Diet Disease Gout

Overview

Gout is one of the most painful yet treatable forms of arthritis, once known as the “disease of kings” due to the rich diet – historically associated with aristocracy – that contributes to this disease. Nowadays, unfortunately in our society, inexpensive mass-produced, calorie-rich foods and drinks are available virtually everyone, and gout has once again become a common condition.

Gout is generally caused by excess consumption of food and alcohol.

Diet and medication can greatly help the resulting adverse symptoms. In this article, you’ll find useful information about how diet affects the onset of gout and how it can be prevented.

What is gout?

Gout is a condition caused by excess levels of uric acid in the blood that crystallize creating microscopic needle-like crystals. Over time, these crystals accumulate in the joints causing inflammation and arthritis. Uric acid is formed when the body breaks down purines, which are naturally present in our tissues. The purines can also ingested when eating purine-rich foods. The kidneys normally process and eliminate excess uric acid from the body via urine; when they fail to do that – for a number of reasons – high levels of uric acid accumulate in the blood.

The typical symptoms of gout include redness, stiffness, swelling, inflammation, heat, and pain.

Causes

Today, more and more people are suffering from this diet disease, mostly due to unhealthy eating habits, such as consuming large amounts of animal protein, fat and salt. An excessive alcohol intake is also a key factor for the onset of gout.

Protein rich foods, such as meat , are high in purines, which are responsible for the release of uric acid in the bloodstream. For most people, uric acid is not an issue, as the kidneys regulate its levels in the bloodstream through normal renal processes.

A combination of causes, including an excess of purines in your daily diet, can break this process and cause gout.

Foods to avoid

To reduce your chances of contracting gout, or to get rid of it, you should avoid foods that are rich in purines, such as fatty red meats, organ meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, and dairy.

You should also pay attention to purine-rich vegetables such as peas, beans, mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, and lentils.

Beer is the only alcoholic beverage with a high-purine content; for this reason, you should avoid it.

Diet for gout disease

Before changing your diet to treat gout disease, consult a doctor or medical professional.

A balanced plant-based diet with moderate amounts of lean meats and seafood, plenty of water and a reduced alcohol intake can greatly benefit a person suffering from gout. You may also consider speaking to a nutrition professional that can create a low-purine diet plan.

Here are some health-promoting foods to include in your diet:

  • Whole grains and whole grain breads and pasta
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Red and green cabbage
  • Soy products, such as tofu and soy milk
  • Vitamin C rich foods, such as oranges, grapefruits, and red bell peppers
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • 100% fruit juices

While changing your diet to prevent gout disease, you might also end up losing weight and improving your overall health!

References

The Gout Site, http://www.thegoutsite.com/

The Journal of Rheumatology, “Gout, Diet, and the Insulin Resistance Syndrome”,https://www.jrheum.com/subscribers/02/07/1350.html

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “A case-control study of the association of diet and obesity with gout in Taiwan”, http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/4/690.short


Beau Giannini
Beau Giannini

Author