Fast-forward to, well, now, when my beer consumption has been as close to zero as makes no difference (less than 500ml a week), for around 3 months,** and it’s finally sunk in that, while I have enough pain to be going on with, very little is from the joints worst affected by osteo-arthritis – my hips, knees, hands, and the dozens of tiny joints in my feet.
**For most of that time I’ve been so ill that just the thought of beer nauseated me and, while that’s no longer a problem, the habit of most of my adult life has been well and truly broken.
This seems to be good enough proof that beer – and other booze (purines are present to a greater or lesser degree in most alcoholic products, if not all) – has greatly exacerbated my condition for years. It’s also clear that while the occasional bottle does no harm, long sessions in the pub certainly do. Or did, at least.
It’s true, too, that enforced inactivity will have subjected my joints to less stress, hence less pain but, really, I’m not a great deal less active now than I was – the major difference is that I no longer go to the pub once a week to drink a lot of beer.
Bottom line, then – if you have arthritis, gout, or any other condition that can be exacerbated by the consumption of substances with a high purine content, the best thing you can do is cut them right back, or eliminate them.