11/11/2010 05:46 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Why Drinking Sweet Fizzy Drinks Could Be A Pain

If you haven't made the switch to diet fizzy drinks yet, here's another good reason why you should seriously consider it. While non-diet colas and sweetened juice aren't good for your teeth or your waistline, researchers from Boston claim drinking more than two glasses a day could also increase your risk of developing gout.

Drinking too many non-diet fizzy drinks could lead to gout. Photo: MorgueFile, o0o0xmods0o0o

But isn't gout something only older men suffer from? Well it's true that men are three or four times as likely to develop gout than women, and that it's mostly the over-40s who are affected. But according to statistics, the number of women suffering from gout has doubled in the last 20 years.

Gout is an incredibly painful form of arthritis, so if there's something you can do now to reduce your risk of developing it in the future, it may well pay to do so. And according to the Boston researchers - who studied the diets of around 80,000 women - giving up drinks that are high in a type of sugar called fructose could be a good place to start.

The scientists discovered women who drank two or more glasses of non-diet soda or sweetened fruit juice were more than twice as likely to develop gout than women who hardly ever drank sugary drinks.

Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood, leading it to accumulate in your joints, which makes them swollen, inflamed and very tender. However gout is still relatively rare, and at least where drinking fruit juice is concerned the benefits may well override the risks of developing it (especially if you drink no-added-sugar juice).

Have you ever had gout? Was it as painful as it sounds?