Carbonated drinks have become a dietary staple. However, studies conducted in recent years indicate several ill effects of the drinks on ones health. Contrary to perception that they are healthy, people are realizing the effect of carbonated drinks like worsening of dental health, obesity, weakening of bones, calcium depletion etc. Another disease related to over consumption of carbonated drinks is gout which is elevated levels of uric acid in blood stream. One of the major causes of the disease is the consumption of foods high in fructose especially high fructose corn syrup. This is typically what exists in carbonated soft drinks. The condition involves deposition of uric acid crystals in joints, tendons and surrounding tissues.
Gout occurs when uric acid crystals in the form of monosodium urate are formed. Uric acid is a regular component of blood serum. It is formed when body breaks down waste products called purines. It is normally dissolved in blood and through the kidney into the urine. However, in those suffering from gout the levels are so high that crystals are formed. The formation of crystal occurs mainly due to hyperuricemia. Hyperuricemia need not necessarily mean people have gout. The high levels of uric acid are often due to protein rich foods. The crystals are deposited in joints, joint lining and other tissues which may lead to inflammation of joints.
The serum level is affected due to diet as well excretion. Studies conducted suggest high purine animal flesh foods including beef, seafood, etc increase the risk of gout. Similarly, sugary soft drinks can also increase the risk of gout. This is associated with the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) that is added as sweetener in soft drinks which leads to hyperuricemia. Most soft drinks contain HFCS and the diet drinks contain artificial sweeteners. Considering the contents of soft drinks, it is a good idea to avoid soft drinks if you are diagnosed as having gout or hyperuricemia. Beer is also considered as a cause as brewers’ yeasts are rich in purine. However, now-a-days there is lesser amount of yeast used and further studies are needed on this matter.
When uric acid levels are elevated you may experience fever, fatigue, chills or notice inflammation of joints. In such cases you should visit your doctor or health care provider and mention the medication or foods that you may be taking. The doctor should be able to prescribe you appropriate timely treatment so that crystal deposition is limited. Heat therapy may also be useful as crystals in general can dissolve easily at higher temperatures. Heat therapy may be able to cure both acute and chronic gout. Hot pads and hot baths can be of great help to cure uric acid crystals formed in the joints.
Carbonated drinks are acidic in nature as well as often contain high amounts of HFCS which can cause formation of uric acid crystals leading to gout or hyperuricemia. It is better to avoid carbonated drinks and avoid a factor causing uric acid crystals.
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