What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Gout
Consider asking your healthcare provider:
- What is causing the gout?
- Do I have any joint damage?
- What can I do to prevent future attacks?
- Can any gout medications help me?
- How long will I need to take gout medications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Gout is a painful form of arthritis. Extra uric acid in your body creates sharp crystals in the joints, leading to swelling and extreme tenderness. Gout usually starts in the big toe but can affect other joints. Gout is a treatable condition, and the uric acid level can be decreased by medication and lifestyle changes. Talk to your healthcare provider about medications that can reduce uric acid levels. They can also discuss changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle to prevent and reduce gout attacks.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/15/2020.
Should I Drink Lots Of Water
Dehydration may be a risk factor for gout although this is not well proven in research. Drinking 1 1.5 litres of fluids a day is recommended for general health benefits. However if you are taking diuretics or have heart or kidney problems, talk to your doctor about the right amount of fluids for you to drink.
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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How To Get Rid Of Gout With Your Diet
Gout has literally been referred to The Disease of Kings because it has been associated with indulging excessively in food and alcohol, which was historically thought to be a privilege of royalty.
Acute flares of pain usually require anti-inflammatories and other medications in addition to diet.
Learning how to decrease flairs or prevent gout all together requires focusing on food.
Foods Contributing To Chronic Disease
Remember, the development of gout is also influenced by other chronic diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, heart failure and obesity. Studies have shown that losing weight lowers the risk of the disease.
Therefore preventing and treating gout means preventing and treating these other chronic diseases as well as effective weight management. While there are certainly some exceptions, the development and treatment of these chronic diseases is also strongly rooted in diet.
High salt diets are strongly associated with hypertension and congestive heart failure. A diet low in salt is a well described treatment for people with these conditions and is literally prescribed for this purpose.
The DASH diet is the most popular of these to date, and people who follow the DASH diet have been shown to have lower rates of gout .
Saturated fats such as fried foods are generally unhealthy choices. They contribute a significant amount of cholesterol and calories while providing very little positive nutritional value. They are a large culprit in the obesity epidemic and the associated comorbid disease.
Its recommended to use caution with processed foods because they so frequently contain either high levels of salt, sugar, saturated fat, empty calories or a combination of some or all of the above.
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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.
Red Meat And Organ Meat
Red meat and organ meats are high in purines. Eating these foods increases the uric acid levels in the blood and the risk of gout and gout attacks.
Keep your red meat and organ meats intake low. Chicken has moderate amounts of purines, and therefore should be eaten in moderation.
Protein is important for the body, and though you may need to limit protein from some animal sources, you can still get protein from other sources. Low-fat dairy seems to decrease the risk of gout and is a good source of protein in the diet. Other protein foods you can eat include eggs, nuts and nut butters, beans, and tofu.
Meats to avoid:
- Beef, pork, and chicken livers
- Other organ meats, such as kidney or heart
- Wild game
- Red meat
- Processed meats, such as salami and prosciutto
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Another Benefit Of Diet Soda
As I have explained, diet soda is good for us, gout sufferers simply because it doesnt affect gout nor causes its attacks. Basically, a diet soda is irrelevant when it comes to gout. Actually no and there are two main benefits here. If you recall, I have mentioned that all of us must stay hydrated as much as possible. Water is essential for us, gout sufferers and more the merrier. Because diet sodas are actually water with a few ingredients, you will get a benefit from drinking it.
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But, this isnt the actual benefit I have mentioned in the title. The true power of diet soda is in the ability to help you lose weight. Lets take for example Coca-Cola Zero. It has 0 calories and 0 sugars. This means that if you replace consuming ordinary drink with this one, you are going to decrease the calorie intake. Precisely this is the main benefit here. When you decrease your weight and exposure to the calories, you will have a lower risk of developing gout or a gout attack.
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Whats The Outlook For People With Gout
Untreated gout can lead to permanent joint damage. The buildup of uric acid in the joints and soft tissue is called tophus. Some people with gout can also develop other health problems, such as severe arthritis, kidney stones and heart disease. Its important to discuss your symptoms with a healthcare provider.
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Tips To Minimize Gout Attack
In addition to taking medication regularly and consuming vegetables for gout sufferers, there are several other ways to prevent or minimize attacks on gout, including:
- Exercise regularly.
- Stay away from drinks that are too sweet.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks.
- Limit your intake of meat and seafood.
- Inadequate your protein needs by consuming low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and milk.
- Take care of your weight. If you are overweight or obese, you are advised to lose it.
- Because weight loss can help reduce pressure on your joints which can cause pain.
If you have gout, it is important for you to take medication and also live a healthy lifestyle, to help reduce or eliminate the symptoms of gout.
Being a gout sufferer is not an obstacle for you not to eat fruits and vegetables, because there are some vegetables for gout sufferers, fruits, and food and drinks that are safe for consumption for gout sufferers.
The Ultimate List Of 14 Foods To Avoid With Gout
You may have come across the word Gout quite frequently in your life, but never really understood what it refers to. Gout is in fact an agonizing form of arthritis which aim at and attack any joint of a persons body and cause trouble, mostly the joints of the feet. What happens is that uric acid crystals tend to grow and form a home in the joints which is one of the primary causes since it calls for swelling as well as an unbearable pain.
What may cause the birth of such an unimaginable situation would be certain foods that carry a higher concentration of purine in them ultimately causing your uric acid level to shoot up. This, as a result leads to gout, a condition caused due to intake of certain nutrition.
Even if you are suffering from this condition or you happen to digest certain foods that have gotten you close to gout being a part of your life, you can still make some necessary changes in your life right now that help you fight this disease in no time without having to go through any trips to the doctor.
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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.
How Do You Get Gout
How does uric acid acid get in your body?
Uric acid is a waste product produced when our body breaks down chemicals called purines. Purines are found in our tissues as well as in some types of food we eat.
It builds up when we are either making too much uric acid or when we arent able to get rid of it quickly enough.
Some common chronic diseases make this more likely and are risk factors for this type of inflammatory arthritis.
Risk factors that can be decreased with lifestyle changes :
These symptoms often come in waves with an acute attack lasting days to weeks at a time. Repeated attacks can lead to more chronic gouty arthritis, in which people feel pain that is ongoing although usually less severe than the classic flares.
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Foods That Cause Gout Flare Ups
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.
Foods You Can Eat In Moderation
Aside from organ meats, game meats and certain fish, most meats can be consumed in moderation. You should limit yourself to 46 ounces of these a few times per week .
They contain a moderate amount of purines, which is considered to be 100200 mg per 100 grams. Thus, eating too much of them may trigger a gout attack.
- Meats: These include chicken, beef, pork and lamb.
- Other fish: Fresh or canned salmon generally contains lower levels of purines than most other fish.
Summary: Foods you should eat with gout include all fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, eggs and most beverages. Limit your consumption of non-organ meats and fish like salmon to servings of 46 ounces a few times weekly.
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Which Type Of Alcohol Is The Worst For Gout
All types of alcohol affect gout, but the impact on flares and symptoms may vary by type of alcohol, depending on which studies you look at. Some research suggests that beer is especially bad for gout because it contains higher levels of purines that break down directly into uric acid.
A 2004 study published in the medical journal The Lancet found that alcohol is strongly associated with an increased risk of gout, the study authors concluded. Risks varied according to type of alcoholic beverage:
- Two or more beers daily increased gout risk over non-beer drinkers two-fold
- Two shots of spirits daily increased gout risk over non-drinkers by 1.6 times
- Two four-ounce glasses of wine daily was not associated with a higher risk of gout
However, other research has found a link between wine consumption and gout risk. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine in 2014 looked at how much alcohol consumed over a 24-hour period was associated with a recurring gout attack. It found that all types of alcoholic beverages, including wine, were associated with an increased risk for recurrent gout attacks. Even though one drink didnt raise the subjects risk for a gout attack by that much, having one to two drinks in a 24-hour period was associated with a 36 percent higher risk of recurrent gout attack, compared with those who had consumed no alcohol in that time period.
What Foods To Avoid
Many of the foods you want to avoid are meats and seafood. Meats such as chicken, pork, beef, or lamb are usually okay in moderation however, if you find they cause symptoms you will want to avoid them altogether. Salmon, as part of a gout diet, is also usually tolerated well in moderation.
- Yeast:beer, nutritional yeast, large amounts of bread, others
- Game meats: venison, veal, bison, others
- Organ meats: liver, tongue, tripe, others
- Fish: including sardines and anchovies
- Other seafood: shellfish, roe, others
- Sugary drinks: sodas, fruit juice, others
- Sugar substances: honey, nectar, high-fructose corn syrup, others
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How Alcohol Affects Gout
Drinking alcohol affects gout risk in two main ways:
Alcohol makes the uric acid be pulled back into the body, with less in the urine. This leads to elevated blood levels of uric acid, says Theodore R. Fields, MD, a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. When uric acid isnt excreted in urine, it further contributes to the formation of crystals in joints that cause intense pain and inflammation, says Jonathan Greer, MD, a rheumatologist with Arthritis & Rheumatology Associates of Palm Beach, Florida.
An analysis of multiple studies on alcohol consumption and gout which included data on almost 43,000 people found a dose response of gout risk to alcohol consumption. That means that the more alcohol people consumed, the greater the risk of developing gout.
Compared with people who never or rarely consumed alcohol, light drinkers had a 16 percent increased risk of gout, moderate drinkers had a 58 percent increased risk of gout, and heavy drinkers had a 264 percent increased risk of gout.
Choose A Diet You Can Live With
If you are overweight, losing weight can protect you from gout flare-ups. However, losing weight fast can do more harm than good for gout, as rapid weight loss can raise uric acid levels in your bloodstream. Avoid fad diets and “crash” diets. Consider consulting a dietician, who can help you choose a diet plan that works for you.
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Worst Foods & Beverages For Gout
- At the top of the list of what to avoid is booze. Beer and liquor readily convert to uric acid and they slow down its elimination. Studies have shown mixed results about whether wine is OK in moderation.
- Drinking sugary beverages, such as sodas sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, fruit juices or other sugar-containing drinks, is associated with gout. Notable exception: cherries, especially tart cherries, may be beneficial for gout.
- Go light on red meats, particularly organ meats like liver, tongue and sweetbreads, which are all high in purines. Also avoid or minimize the amount of bacon, venison and veal you eat.
- Maybe surprising: Turkey and goose are very high in purines. Chicken and duck are better bets.
- Some seafoods also are high in purines, including anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, crabs, lobsters, oysters and shrimp.
- Some vegetables are on the watch list, too: Consider cutting back on mushrooms, asparagus and spinach but veggies of any kind are much less likely to trigger a gout flare than alcohol or organ meats.