What Causes Gout Flare Ups & How To Get Rid Of It
Gout is a common condition that affects many people. It is painful and the first flare ups of gout can be shocking. Gout flare ups are actually painful inflammation of the joints. They are caused by the uric acids. The uric acids are sharp needle like crystals that build up in the bone joints. Though many people think that the gout flare ups occur out of nowhere, they are actually caused by a number of factors that trigger the condition over time. Amongst these, the most common ones are certain foods, medicines, drinks and sometimes, even stress can be a major cause.
Help Prevent Gout Flares With Weight Loss
In addition to avoiding problematic foods, there are also many steps people with or prone to gout can take to help reduce their chances of flare ups.Harboring excess body fat increases the risk of gout. Uric acid is eliminated through the kidneys, and being overweight or obese . The major culprit behind this is belly fat. This isn’t the fat that sits directly under the skin it’s the visceral type that wraps around the organs. Visceral fat releases chemicals that promote systemic inflammation and lead to related metabolic diseases, including insulin resistance. Weight loss reduces inflammation and gout attack risk.
Foods To Avoid When You Have A Gout Flare Up
Gout is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream, and there are certain foods that promote the production of uric acid because theyre high in purine. If youve had gout flare ups in the past, its likely youll have them again, and your food choices are critical for keeping your joints free of pain.
Don’t Miss: Gout And Tofu
Should I Cut Out Purine
There is very little scientific proof that avoiding the purine-rich foods listed above can successfully reduce gout attacks. You may miss out on important nutrients and vitamins by completely cutting these foods from your diet.
If you notice certain foods trigger your gout attacks, you may benefit from cutting down the amounts of those foods in your diet. However not all purine-rich foods are thought to cause gout. For example, a number of vegetables are also rich in purines but appear less likely to cause gout than diets containing meat and shellfish.
Dairy foods, which can contain purines, actually appear to lower the risk of gout. For most people with gout, a healthy balanced diet is all that is needed, alongside medicines to reduce uric acid levels. Most people taking medicines to reduce uric acid levels find they can still eat purine-rich foods without attacks of gout by being careful with the quantity they eat.
Health Conditions And Treatments
Certain drugs, health problems, and lifestyle choices can trigger gout, too.
Medications. Aspirin, certain diuretics for high blood pressure , and drugs for people who had organ transplants can trigger gout. After a flare, go over all the medicines you take with your doctor. If needed, they should be able to find another option.
Being overweight. When you slim down, you can protect yourself from another flare.
Fasting or crash diets. If you lose weight too quickly or fast, you could raise your chances of an attack.
High blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, and heart disease. These health conditions make you more likely to have gout, especially if you donât get treatment. Work with your doctor to keep them under control.
Injuries or surgery. When your body is stressed or sick, youâre more likely to have a flare. Of course, you canât always avoid this trigger. But if you need to have an operation, make sure your doctor knows youâve had gout in the past.
Recommended Reading: How Many Cherries Should I Eat For Gout
Holiday Eating Guide: Food And Beverages That Can Trigger Gout
With the holiday season upon us, its important for people suffering from Gout to be aware of the risks associated with traditional meals served at Thanksgiving and during the holidays. Gout flare-ups are especially true this time of year as people tend to consume larger portion sizes than usual.
People are more likely to eat and drink alcohol in excess during the holiday season, and the next thing you know, your knee, ankle, or big toe starts throbbing in the middle of the night, says Dr. Rock G. Positano, Founder and Director of the Non-surgical Foot and Ankle Service and the Joe DiMaggio Sports Medicine Center at HSS. You get out of bed and your foot is red, hot, swollen and you cant place any weight on it.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is genetic in nature, and results from an excess of uric acid in the blood. In people with gout, uric acid crystallizes in the joints causing painful attacks in the affected body part often, initially, a big toe, but other joints such as the ankle, foot or knees, may also be susceptible.
In 85 to 90% of first attacks, a single joint is usually involved with the big toe being the most commonly affected site, says HSS rheumatologist, Dr. Allan Gibofsky.
The following is a guide so that when you gather with friends and family for a festive meal, you will be aware of the foods and beverages that have high amounts of purine in them and can increase risk.
Health Conditions Responsible For Gout Flare Ups:
Sometimes, stress due to health conditions like pneumonia or medical procedures such as visiting the hospital or undergoing a surgery may also increase your uric acid levels. If you are visiting the doctor or have fallen sick or are going to the hospital for a surgery, make sure that you tell your doctor that you have gout.
Don’t Miss: Is Onions Good For Gout
Alcohol Can Cause Gout Flare Ups
Alcohol is something that not only increases the uric acid level in the blood, but also makes it difficult for the body to get rid of the uric acid. However, when it comes to alcohol, just like meat, some types of alcohol are still better than the others. While beer is a strict no, wine can still be consumed in rare occasions.
Foods That Cause Gout Flare Ups
Sep 21, 2018Kate HarvestonSave For Later
The development of gout is influenced by several uncontrollable factors like genetics and age, which means the best way to prevent the swelling and intense pain of a gout attack is to work with a doctor regularly. However, some factors that contribute to gout, such as diet and weight, are more under an individuals control.
Because suffering from gout can be so painful, many people may want to take measures to prevent flare-ups as much as possible. Luckily, by avoiding certain gout-inducing foods in addition to taking medication and following a doctors recommendations its possible to prevent some attacks.
Recommended Reading: Allopurinol And Alcohol Interaction
Are Prawns And Shrimps Safe For Gout Sufferers
As always when considering which foods can form part of a safe gout diet, we first have to look at their purine content:
Purines are a natural compound found in the cells of the human body and in the food we eat. Different foods have varying concentrations of purine.
During the bodys metabolic process, purines in our bodies and in the food we consume breakdown and produce uric acid as a byproduct.
High levels of uric acid in the blood a condition called hyperuricemia is the root cause of gout.
- More purines consumed: more uric acid produced and higher gout risk.
- Less purines consumed: less uric acid produced and lower gout risk.
In other words, gout sufferers need to manage their total purine intake from foods, which usually means completely avoiding high purine content foods, although foods with moderate amounts of purines may be consumed sparingly, whilst there is a load of low-purine food that is perfectly safe to eat.
So lets take a look at the purine content of prawns and shrimps
Lemon Juices Effect On Gout
A 2017 study found that lemon juice and lemon extract help to lower uric acid levels in blood. Adults with high uric acid levels drank freshly squeezed lemon juice every day for six weeks. The same research trial tested lemon fruit extract on mice with high uric acid. The mice also showed lowered levels of this acid.
Another clinical study reviewed the blood tests of 75 adults who drank freshly squeezed lemonade every day. The study included:
- people with gout
- people with high uric acid levels but no gout symptoms
- people without gout or high uric acid
After six weeks, all the groups showed lower levels of uric acid.
The studies concluded that lemons and lemon juice might be a useful remedy to help treat gout along with medications and other dietary changes. Lemon juice may also help prevent gout in people with high uric acid levels. Its possible that even those with normal levels of uric acid may benefit using lemon juice to balance blood acid.
Also Check: Is Pickle Juice Good For Gout
How Much Seafood Can I Eat
- If you are in the midst of an active gout attack, do not eat any fish or shellfish.
- If you are in-between gout attacks and working on gout prevention, you may enjoy seafood with a moderate purine level a few times per week.
- If you have taken the steps to make your body totally gout-proof, you may enjoy seafood with a high purine level a few times per month.
Bottom Line: You should steer clear of all fish and shellfish when recovering from a gout attack, but you can enjoy them occasionally once you learn how to gain control over the root cause of gout!
Instead Of Organ Meats Try Eggs
Consumption of organ meats has increased with the popularity of the Paleo Diet. Animal organ meats, such as sweetbreads , tripe , liver, brains, and kidneys are very high in purine and should be avoided if you suffer from gout. Consider substituting eggs, which are nutritionally comparable to organs but lower in fat. Eggs are good sources of vitamins A, D, and B12 choline, iron, selenium, and zinc.
Also Check: Almond Milk Gout
Purine Content Of Prawns And Shrimps
There a many purine content tables out there that list the purine content and its uric acid equivalent for different foods and ingredients.
Unfortunately they dont always agree with one another there are some variances in purine numbers given for certain foods and even in how they categorize purine levels as being high, moderate or low.
But, even taking all that into account, prawns and shrimps are generally recognized as being high in purines, i.e., producing more than 200 mg uric acid per 3.5 oz food serving, with some types, such as the Oriental shrimp, producing more than 300 mg uric acid per 100g serving according to one table at least which is considered very high.
So, to be totally safe, we should accept that these shellfish are unsuitable for our gout diet and should be completely avoided.
And this has been confirmed in several studies. Here are the conclusions of just three of such studies that looked into the impact of seafood on gout risk:
Higher levels of meat and seafood consumption are associated with an increased risk of gout, whereas a higher level of consumption of dairy products is associated with a decreased risk. Moderate intake of purine-rich vegetables or protein is not associated with an increased risk of gout. ~Hyon K. Choi et al.
Note: My guide Gout Rescue has detailed information on high, moderate, and low purine foods and ingredients, along with daily meal ideas for gout sufferers.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Effective In The Treatment Of Pseudogout
There are no scientific research on apple cider vinegars effectiveness in the treatment of gout. ACV, on the other hand, may help you lose weight and decrease inflammation, lowering the quantity of uric acid in your bloodstream. They discovered that the vinegar helped the rats feel fuller faster, causing them to lose weight.
Don’t Miss: Onion And Gout
Do I Need To Stop Drinking Alcohol With Gout
Yes, its a good idea to cut out alcohol. Alcohol molecules in your body tend to increase uric acid levels, so drinking can push you over the edge and into a flare-up. If youre newly diagnosed and start taking medication, try cutting out alcohol at first. Your doctor may allow you to add a small amount back into your diet over time as your uric acid levels come down. But even then, its best to avoid beer and liquor and stick to safer choices such as red wine, Dr. Burg says.
All myths aside, the best advice for people with gout is to eat fresh, unprocessed foods. Choose complex carbohydrates over refined carbs from packaged or processed foods. And always drink plenty of water because dehydration is a risk factor for an acute attack.
Nutritional Value And Purine Content In Chicken
Chicken is a lean meat with high nutritional value, but people with gout , also known as gouty arthritis, need to be careful about the cuts they choose, how much they eat, and how they prepare their chicken. Moderation is a key.
If you have gout, you need to consume chicken carefully. Chicken has a considerable amount of purines, chemical substances found in every cell in our body and a lot of foods. A healthy supply of purines can protect blood vessels, but an excessive amount can cause flare-ups in gout. Research has shown that excess purine intake causes high uric acid levels and result in uric acid crystals in your joints , which can be extremely painful and even disabling.
Theresa Chiechi / Verywell
You May Like: Almond Milk And Gout
How To Determine The Right Foods For Gout Sufferers
There are a few different considerations when planning your gout diet and most of these factors have something to do with the purines in the diet. The purine content is the factor that determines whether or not certain foods are suitable for gout sufferers.
Purines are naturally found in most of your cells as well as the food you have. But then, different foods have higher amounts of purines than others. The metabolic process breaks purines down and turns them into uric acid, which is then eliminated. Gout occurs when there is too much uric acid inside the body and cannot be eliminated the affection is known as hyperuricemia and represents the main cause of gout.
The more purines you have, the higher the risk of gout becomes simple as that.
Is Shrimp Bad For Gout
Shrimps are associated with gout along with red meat and alcoholic beverages like beer. Opposite to shrimps, a high consumption of dairy items such as cheese or milk will decrease the risks of uric acid. To be perfectly safe, you should avoid high purine foods at all. However, moderate amounts of purines every now and then are normally considered safe especially if the source is based on vegetables, rather than animal products.
Some may believe that a few shrimps every now and then will not necessarily trigger gout attacks indeed, they will not. But those who have experienced gout before are likely to trigger it again, so it is better to avoid shrimps at all.
Don’t Miss: Black Cherry Juice For Gout Cvs
Dont Be Scared Of Beans Legumes Vegetables
The most inconsistent recommendations are for beans, legumes and certain vegetables. No source indicated to avoid these food groups. However, many state they are high risk like some seafood.
From this particular purine table, beans, lentils and peanuts have far less purines than the other food groups mentioned previously. Therefore, they are not as high-risk for gout. Keep in mind, cured or dried food, such as beans, will have a higher purine concentration per weight because of shrinkage.
Some sources caution eating asparagus, cauliflower, peas, chickpeas, spinach and broccoli because it contains more purines than most vegetables. However, the purine amounts for asparagus, spinach and broccoli are less than half of pork or beef. Lastly, a recent study concluded purine-rich vegetables are less of a risk than animal based purines.
Why Lemon Juice May Be Helpful
Lemon juice may help balance uric acid levels because it helps make the body more alkaline. This means it slightly raises the pH level of blood and other fluids. Lemon juice also makes your urine more alkaline.
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, this happens because drinking lemon juice causes your body to release more calcium carbonate. The calcium mineral bonds to uric acid and breaks it down to water and other compounds. This makes your blood less acidic and lowers uric acid levels in the body.
Read Also: Is Onion Bad For Gout
Which Foods Are Safe For Gout
Find out which foods to eat and which to avoid if you have gout.
Question: I havegout. Can you tell me which fruits, vegetables, meats or seafoods I should eat or avoid? Is there any type of alcohol wine, beer, spirits that is better or worse for me than others?
Answer: Dietary management of gout is very restrictive and doesnt always work to control gout, so a combination of medication and diet may be the best way to treat your gout. In addition to medications that treat the inflammation and other symptoms that occur during a gout attack, medications exist that can treat the underlying metabolic condition of hyperuricemia too much uric acid in the blood.Hyperuricemia can occur either when the body produces too much uric acid or when the body does not excrete enough uric acid. Drugs exist to treat both causes.
Purine compounds, whether produced in the body or from eating high-purine foods, can raise uric acid levels. Excess uric acid can produce uric acid crystals, which then build up in soft tissues and joints, causing the painful symptoms of gout. Dietary management focuses on reducing the amount of uric acid in the system and attaining and maintaining a healthy bodyweight.
The primary dietary modification traditionally recommended is a low-purine diet. Avoiding purines completely is impossible, but strive to limit them. You can learn by trial and error what your personal limit is and which foods cause you problems.
High-Purine Foods Include: