What Is Gout?
Patients with Gout typically suffer sudden, severe attacks of pain and tenderness, redness, warmth, and swelling in some joints. Gout strikes when uric acid builds up in the body to such an extent that the kidneys are unable to flush it out. (Uric acid is a substance that normally forms when the body breaks down waste products called purines.) The uric acid crystallises, then collects around the joints causing inflammation. In about 7 out of 10 cases the first area hit is the big toe, to which crystals are drawn by gravity. In addition, Gout can be inherited or happen as a complication of another condition. Insulin resistance may also play a role in the development of gout. The condition can affect anyone of any age, but typically it affects men over the age of 40 and women after menopause.
Low-Purine Anti-Gout Diet
A low-purine diet is often prescribed for individuals with gout. Purine is a compound that is mainly found in animal protein which is metabolized to uric acid in the body. A low-purine diet and medications (eg. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and allopurinol) are commonly used to treat gout. Best case: the less purine in your diet, the fewer gout attacks you are likely to suffer. Worst case: the less purine in your diet, the fewer anti-gout drugs you'll need.
Anti-Gout Diet Guidelines
1. Foods to Avoid on an Anti-Gout Diet
These foods have very high purine levels, and should be avoided completely. This list of foods is not comprehensive. Consult your doctor for a complete list.
Anchovies, Bouillon, Brains, Broth, Consommé, Dried legumes, Goose, Gravy, Heart, Herring, Kidneys, Liver, Mackerel, Meat extracts, Mussels, Partridge, Roe, Sardines, Scallops, Shrimp, Sweetbreads, Yeast (bakers and brewers), Yeast extracts (eg. Marmite, Vegemite).
2. Foods to Beware on an Anti-Gout Diet
These foods have high purine levels and should be eaten in moderation.
Fish (including shellfish), Poultry.
3. Better Foods to Help Reduce Gout Symptoms
But see your doctor for specific advice about an anti-gout diet for you.
Beverages (carbonated), Butter, Cereals and cereal products, Cheese (all kinds), Cocoa, Corn, Cornbread, Eggs, Fruit juices, Fruits, Ice cream, Milk, Noodles, Nuts, Refined wheat flour, Tapioca, Vegetables, White bread and crackers (except whole wheat, which is moderately high in purines), White rice.
Notes About Anti-Gout Diet
Other dietary suggestions include:
Comment on Diet From UK Gout Society
Dr Michael Snaith of the UK Gout Society, considers that the Atkins diet could precipitate gout, because, being a high-protein diet, it burns off fat and produces lactic acid. This then joins a queue of acids waiting to be expelled by the kidneys and uric acid levels remain high. Crystallisation follows.
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