Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when urate crystals form in the body’s tissues, typically in or around joints. This is caused by a build up of uric acid in the blood, also known as hyperuricemia. The excess uric acid can be a result of decreased excretion, increased production, or a diet high in purines. Gout medication is often prescribed to help manage the symptoms and lower the level of uric acid in the blood.
Foods that Trigger Gout: Avoid These Eats
- Diet High in Purines
Eating mindfully is key to maintaining a healthy diet, and one aspect to pay attention to is the purine content in your food. Purines, which are naturally occurring chemicals found in DNA and RNA, can lead to an excess of uric acid in the body when broken down. While some purines are necessary for the body to function properly, consuming too many high-purine foods can lead to gout, a painful type of arthritis. To prevent gout attacks, be mindful of the purine content in foods such as red meat, shellfish, and beer.
It is recommended to avoid drinking beverages that contain high-fructose corn syrup, such as regular sodas or fruit drinks, as they can cause the body to produce more uric acid. A study published in BMJ Open in 2016 also found that consuming more fructose can increase the risk of developing gout.
Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients found in food and provide energy for our body. While healthy carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables should be part of a balanced diet, processed carbs like white bread, cakes, white rice, and chips should be avoided by people with gout. These types of refined carbohydrates lead to an increase in uric acid levels which can then trigger a gout attack.
On top of this, high-sugar foods like candy, soda, and muffins also contain refined carbs so it’s best to keep away from these if you have gout.
Fasting is an important part of lifestyle changes for those who suffer from gout. But while fasting is a great way to give your body a break from poor eating habits, it’s not always the best choice in terms of gout management.
Fasting has been known to trigger sudden attacks of pain due to drops in blood sugar levels that occur during times when we are not consuming food or drinks. This can be especially dangerous for people with gout since sudden changes like this can cause the uric acid levels in the body to spike and result in painful flare-ups.
Treatments for Gout
Gout is a form of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. Treatment for gout includes both short-term and long-term measures to reduce pain, inflammation, and prevent future gout attacks. The following are some common treatments for gout:
- Relief from Gout Attack: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen can provide quick relief from the pain and inflammation of a gout attack.
- Corticosteroids: These medications, such as prednisone, can also provide fast relief from gout symptoms. They are usually given as a shot directly into the affected joint.
- Colchicine: This medication is used to prevent gout attacks. Colchicine can be taken orally as soon as gout symptoms appear, to prevent them from worsening.
- Uric Acid-Lowering Drugs: These medications, such as allopurinol and febuxostat, can help prevent gout attacks by reducing the amount of uric acid in the body.
- Lifestyle Changes: Drinking plenty of water, eating a healthy diet low in purines, and avoiding alcohol and sugary drinks can also help prevent gout attacks. -Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help with range of motion, strength, and function.
- Surgery: In rare cases, surgery may be recommended to remove the uric acid crystals from the affected joint.
It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for gout.
Combatting Gout: The Role of Nutrition in Managing Symptoms
Foods that may help protect against gout attacks include those high in vitamin C, low-fat dairy products, and plant oils. A diet rich in vegetables can also help clear purines from the body. It is also important to stay hydrated by consuming fluids such as water, non-sweetened juice, tea, and coffee to keep blood and urine flowing.
The Link between Obesity and Gout: How Losing Weight Can Help Manage Uric Acid Levels
Being overweight can lead to higher levels of uric acid in the body. The additional pounds can cause the body to produce more uric acid and decrease the amount that is eliminated through urine. Rather than trying quick-fix diets, it is recommended to speak with a nutrition expert to develop a healthy eating plan for weight loss. Your healthcare provider can also suggest an appropriate weight goal for your body type.
Gout is a problem that affects many people and can be painful and debilitating. It’s essential to understand the different causes of gout, such as high uric acid levels, certain foods, and lifestyle triggers. These factors can lead to an attack of gout if not managed properly. If you’re living with gout, the best thing you can do is speak with your doctor about treatment options and other strategies for managing symptoms.
Krishma Patel is the Co-founder and the Superintendent Pharmacist at MedsNow, an online pharmacy in the UK that provides health and wellness products and treatments along with free online consultations. She is passionate about showcasing the integral function community pharmacies can play in supporting the healthcare system and the NHS by providing patients with high quality, safe and discreet access to healthcare at their convenience. Along with being the co-founder of MedsNow, Krishma is also the Director and the Superintendent Pharmacist of Enimed Ltd., an independent pharmacy group comprising 32 branches