Contributed by: Rachana Arya
Gout is a form of arthritis caused by an excess of uric acid in the blood. Excess uric acid can cause a buildup of fluid around the joints, resulting in uric acid crystals.
These needle-like crystals in your joint and the surrounding tissue cause inflammation in the joints, resulting in excruciating pain.
The pain can interfere with walking, household chores, and everyday activities.
In addition, if left untreated, it can become a chronic condition leading to a number of life-threatening complications including:
The good news is that gout can be controlled. Aside from short- and long-term medications, limiting the intake of purine-rich foods, exercising, and — perhaps the most important — being mindful of what you eat can aid in the prevention of gout development and gout attacks.
A gout-friendly diet can not only aid in the prevention of painful gout attacks but also benefit overall dietary health.
Find out which foods to eat — and which to avoid — to help prevent symptoms.
What foods should you stay away from?
A gout-friendly diet will aid in the regulation of uric acid levels in the body while also improving general health.
Gout can be caused by consuming an excessive amount of the following foods:
- Animal-based foods
- High-fructose drinks
All of these foods are high in purine. Keeping this in mind, a gout diet should avoid or limit the following foods.
How do animal proteins affect people with gout?
Studies examining the relationship between diet and gout show that people who habitually consume purine-rich foods like meat and seafood have higher uric acid levels. This is due to the fact that animal proteins tend to contain large quantities of purines. Because purine accumulation can result in elevated amounts of uric acid, it’s better to avoid or strictly limit them.
These foods are high in purines and should be consumed in moderation:
How does alcohol affect people with gout?
Alcohol is the worst offender if you have gout, as it hampers the elimination of uric acid from the body.
Emerging evidence suggests that this disturbance is caused by excessive quantities of purine in alcoholic beverages.
Research studies indicate that consuming two or more beers a day might double the risk of a gout attack.
Also, consuming beer during a gout attack might dramatically worsen the severity of the symptoms.
To prevent further gout attacks, stick to these guidelines:
- Avoid alcohol during a flare-up
- Limit wine consumption
- Avoid beer and distilled liquors
How do high-fructose drinks affect people with gout?
Despite the fact that fructose-rich beverages do not have a significant concentration of purines, yet, they have been demonstrated to raise the risk of setting off painful gout.
This is due to the fact that they contain large amounts of fructose, which is the only carbohydrate known to increase uric acid levels in the blood.
Additionally, these beverages are heavy in calories and also contribute to obesity, which is itself a risk for gout.
It has been demonstrated that your uric acid levels rise within minutes after you drink high fructose corn syrup-sweetened soda, fruit-flavoured drinks, and soft drinks.
To prevent gout attacks, stick to these guidelines:
- Avoid foods or beverages that contain high fructose corn syrup
- Limit the amount of naturally sweet fruit juices you drink
- Avoid added sugars such as honey, malt sugar, cane sugar etc.
What lifestyle changes can help gout?
It’s important to understand that in addition to a low-purine diet, management of gout entails some lifestyle changes that can help reduce or eliminate gout symptoms.
For lowering serum urate levels below saturation, follow the below guidelines:
- Maintain a moderate weight
- Exercise regularly exercise
- Stay adequately hydrated
- Control hypertension
The number of people living with this painful form of arthritis has doubled in the past few decades, an increase experts attribute to potential shifts in diet and lifestyle.
However, it is important that you should consult a rheumatologist if you have sudden, sharp pain in a joint that doesn’t improve or worsens.
Furthermore, you should also frequently opt for arthritis screening. This health check can provide you with a comprehensive insight into your health, allowing you to take necessary precautions to stay at the top of your health.