Gout And Diet Connection
The intense pain and swelling you experience during a gout attack occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joint, according to the Mayo Clinic. These crystals develop due to an excess of uric acid in your blood, which comes from the breakdown of purines a substance naturally found in your body.
Uric acid is normally removed from your blood by your kidneys. However, if your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys can’t clear it from your blood fast enough, the uric acid turns into the needle-like crystals that lead to the tell-tale pain and swelling of gout. These crystals can accumulate in any joint in your body, but if you have gout attacks you know that the joint in your big toe is most vulnerable.
In addition to being found naturally in your body, purines are also present in food, including bread. Foods high in purines include beef, seafood, and organ meats. Bread has a low-to-moderate amount of purines, according to the UK Gout Society.
A low-purine diet was once recommended as a treatment for gout. However, according to the Arthritis Foundation, the gout diet is too restrictive and not nearly as effective as the medication used to control the arthritis.
Beer And Gout Connection
In order to understand the connection between beer and gout, you first have to understand how gout works. If you have been diagnosed with it, you probably know already that it can cause excruciating pains in joints. It mostly affects feet and especially the big toes. Other than that, you know that it can bring in visible inflammations that will interfere with your lifestyle. But how does it get so far?
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Gout comes in more stages. During the first stage, levels of uric acid in the bloodstream go up, but they fail to cause any symptoms. You feel perfectly fine. The second stage involves gout attacks, flareups and visible inflammation. This is the most common stage. The third and most harmful one involves chronic gout it happens when you ignore gout for too long and it affects more joints.
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Too much uric acid will build deposits around joints. With time, they crystallize, so they feel like tiny pieces of glass in your joints hence the painful sensations. People with gout may also experience other problems if they fail to look after themselves, such as diabetes and heart related problems. If you have been diagnosed with gout, chances are your doctor has also recommended some strict dietary changes.
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So Where Does The Confusion Lie
The confusion lies in refined grains, grains that have been stripped of their nutritional value and bleached into white flour. That process is what is bad for your health and not the opposite. This process gives wheat its bad name nowadays and makes people confused. So what they take out is the bran and the germ of the wheat grain, the most nutrient-rich parts! What you lose are the following nutrients: vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, fiber, iron, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorus and more. 100% whole wheat foods and products are a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese and a excellent source of magnesium.
What you want to avoid are the refined grains like white breads, white pastas, white rice, cookies, breakfast cereals and these foods are linked to weight gain, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome which gout is a part of. In the famous Framingham Offspring Study found that both insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome was significantly lower among those participants who ate the most cereal fiber from 100% whole grains compared to those participants who ate the least.
One of the most important functions of whole grains is the fiber content of wheat bran which is a laxative and makes you go. All you need is about a third of a cup each day in your diet to avoid constipation. So avoid gluten free products at the your local supermarket and eat 100% whole wheat breads, pastas and rices. Thats my advice for you in a gout diet!
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Tips For A Healthy Gout Diet
- Choose plant-based proteins, such as beans, tofu, or lentils, instead of red meat and organ meat.
- Low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, are also good protein sources.
- Eating fruit instead of dessert or sugar-sweetened snacks can help reduce sugar consumption and increase vitamin C consumption.
- Most refined grains have whole-grain counterparts, such as whole-grain breads, oatmeal and whole-grain breakfast cereal, whole-grain pasta, and brown rice.
- It is easy to get an extra serving of vegetables by piling them on sandwiches or adding them to soups or stews.
- Caffeine can interfere with sleep, so it is best to avoid consuming caffeinated coffee and other caffeinated beverages within six hours of bedtime.
Understanding Wheat And Gluten
To understand what gluten is, you must understand what wheat is. Wheat is a plant we harvest for flour and one of the main ingredients. All the products you can find in a bakery are made from wheat, therefore from flour.
Wheat has been used as one of the main food sources since ancient history and you probably know a few interesting things and facts about it. It has been one of the healthiest and the most nutrition-rich foods we were able to consume in our life.
With modern science, we discovered that the situation when it comes to wheat and flour is completely different. This isnt the healthiest food out there and in some cases, it must be avoided.
Gluten is a protein in wheat. It consists of gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is responsible for the most side effects of wheat. It creates a spider web structure when mixed with water and it has the ability to act as a glue.
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Avoid Sweets And Sodas
Unlike fruit with its natural sugar, artificial sugars are widely recognized as gout flare dangers. Consuming too many sugary sodas has been found to provoke attacks, but no association has been found with artificially sweetened sodas. Other foods loaded with high-fructose corn syrup can also bring on gout pain.
Is Wheat Bad For Gout
Gout and wheat are not something you will want to mention in the same sentence.
Wheat is starchy food and it will help you get more weight, especially around the belly. Obese and overweight people are at higher risk of developing gout in the first place and they also have a higher risk of getting gout attacks if they already suffer from the condition.
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Wheat can also increase the insulin level which will then trigger the uric acid and spike it as well. When this happens, you can fill that the uric acid crystals will start forming in the joint.
Then there is a protein that is part of gluten called gliadin. It creates and causes cravings and as you can imagine you will want more wheat and more food which brings us to the first problem here, obesity.
The situation is even more severe if you are allergic to wheat. There are 27 proteins that can cause allergy and which affect 30% of people from the United States and much more from other parts of the globe.
1% of Americans suffer from Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity. If you are one of them, you know that this disease affects the nutrient absorption in the digestive tract and as a result your body will be unable and in some cases immune to absorb all the nutrients.
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Whole Grains For Gout: Nutrition Profile
The whole grain is very high in nutrients. Some of which are as follows:
- Antioxidants: sulfur compounds, lignin, and phytic acid actually act as antioxidants.
- Fiber: the bran actually provides most of the fiber content in the whole grains.
- Minerals: whole grains contain a good amount of minerals, like manganese magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.
- Plant compounds: whole grains is capable of delivering a lot of plant compounds. These compounds are beneficial in preventing various conditions.
- Protein: whole grains may provide a number of grams of protein every serving.
- Vitamins: whole grains are very high in B vitamins, like folate, thiamine, and niacin.
The exact amounts of the aforementioned nutrients may differ varying on the type of grain it is.
Nonetheless, to know what really is in the whole grain, here are some of the key nutrients in an ounce of dry oats:
- Copper: 9% RDI
- Thiamine: 14% RDI
- Zinc & Iron: 7% RDI
There is no doubt that whole grains may deliver a variety of vital nutrients, including protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and some other plant compounds.
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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What Is A Low Purine Diet
Purines are chemicals that are naturally found in certain foods and drinks. When your body breaks down these chemicals, uric acid is the byproduct. A low-purine diet reduces the foods and drinks with the highest purine content to reduce uric acid. It also encourages some select foods that may reduce uric acid levels in your body.
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Aspirin And Diuretics Significantly Increase Gout Risk
Not exactly foods to avoid with gout, but the ingestion of some common medications sharply raise the risk of a gout attack.
Specifically, low doses of aspirin, which one in three middle-aged Americans takes regularly to help prevent heart disease .
The emphasis is on low doses because aspirin has a dual effect on uric acid levels. Very high doses above 3,000 mg promotes excretion of uric acid , whereas low doses prevent excretion .
In a study of 49 elderly patients, just 75 mg of aspirin per day increased blood uric acid levels by 6% within one week. A daily dose of 150 mg kept levels high during the second week, before coming down with 300 mg doses in the third week .
Considering the typical dose for heart disease prevention is 81-325 mg per day, it is no real surprise this dosage is associated with a doubling in gout risk. In fact, even the use of a low-dose aspirin for two consecutive days increases risk of recurrent gout attacks .
Another type of medication known to trigger gout is diuretics. They are typically used to treat high blood pressure and oedema, and if feasible should be discontinued in gout sufferers.
Im by no means recommending you cease your medications if you have gout, but its important to understand the pharmaceutical triggers. First speak with your doctor and closely monitor uric acid levels before making any changes.
And if you need a temporary painkiller, choose paracetamol or ibuprofen. No aspirin.
Prevent And Manage Gout With A Gout Diet
Whether youre at higher risk of developing gout because of family medical history and want to prevent it, or have been diagnosed and want to better manage and prevent attacks, your diet is one of the best places to start.
To control your symptoms, you must understand the foods to avoid with gout. As you start thinking about which foods are high in purines and how to adjust your diet, remember that these kinds of big changes are best made one step at a time. Start by cutting out one type of food from the list. Once youre comfortable with that adjustment, eliminate one more.
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Health Benefits And Nutrition Facts
Oatmeal is associated with cardiovascular health benefits. Namely, the consumption of whole-grain oats is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. It is rich in vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, thiamine, magnesium, and zinc.
Oatmeal can help if you are trying to lose weight and maintain weight loss, thanks to its high water and soluble fiber content. Maintaining a healthy weight is also one of the most important lifestyle factors for gout treatment.
What Can You Drink If You Have Gout
Foods arenÃ¢t the only thing that can affect uric acid. What you drink matters, too.
ItÃ¢s a good idea to drink lots of fluids â 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 donÃ¢t 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 whatÃ¢s 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.
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Beer And Gout Can Beer Cause Gout
Generally speaking, a drink a day is safe for women, while men can easily do with a couple of drinks daily. But then, there are certain situations when alcohol could be a problem. Particular affections such as gout could be influenced by alcohol. This is one of the main reasons wherefore the dietary changes required to keep gout flareups under control tend to contraindicate alcohol.
Now, the thing is there are more types of alcohol out there and each of them is unique. Some types of alcohol have a higher strength and could be harmful, while others are relatively mild you could probably take a few drinks without feeling dizzy. This is when beer kicks in. When diagnosed with gout, lots of people ask themselves are beer and gout connected in one way or another?
Eating Peanuts And Gout: Do Peanuts Cause Gout Flare
Foods with low purines are particularly recommended for gout sufferers. Purines are the naturally occurring compounds in the body, which are found in nucleotides in cell DNA and RNA.
When the cells are damaged or destroyed, purines break down to form a waste product, called uric acid. Normally, it passes harmlessly to the kidneys through the bloodstream. It is processed in the kidneys and then excreted through urine. But, when uric acid is produced excessively, your body might not be able to eliminate it.
Increased levels of uric acid tend to accumulate in the bloodstream and form needle-like crystals. These crystals get deposited in the joints, more commonly in the joints of the big toe, and cause a painful condition, called gout.
It is characterized by sudden and intense pain in the affected joint, accompanied by redness, swelling, and inflammation in the joint. Some of the factors to cause gout include family history, stress, excess body weight, kidney diseases, and high blood pressure.
However, the intake of foods with a high amount of purines is the major factor responsible for gout. Therefore, you have to exclude the purine-rich foods like organ meat, seafood, high-fat dairy products, and some vegetables like spinach and asparagus from your diet.
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