Gout: Risk factors may include honey

Certain arthritic conditions such as gout are caused by an excess of uric acid in the joints. Once provoked, the acids fuse into sharp crystals that cause painful flare-ups that last for weeks or months. While a healthy diet can offset these complications, some superfoods can contribute to a buildup of uric acid that the body cannot handle.

Foods naturally high in fructose are not recommended for gout sufferers as they cause an unfavorable increase in uric acid.

Fructose found naturally in honey makes it useful in preventing low blood sugar.

The Novak Djokovic Foundation explains that honey is also “considered a superfood” for its antibacterial and antiviral properties.

However, WebMD warns that honey is “rich in fructose,” which contributes to the release of purines as it is broken down in the body.

“A spot here and it’s okay, but keep your fructose-filled binges to a minimum,” warns the health authority.

READ MORE: The drink that can cause a crystal buildup in the joints

The Arthritis Foundation explains that purine compounds, whether they come from the body or food, increase uric acid levels.

“Excess uric acid can produce uric acid crystals, which then build up in the soft tissues and joints, causing the painful symptoms of gout.”

Therefore, the main dietary modification recommended for patients at risk of gout is a low-purine diet.

While it can be difficult to completely avoid purines, patients are advised to limit their intake whenever possible.

In 2012, a report published in Seminars in Nephrology suggested that the prevalence of uric acid levels in the general population was increasing.

Several possible reasons were cited, including increased obesity trends, Western lifestyle factors, and an increased prevalence of certain medications.

“Another notable change is that sugar-sweetened soft drinks and their associated fructose consumption have also increased significantly in recent decades,” the report said.

Limiting intake of naturally sweet foods and drinks, as well as alcohol, can help prevent future attacks.

Usually, the first joints affected by gout are those in the foot, near the big toe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that even remission from a gout attack can be short-lived, as subsequent attacks are very likely.

However, according to the health authority, remission can take weeks, months or years before another attack hits.

“Gout usually occurs in only one joint at a time. It is often found in the big toe. Along with the big toe, the joints commonly affected are the little toe joints, the ankle, and the knee,” the CDC explains.

Leave a comment