Top 10 Myths About Gout
I am always taken aback at the number and persistence of gout myths. Just read a few Internet web pages on gout and gout treatments and it wont take you long to find contradicting information – even from supposedly reputable sites. These myths are one of the key reasons why the quality of gout care for gout has fallen so much over the past few decades. Bad information keeps getting passed on – over and over. This article will help you understand some of these myths and learn the truth.
Myth #1: Gout is curable. There are tons of websites out there that promise gout cures if only you send them some amount of money. The truth is, that for 90% of cases, gout is a genetic condition. This is why gout often runs in families. Genetic conditions cannot be cured, only managed. The other 10 % of cases are called secondary gout. These are usually caused by some underlying medical condition. Some of these conditions can be very serious such as lymphoma or kidney disease. Only a small number of cases are truly curable. These cases are usually caused by high blood pressure medications called diuretics or extreme obesity. If you have gout, your doctor should check for a secondary cause of gout, if none is found, then you have a genetic condition that can only be managed.
Can A Gout Patient Eat A Box Of Liver Ham Or Sausage
What can a gout patient eat without the risk of a painful gout attack on the big toe? Quantities seem to be important? For example, how much purine is in the liver box? Also interested in the comparison of 100 g of Saturday sausage or 100 g of ham, whichever is better for me. Terrifying when you look at the purine levels of individual products.
Who Is At Risk For Gout
In general, gout is more common in men. Additional risk factors for gout include obesity, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, insulin resistance or diabetes, or kidney disease.
Those with kidney disease are at a higher risk for developing gout due to the limited ability to remove uric acid from the body.
Other risk factors for developing gout include using certain medications , drinking alcohol, or a diet high in sugar or purines.
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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.
The Cause Of Gout Is More Than Just Diet
While diet is critical, dont overlook other important factors that affect gout. These include family history, sleep apnoea, and lack of physical exercise to name a few.
And as much as I prefer focusing on what you should eat to prevent health scares, there are just so many clear trigger foods for gout.
Its important to deal with these factors first and foremost.
About Joe Leech, Dietitian
Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science, followed by a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.
Learn more about him on the About page.
Joe Leech, Dietitian
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Keto And Gout: The Bottom Line
Many things increase your risk of developing gout. Dehydration, fructose, insulin resistance, and alcohol all increase uric acid, which drives crystal formation and eventually gout.
To prevent gout, avoid these risk factors and try dietary tweaks like drinking coffee and taking vitamin C. Also consider a regular exercise program to boost your insulin sensitivity.
Finally, when it comes to gout risk, dont worry about eating fat and protein. Sugar is the macro to avoid.
A low-carb ketogenic diet appears to be a good long-term strategy for reducing gout risk. To learn more about going keto, check out our easy-to-follow Keto Kickstart Guide.
A Good Diet For Gout Should Not Include Soft Drinks Or Fruit Juice
Added sugar is a big problem in the modern diet.
Generally speaking, the sugar that is added to our food and drink products are 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
While glucose molecules are metabolised in the cell, fructose is metabolised in the liver. Further explanation is out of the scope of this article, but they behave very differently in the body.
Fructose intake, and not glucose intake, is strongly linked with gout.
Soft drinks and fruit juices tend to have the greatest amount of added sugar, and therefore the greatest amount of added fructose.
In fact, gout occurrence in the US has risen in line with fructose consumption since 1970 .
In a large study of over 46,000 men, researches found that two or more sugar-sweetened soft drinks a day was associated with an 85% increased risk of gout .
The largest consumers of sugar-sweetened soft drinks actually had a risk of gout comparable to the risk seen with three to five servings of alcohol.
Unfortunately the researchers did not account for family history of gout, which may or may not have changed their findings somewhat.
The strange thing out of all this, however, is that soft drinks dont typically contain purines.
Fructose is thought to be the culprit linking added sugars with gout. It appears to share the same mechanism as alcohol: fructose accelerates the breakdown of purine-containing nucleotides like ATP. This in turn drives up uric acid levels 90120-5/abstract” rel=”nofollow”> 13, 14, 15).
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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.
How To Fight Gout Pain
Gout is an excruciatingly painful form of arthritis that often affects the feet. Dietary factors, such as red meat and alcohol, can trigger gout pain. However, medications and medical conditions can be a problem too, says Kenneth G. Saag, MD, a rheumatologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.”Non-food items are the major risk factors for developing gout,” he says. Here are nine such triggers, which could be causing your gout pain.
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It Helps Relieve Pain
Gouty arthritis is often accompanied by severe pain caused due to gastric damage of tissue. Ashwagandha is believed to have the ability to relieve such conditions.
Through a series of in vitro and in vivo studies on an animal model of gout it was observed that Withania somnifera displayed unique antipyretic and analgesic effects.
This swelling at the site along with protecting the tissues from gastric damage.
The painkiller activity of Withania somnifera was comparable to a common painkiller, indomethacin and one novel finding were that unlike regular painkillers, Withania somnifera did not cause gastric erosion.
Its use was seen to be helpful in humans as well. Treatment of a group of 60 patients over 12 weeks revealed positive effects.
It relieved pain and stiffness significantly.
What does this mean? Withania somnifera has several pain relieving effects on sites effected by gastric damage. It acts as an analgesic and alleviates discomfort of the joint.
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.
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Foods Containing Moderately Purine Substances Include Eg
- dried peas, beans and lentils
- meat and fish broths
- green peas.
Most gout patients can use these foods more regularly, as long as the single doses are reasonable. For example, 100-150 grams of meat or fish at a time.
Alcohol increases urate formation and slows down urinary metabolism, so single doses of alcohol should be reasonable. For example, a glass of wine with a meal.
Fasting and a high-protein diet are not recommended for gout patients. Adequate drinking is important as it promotes the excretion of purines in the urine. About 1.5 liters a day is a good amount unless there is a health restriction on fluid intake.
The most recommended thirst quencher is water.
High salt intake predisposes to high blood pressure, and dehydrating drugs, which are sometimes used to treat high blood pressure, predispose to gout.
Health-promoting food in accordance with general nutritional recommendations is ideal for gout patients. It is not at all essential to compare, for example, ham and sausage from the point of view of purines, but on the basis of general criteria suitable for a health-promoting diet.
The amount of salt and fat is essential in meat products.
It is important to note that the symptom of gout is individual.
A gout patient should limit their diet to what is necessary to control their symptoms. There should be no unnecessary restrictions on diet, no gout or any other disease.
Dosage Of Withania Somnifera For Gout
The root extract of Withania somnifera is the most powerful in the treatment of ailments as has been indicated from the above-mentioned studies.
It is generally found as a finely ground powder to be mixed with food.
The highest dosage is around 6000mg which should be consumed over the course of the day in divided doses of 2g each.
If being consumed at one time approximately 300-500mg is advisable. It is advised to consult a health practitioner before taking any supplements.
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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.
Dietary Tips For Managing Gout
If you focus on these goals, you may be able to have your meat and eat it too 🙂
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Is There A Relationship Between Gout And Kidney Stones
Uric acid stones are the second-most commonly formed kidney stones, behind calcium oxalate stones. As gout is also related to excessive uric acid in the body, the connection between both of these health issues is uric acid.
One study early in 2020 showed that in researching the prevalence of stones, 13.9% were caused by high uric acid levels. In the study, the ages of those with these stones were in their 30s up to the 60s.
Another study found that in a group of gout patients, 31% had developed kidney stones. Of the kidney stone developers, more than half of them had no history of kidney stone formation before their gout diagnosis.
A condition known as uric acid nephrolithiasis is when there is a low urine pH, low urine volume, that lead to uric acid stone formation.
Processed Meat And Other Harmful Substances
Processed meat tends to be saltier than any other type of meat. They have four times the amount of salt than red meat and they contain more 50% more preservatives. This is a huge contributing factor to the risk it poses to people who consume processed meat. In addition, sodium reduces ones tolerance to sugars which can only mean that your risk for diabetes increases.
The list of dangerous chemicals doesnt just stop at nitrites. Certain processed meats contain harmful compounds such as PAHs and HCAs . These chemicals are formed in the process of curing meat via burning or smoking meat.
Other harmful ingredients found in processed meat include:
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
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Nutritional Value And Purine Content In Pork
Higher consumption of pork, other kinds of red meat, and organ meats increases the risk of recurrent gout attacks. Even though it’s a red meat, pork is often referred to as the other white meat because it is a source of lean protein like poultry. Pork contains a moderately high amount of purines, which can contribute to joint pain in gouts.
Is Ashwagandha/ Withania Somnifera Safe For Human Consumption
Considering the growing popularity of the herb and its increased usage, scientists decided to analyze its efficacy and safety in the human body.
This study was conducted on patients suffering from another type of inflammatory arthritis- rheumatoid arthritis.
A study involving 86 participants was carried out by evaluating various efficacy and safety parameters in these individuals post administration of Withania somnifera.
It was seen that along with providing positive results in the diseases group, its use is safe as even after 7 weeks of administration, the kidney and liver function tests showed no defects in the group being studied.
What does this mean? Withania somnifera does not have any toxic side effects on our body and has been shown to be useful in treating inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis. Since gout is also an inflammatory form of the disease, the herb has the potential to be an effective treatment for this disease as well.
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Avoid Food High In Purine
When purine present in food is taken into our body, it is broken down into uric acid. Consequently, this raises your body uric acid level and puts you at risk of gout attack. Notably, examples of food high in purine are organ meat , deep-sea fish and seafood and red meat .
Caption: Foods to avoid in Gout
It Reduces Oxidative Stress
Free radicles are harmful chemicals found in our body in an unbound state. These are kept in check by antioxidant compounds.
If the rate of build-up of free radicles exceeds the rate of their elimination a toxic condition known as oxidative stress takes place.
The ability of Withania somnifera to relieve oxidative stress have been studied using various animal models.
One of these involved the use of inflammatory arthritis in the animal model who was administered varying doses of the compound over 28 days at the end of which the oxidative stress condition was seen to be relieved.
This was due to the ability of Withania somnifera to effectively decrease lipid peroxidation and glutathione-S-transferase activity.
This was validated by another study where the use of the powdered root of Withania somnifera managed to bring about biochemical changes within the body and improved the oxidative status by removing free radicles.
What does this mean? It can be implied from this study that Withania somnifera could be potentially used in gout treatment to eradicate harmful free radicles which are released by uric acid. It reduces oxidative stress and improves cell viability.
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