How Can You Tell If Tomatoes Are A Trigger For You
The best way to tell if tomatoes are a trigger for you is to eliminate all tomato products from your diet for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve. Keeping a detailed record of what you eat for a while can help you pinpoint which foods might be triggering you.
Keep a food journal, record the following details each day:
- How you slept the night before
- What you eat for each meal and snack, including all beverages and condiments
- How much water you drink
- Your mood throughout the day
- What physical activity and exercise you do
- All medications and supplements you take
- Your areas and levels of pain in your body throughout the day
- Your energy or fatigue level throughout the day
See if any patterns emerge that could be connected to your diet or something else. Showing this record to your healthcare provider could also help uncover underlying triggers.
A gout attack is not pleasant.
The pain is so bad that sufferers are often hospitalised for days, if not weeks.
More importantly, gout is typically indicative of other more serious health issues behind the scenes Like a window into the state of an individuals metabolic health.
Unfortunately the occurrence, or recurrence of gout is only getting worse.
Rates are on the rise from China to the UK, and it is now the most common inflammatory arthritis in the US .
What Can You Drink If You Have Gout
Foods arenât the only thing that can affect uric acid. What you drink matters, too.
Itâs a good idea to drink lots of fluids — 8 to 16 cups a day. At least half of what you drink should be water. Vitamin C also can help lower uric acid, but studies also show that the high fructose in OJ may boost uric acid levels, so drink it in moderation. Caffeinated coffee can cut uric acid, too, as long as you donât overdo it.
Stay away from sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice. You also may need to limit or avoid alcohol as well. Talk with your doctor to find out whatâs right for you.
While a healthy diet can help control how much uric acid is in your system, you may still need medicine to prevent future attacks. Talk with your doctor about all your treatment options.
Using Tart Cherry Juice For Gout
Tart cherry juice may help decrease uric acid levels and inflammation in gout. Research is limited, with often small numbers of study participants and short-term follow-up.
Nevertheless, a 2019 review of six studies that looked at the effect of cherry juice or cherry extract intake on gout concluded that cherry intake was associated with a reduced risk of gout attacks. Researchers did note that larger, more long-term studies are needed to clarify this association.
When choosing tart cherry juice, be sure to look for unsweetened varieties to help reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet.
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Can I Drink Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of a gout attack as it can raise the level of uric acid in your blood. While it is possible to control gout attacks without completely cutting out alcohol, try to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink and avoid binge drinking . Talk to your doctor or read the Australian government guidelines on recommended alcohol intake.
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How Does Food Affect Gout
If you have gout, certain foods may trigger an attack by raising your uric acid levels.
Trigger foods are commonly high in purines, a substance found naturally in foods. When you digest purines, your body makes uric acid as a waste product .
This is not a concern for healthy people, as they efficiently remove excess uric acid from the body.
However, people with gout cant efficiently remove excess uric acid. Thus, a high-purine diet may let uric acid accumulate and cause a gout attack (
However, there is one exception to this rule. Research shows that high-purine vegetables do not trigger gout attacks .
And interestingly, fructose and sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk of gout and gout attacks, even though theyre not purine-rich (
For instance, a study including over 125,000 participants found that people who consumed the most fructose had a 62% higher risk of developing gout .
Summary: Foods can either raise or lower your uric acid levels, depending on their purine content. However, fructose can raise your uric acid levels even though it is not purine-rich.
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Is High Fructose Corn Syrup A Problem
Yes, absolutely. High-fructose corn syrup is a known factor for gout flare-ups because it raises uric acid levels in your body. Its also used in far more pre-packaged and processed foods than you might think. When youre grocery shopping, always check nutrition labels. If corn syrup is an ingredient in a product, dont buy it.
Keep Track Of Your Triggers
Gout triggers differ from person to person. Some people can eat a steak or drink an occasional beer with no problems. Others canât tolerate a bite or a sip without a flare. So you need to learn what yourtriggers are.
Keep a diary of what you eat for a while. That way, you can go back and see whether you can link flares with specific foods. Then youâll know what you really need to avoid.
Along with avoiding triggers, here are other things you can do to stay healthy and prevent flares:
- See your doctor regularly. You may need adjust your dose of gout medication over time.
- Always have medicine on hand for flares. The faster you take it, the sooner you can control the symptoms.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and plant proteins . Cut down on processed foods .
- Get regular exercise.
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Things To Cut Down On
Meat and seafood
High intakes of red meat and seafood are associated with a greater risk of gout because of their high purine content and impact on uric acid production.
Foods that contain yeast, such as Vegemite and Marmite, are also high in purine.
Fructose is a simple sugar found in honey, fruit, some vegetables and sweeteners. Fructose increases purine metabolism, raising blood uric acid levels.
Avoid sweeteners high in fructose such as honey, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, golden syrup and palm sugar. Check your tolerance for fruits, vegetables and other foods high in fructose.
Uric acid levels tend to be higher in people who regularly consume sugar-sweetened drinks. Those drinking one to two sugar-sweetened soft drinks a day are almost twice as likely to have gout as those who drink only one a month.
When it comes to whole fruit, results are not clear. While one study found a higher risk of gout with higher fruit intakes, another found a lower risk. The opposing results are partly confounded by the variation in fructose content of different fruits.
The effect of specific alcoholic beverages on blood uric acid levels varies. Beer is high in purine and increases uric acid more than spirits, while moderate wine intake appears neutral.
Organ Meats Are Extremely High In Purines And Should Also Be Avoided
Organ meats, known as Offal, contain by far the most purines of any food in the human diet.
The most common forms of offal in the Western diet include liver , brain, heart, kidneys, and a mixture called Pâté.
Purine Content of Food :
Consider that values listed are per 100 grams, so portion sizes must be taken into account Meat portions we eat tend to be heaviest.
Previous studies have not differentiated between intake of conventional meat and offal, so recommendations have to be the same. Given the strong link between meat intake and gout which is based on purine content alone offal should definitely be avoided too.
Somewhat contradictory to the purine-gout theory, consumption of purine-rich vegetables is not associated with an increased risk of gout .
Researchers speculate this could be due to a lower bioavailability of purines in vegetabes, as well as other nutrients which may offset the harmful effects of their purines.
Summary: Organ meats are some of the highest purine foods and should be completely avoided if you suffer gout attacks.
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Foods To Eat For People With Gout
An outlier to the rule is purine-rich vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, or mushrooms. These foods are shown to lower the risk of flare-ups. Fruits, especially cherries, are recommended as alternatives to other sugary snacks.
Also “lean meat, like chicken and turkey, is okay. Leafy greens and vegetable protein like soy are also a good source,” says Singh. “Moderation is the key and avoiding the foods is the most important thing.”
- Breakfast: Swap out the ham and bacon for an equally salty, smoky option like an omelet with smoked Gouda and Chipotle Tabasco sauce. Or try something totally different like some yogurt with fresh fruit. Try to avoid flavored yogurts since some of them may contain high-fructose corn syrup.
- Lunch: Swap your favorite burger for a grilled chicken sandwich or veggie burger. And instead of that side of chips, crackers, or pre-packaged cookies, try a fresh piece of fruit or if you want something more savory, some grilled vegetables or stuffed mushrooms. Wash it down with a bottle of kombucha or carbonated water instead of a beer.
- Dinner: Swap your shellfish platter for another, low-purine, fish like salmon. Researchers have also found that you can reduce the amount of purine in certain high-purine fish including turbot, European barracuda, beltfish, Japanese Spanish mackerel, and sea catfish by boiling it, which transfers the purine from the fish to the boiling water.
Home Remedies For Gout Flares
While you taking medication to fight the pain and inflammation during a gout flare, there are a few other simple gout home remedies you can use to ease the discomfort. Rest is important try to keep the impacted joint higher than your heart. Ice may also be helpful, because it brings down swelling. Research shows that ice is particularly soothing for gout if youre dealing with a different type of arthritis, a heating pad may be a better choice.
Some people also say that eating cherries or drinking tart cherry juice helps during a gout flare. While studies have shown that cherry lovers may be less likely to have frequent gout flares, its not clear whether loading up on this fruit during an attack will make an immediate difference. Cherries may be helpful because theyre rich in antioxidants, and tart cherries may help lower uric acid levels .
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Plenty Of Starchy Carbohydrates
These may include rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, couscous, quinoa, barley or oats, and should be included at each meal time. These foods contain only small amounts of purines, so these along with fruit and vegetables should make up the basis of your meals. Wholegrain varieties are better choices as they contain more fibre and nutrients.
Processed Foods And Refined Carbs
The modern Western diet is often high in processed foods and refined carbohydrates. In addition, processed foods and refined carbohydrates have been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.
A 2017 study looked at gout incidence in people who followed either a Western diet or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet. The researcher found the DASH diet was associated with a lower risk of gout, whereas the Western diet was associated with a higher risk of gout.
To help prevent gout symptoms, its best to limit highly processed foods and beverages and foods high in refined carbohydrates, such as sweets, baked goods and pastries, chips, crackers, cookies, candies, soda, ice cream, white breads, and some pre-made frozen meals.
Eating highly processed foods and refined carbohydrates in moderation will not only help with your gout, but your overall health as well.
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Symptoms Of Gout Flares
Gout is a type of arthritis that flares and subsides, especially at first. Common symptoms of a gout flare include:
- Intense joint pain that comes on suddenly, often in the middle of the night
- Most commonly affects the big toe can occur in other toe joints, ankle, knee, and more
- Typically strikes one joint at a time more can be affected as the disease progresses
- Affected joint is swollen, painful, warm to the touch, and red
- Pain from a flare can last up a week or two with long periods of remission in between
Foods That May Trigger A Gout Attack
Physicians recommend avoiding or limiting consumption of14:
- Alcoholic beverages, especially beer
- Sugary foods and beverages, particularly those made with high fructose corn syrup, such as sodas15
- Meat, particularly organ meat or sweetmeats, such as liver, and game meats6
- Seafood, particularly scallops, anchovies, and herring16
Alcohol increases the amount of uric acid in the blood and limits the bodys ability to process and eliminate uric acid.17
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What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP may ask about your diet and if you drink alcohol.
They may refer you to see a specialist and arrange a blood test and scan. Sometimes a thin needle is used to take a sample of fluid from inside the affected joint, to test it.
The blood test will find out how much of a chemical called uric acid there is in your blood.
Having too much uric acid in your blood can lead to crystals forming around your joints, which causes pain.
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What Effect Do Your Weight And Diet Have
Some studies suggest that certain foods are linked to gout attacks. Gout attacks are apparently more common in people who have eaten a lot of meat, fish or seafood a few days before. That matches many peoples experiences. On the other hand, purine-rich plant-based foods such as peas, beans, lentils, spinach, mushrooms, oats, cauliflower and broccoli were found to have little to no effect on the risk of a gout attack. Overall, there hasnt been much good quality research into the link between certain foods and gout attacks.
Eating cherries is sometimes recommended to prevent gout attacks, but theres no scientific proof that it can help prevent gout.
Because not everybody has the same metabolism, its a good idea to try out for yourself what helps you and what doesnt and how much of different foods your body tolerates. Some people feel better after changing their diet, while others successfully lower their uric acid levels with medication and cope just fine without any changes to their diet.
Individual studies also suggest that losing weight can help if youre very overweight. People with gout should be careful not to go without any food, though fasting can itself trigger a gout attack.
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Medications That Can Trigger Gout
Some medications can trigger gout symptoms. This includes common pain medications. Even small amounts of these drugs can impact gout. Your doctor may recommend changing these medications if you notice more gout symptoms.
Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid raises uric acid in your blood. Even low doses of aspirin can trigger gout. Research shows that this effect of aspirin is more common in women than in men.
Diuretics or water pills help to treat conditions such as high blood pressure and edema or swelling in the legs. These medications work by getting rid of excess water and salt from the body. However, they can also cause a side effect of too much uric acid in the body, triggering gout. Diuretic drugs include:
may have high levels of the hormone insulin. This can cause too much uric acid in the body, triggering gout symptoms in your joints.
Frequent Consumption Of Certain Fruits May Trigger Recurrent Gout Attacks
High sugar drinks may not be the only stimulant of gout flare ups.
Certain fruits which are a natural source of fructose have also been linked with gout.
This is a highly contentious area, because several studies have linked higher fruit intake with less incidence of gout. This is probably due to their high fibre content .
And unlike fruit juice and other sugar-sweetened drinks, whole fruits are nutritious and generally good for health. There is no disputing this.
However, if you continually have gout attacks despite cutting out alcohol and sugar-sweetened drinks then Im not convinced a large amount of fruits are safe for you. Especially if you are overweight and eat a Western diet.
So cutting back on certain very high-fructose fruits is like a Plan D, if you will.
The link comes back to fructose, which stimulates uric acid production in a similar manner to alcohol. Fructose is naturally found in fruit and honey.
One study found that the consumption of apples or oranges the most popular fruits in this study was linked with an increased risk of gout compared to those who consume less than one serving of fruit per month. No link was found with other fruits however .
While most fruits are very low in fructose, a few are very high. Frequent consumption of these could theoretically causes problems for gout sufferers.
Foods Highest in Fructose per 200 Calories :
Note this list is ranked on a per calorie basis, not per serving.
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