 days. It is believed that almost everyone with these problems will have another attack at some point in their lifespan.
The frequency of hyperuricemia in the general population has increased noticeably, according to the Journal of Seminars in Nephrology from 2012. It also noted that the prevalence or incidence of gout had increased in line with this, and it suggested that aspects of Western living were likely to blame.
The large growth in sugar-sweetened soft drinks and accompanying fructose intake has also corresponded with the […] trend of hyperuricemia and gout, according to the authors of the study.
These patterns persisted until 2022 when the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey concluded that hyperuricemia was most likely to blame for the increased prevalence of gout in the general population. One of the primary causes of the rising incidence of gout, according to scientists, is the obesity pandemic.
Because males lack estrogen’s protective qualities, it should be highlighted that men are most commonly affected by the illness. A woman’s susceptibility to gout episodes increases when her estrogen levels drop throughout menopause.
Thankfully, taking preventative steps like eating a plant-based diet and getting enough sleep can delay the onset of gout and other types of arthritis.