Caffeine May Cause Gout

caffeine could cause goutArthritis experts recently met to discuss recent studies conducted regarding gout. Some of the studies showed that caffeine can increase a person’s risk for contracting gout.

Gout is an inflammatory disease similar to arthritis, where uric acid builds up in the joints and tendons causing swelling and pain.

Since 1984 reported gout attacks have increased 45% and 8 million Americans were diagnosed with gout in 2008 alone.

But, is caffeine really to blame?

Gout and Caffeine Studies

Since gout is on the increase there have been many studies which seek to identify the cause(s) for this dramatic increase.

Below are just a few of the studies that have looked at caffeine, coffee, tea and their influence on a person developing gout.

  • A study sponsored by the American College of Rheumatology found that men who are coffee drinkers actually decrease their risk of experiencing gout.  src.
  • A study from the American Society for Nutrition showed that women who are coffee drinkers also had less risk of developing gout. src.
  • Another study showed that people who binge on caffeine are more likely to have a gout attack. This means that people who usually have little caffeine daily but occasionally have a lot of caffeine in one day are at risk.
  • A related study looked at the lifestyles of 79,000 women over a 25 year period and found that women who consumed at least one sugary beverage daily were twice as likely to suffer with gout than women who very rarely drank sugary beverages. This study didn’t list caffeine as a factor, but just the sugar content of the beverage. src.

What Can We learn From This?

  1. It looks like if you want to reduce your chances of getting gout, caffeine should be consumed at a consistent amount daily instead of binging.
  2. Also, choose sugar-free energy drinks or unsweetened coffee and tea as a way to get your caffeine fix without increasing your risk of a painful gout attack.
  3. Daily coffee consumption may decrease risk of gout since it lowers the uric acid concentrations in the bloodstream. src.
  4. Your dominate beverage should be water, especially if you have a history of gout.

It seems like most of the studies show that caffeine consumed in the form of coffee actually decreases gout risk.

It is most likely that sugary drinks are the most dangerous as far as gout risk is concerned, which is independent of caffeine content. Gout treatment includes many dietary restrictions but so far moderate caffeine seems to be ok.

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  • Ray Fleming


  • Caffeine alters renal function and prevents kidneys from secreting uric acids from blood to urine. It also seems to bind uric acids to body tissues, as the blood uric acid level starts to elevate considerably after caffeine cessation. Caffeine is the main cause to gout and gout is completely misunderstood systemic condition.

  • dawn edwards

    that makes sense kari, i have notice that i have the urges to go to the rest room but then when there nothing come out, this is after a couple of non caffeine free sodas

  • jj

    I totally agree with you.

  • Dale Barry

    We were in Cuba recently and I only had a shot of expresso in the morning for the 8 days we were there. I noticed when we got home I hadn’t had a flare up for 7 of the 8 days. I didn’t think of it then but went back to my standard 7 or 8 cups a day with cream and 2 sugars. in a period of 2 days the flare ups came back. I only have one or at the most 2 cups of coffee in the morning now. Its been over a week and no flare ups. I’m hoping this is the relief I’ve needed.

  • Peter Thornton – ACT Australia

    My father (now deceased), was a severe sufferer of Gout from an early age (in and from his early 20s as I understand). He rarely consumed coffee/sugar but he did like alcoholic beverages. He tended to believe that his condition was more linked and triggered in some way to eating tomatoes and/or tomato derivative foods . I too suffer the condition but to a far lesser degree, and I drink a lot more coffee than my father ever did. I too believe there is a link to tomatoes. It has been my experience and observation that tomatoes (where the seeds have a greenish tinge to them might be the ones) that set me off. I never did confirm this observation with my father. However, with this said, I am not at all saying or discounting that the consumption of coffee is not a contributing factor. But I purchase green beans and roast most of my own coffee now and consume approximately 3-4 double shot cups per day. In regards to medication, I am extremely judicious and anal about talking meds and will only take the medication (active ingredient ‘Indomethacin – 25mg per capsule) as and when I feel an attack starting to present itself. This helps to relieve and arrest the condition within 24 hours and before the attack sets in. I hope this helps other sufferers and researchers.

  • Finn

    I think you are onto something, look up “nightshade plants and arthritis”. I’ve just begun to avoid these plants, i hope it has an affect on my gout attacks.

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Last Modified: September 17, 2014