Managing Gout with Diet
June 20, 2011 by Lynn.
Gout has been called "the disease of kings" and "the rich man's disease" because of its association with a diet high in red meat and alcohol. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is the by-product of the breakdown of purines in the body.
Purines are naturally occurring substances found in all the body's cells and almost all foods, especially protein and yeast rich foods like meat and wine. As cells break down and renew themselves over time, the purines contained in the cells break down and form uric acid.
In normal quantities, uric acid is a natural and healthy antioxidant, helping to prevent damage to blood vessels. But when too much uric acid circulates in the blood, it builds up in and around the joint (usually the big toe), forming needle-like crystals which trigger the painful inflammation of gout.
Foods to Avoid
Avoiding purine rich foods plays a major role in managing and preventing gout. Fatty meat and fish should be avoided, and daily consumption of lean meat, fish and poultry should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces. Purine rich foods known to cause or worsen gout are usually high protein foods, including:
- red meat like beef and venison
- organ meats like liver and kidneys
- oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring
- shellfish such as mussels and scallops
- fatty cheeses
- peas, kidney and lima beans and lentils
- asparagus, spinach and mushrooms
- yeasty foods like marmite spread and some baked goods
- sweetened drinks
For a more complete list of purine-rich foods, refer to Gout Causing Foods on Buzzle.com.
Alcohol should be avoided or drank in moderation, especially yeasty, purine containing drinks like beer and wine. Alcohol has diuretic effects that can lead to dehydration and trigger gout attacks. Alcohol also slows down the excretion of uric acid from the kidneys, contributing to the formation of painful uric acid crystals in the joints.
It's very important for gout sufferers to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water to dilute the high levels of uric acid in their systems. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is also important, as excess pounds increase stress on the joints.
Foods to Enjoy
Gout patients benefit from a low purine, low fat diet rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole grain pasta, bread and rice. Foods high in vitamin C can help reduce uric acid levels. Some of the best foods and drinks for a gout diet are:
- Cherries and cherry juice (especially black cherries)
- Cranberries and cranberry juice
- Lime juice
- Fresh fruit, especially apples, red grapes, pineapples, bananas, oranges, blueberries and strawberries
- Low fat dairy products
- Red and green cabbage
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Red peppers
- Honey, in combination with equal amounts of apple cider vinegar
- Essential fatty acids (found in seeds, nuts, flaxseed, and many oils)
A popular home remedy gout medicine is a half-teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) in a large glass of water, four times a day. As baking soda is alkaline, it is believed to raise the body's ph level. Alkalinizing the blood is said to lessen its ability to hold uric acid. Baking soda should only be tried with your doctor's approval, as it is high in sodium, and can raise blood pressure and cause other side effects in some people.
Knowing which foods and beverages to avoid and which to eat is vital to managing gout. Gout sufferers will find that adherence to a healthy gout diet will lessen or eliminate their need for gout medication like anti-inflammatory drugs and colchicine for gout. Gout sufferers should always take a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement, as some gout medications may deplete the body of vitamins and minerals.
Filed under: Gout Food Diet.
Tags: gout diet, gout food, gout causes, gout medications, colchicine for gout, colchicine, buy colchicine, gout treatment and prevention, colchicine information.
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