Beer and Joint Pain

A pint of beer on a wooden bar.
Image Credit: Maksim Koval/iStock/Getty Images

Drinking beer should not cause joint pain unless you already have arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation in the soft tissue that connects your joints, called cartilage. Beer contains various ingredients that may trigger an immune system reaction that will have a direct effect on your arthritis pain, according to the Center for Food Allergies. The conditions that will cause an immune system reaction from drinking beer are celiac disease, wheat allergy and histamine intolerance. Avoid drinking beer until you are able to see your doctor and receive a clinical diagnosis.

Arthritis Explained

Arthritis is a chronic inflammation in one or more of your joints that can cause minor to severe pain. The disease breaks down cartilage and places excessive pressure on your joints because of the swelling. As your cartilage is worn away, your pain will increase because of lack of absorption of the shock of walking, running and moving. The most common causes of arthritis, according to PubMed Health, include broken bones, an autoimmune disease, general wear on your joints and an infection in your joints. If your arthritis pain is worse when you eat certain foods, you should avoid those foods to prevent your symptoms.

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Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a hypersensitivity to the protein gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, barely and rye, common grains used to make beer. If you have celiac disease and you drink beer, your immune system attacks the lining of your small intestines, leading to stomach pain, diarrhea and bloating. Although this condition is not fully understood, it is known that consuming gluten will cause an adverse immune system reaction, which increases inflammation throughout the body and may cause joint pain. There is no cure for celiac disease, and containing to consume products that contain gluten can cause long-term complications.

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Wheat Allergy

Wheat is one of the main grains used to make beer. If you are allergic to wheat, consuming beer will trigger an allergic reaction that will cause joint pain and other unwanted symptoms. The Center for Food Allergies states that food-related allergies are the leading cause of arthritis pain. During an allergic reaction to wheat, your immune system unleashes chemicals that cause inflammation in soft tissues throughout your body. Along with joint pain, you may develop sinus congestion, shortness of breath, diarrhea, stomach pain and skin rashes, according to the Food Allergy Research and Education website.

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Histamine Intolerance

Histamine is a by-product of the brewing process and can trigger joint pain if you are histamine-intolerant. Histamine is a natural hormone in the body that helps protect the body, but if you have an intolerance to histamine, your soft tissues will become inflamed, causing similar symptoms of an allergy within minutes of ingesting beer.

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Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911. If you think you may have COVID-19, use the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker.
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