What Gout Foods Can I Eat
Every gout sufferer wonders what gout foods they can eat. Typical questions are:
- What can I eat with gout?
- Will a certain food make gout better or worse?
- What foods should I avoid for gout?
Gout pain makes you miserable, and when you dont know what to eat, it just makes things worse. My best advice is not to listen to what other people tell you about gout food and diets. Gout varies a lot between different people. What suits one person is unlikely to suit you. Here are my best tips for gout diet.
Eat A Diet Low In Purines
If you have had more than one episode of gout, make sure you eat a healthy diet that is low in purines. The food groups that contain high levels of purine include: meat , seafood , lentils, specific vegetables, and dried beans. Foods you can enjoy that are lower in purines are eggs, complex carbohydrates, fruits, and low-fat dairy.
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The Dash Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension Diet
The DASH diet is designed for lowering high blood pressure and can also help with maintaining overall health. On top of managing blood pressure, weight and the risk of some diseases, the DASH diet is also great for those with gout.
The DASH diet prioritises whole grains, vegetables and fruit as the main part of a healthy diet, with importance also placed on low-fat dairy, lean meats, fish, and plant-based proteins like nuts, seeds, and legumes in smaller portions. Those on a DASH diet are recommended to stick to small amounts of plant oils and minimise animal-based fats.
Following a healthy diet is just about the best thing you can do for your health, but it is also true that highly restrictive diets can be hard to stick to. Unhealthy foods like sweets, puddings, alcohol and sugary drinks are discouraged, but having small amounts of them purely for pleasure rather than health is usually okay.
Some people with gout find it helpful to keep a food diary to work out if there are particular triggers for flare-ups and help manage their condition naturally.
Beware Of Researchers Conclusions
In one study on vitamin C and gout, 40 patients with gout were separated into two groups. Both groups received allopurinol, the standard drug for gout while one group of 20 patients also received a small dosage of vitamin C only 500 mg daily. However, the researchers did not find increased excretion of uric acid in the patients. They concluded that vitamin C doesnt necessarily help with gout however the same researchers found that those who have higher vitamin C levels have fewer gout attacks.
Reading research like this, you may easily give up and not take your vitamin C. However, dont give up, as vitamin C has many important functions in the body and youll always do better with it than without it.
There are many reasons why you shouldnt give up, and most are based on how the scientists ran the study. First of all, my personal view is that they did not give a high enough dosage of vitamin C. When we go to the real vitamin C experts, the Linus Pauling Institute, we find that a meta-analysis of 14 other studies did show that uric acid was decreased by a supplement of only 500 mg per day over 30 days in patients with gout.
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Epsom Salt As A Remedy For Gout
Epsom salt is another important ingredient for home treatment of gout. It is also effective in other forms of arthritis. Epsom salt contains a high amount of magnesium, which help improve the condition of the heart and lower high blood pressure.
Directions to Use Epsom Salt to Treat Gout Symptoms:
- For a leisurely bath, Take 2 cups of Epsom salt and mix it in warm bath water.
- Soak your body in it until the water starts to feel cool.
- Repeat this once in a week.
- If you are suffering severe gout, you can try it 2 or 3 times a week.
- Soaking helps relax aching muscles and gives relief from pain.
Recent Surgery Or Trauma
Medications, lifestyle, inactivity, or diet after a recent surgery may hamper the dialysis or waste processing system of a patient. This may reduce the level of uric acid disposal by the kidneys hence, risking the patient to gout.
Traumatic incidents are sometimes associated with the gout risk too .
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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.
Making Smart Meat Choices If You Have Gout
If youre changing your diet to help lower uric acid levels and reduce your risk of gout attacks, meat choices can have a big impact. Some meats are high in purines. Purines are substances found naturally in the body as well as in in foods. They are broken down in the body to form uric acid. When excess uric acid in the bloodstream builds too quickly or cant be eliminated fast enough, it is deposited as needle-shaped crystals in the tissues of the body, including joints, causing intense pain. So, a high-purine diet puts you at greater risk for uric acid buildup. And a 2012 study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases showed that the risk worsens as more purines are included in the diet. But what if meats are your favorite food? Heres what you should know about your options.
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Plenty Of Fruit And Vegetables
The recommendation is five portions per day, but try to include as many as possible. Bulking out meals, such as Bolognese, casseroles and stews with vegetables can help to reduce the meat content. Fruit and vegetables contain vitamin C. Although evidence is unclear, high intakes of vitamin C may help to reduce uric acid levels in the blood. Cherries may be particularly useful to include in the diet, as they have also been found to reduce levels of uric acid in the blood.
Here Are Some Things That Could Increase Your Chances Of Getting Gout:
- Family history If your genetics include gout, you have a better chance of getting it yourself.
- Your age and gender Men or women can get gout but men have higher levels of uric acid in earlier in life. However, women catch up after they go through menopause.
- Medications Drugs that have salicylate or diuretics have a higher chance of creating gout through their increased uric acid.
- Obesity If you are overweight, your chances of creating gout in your body are much higher because there are greater amounts of body fat.
- Additional problems If you have kidney issues, diabetes, hypothyroidism, or high blood pressure, you have a higher chance of developing gout.
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Complementary And Alternative Therapies
A combination of therapies can be very effective at reducing both the length and frequency of attacks. When choosing complementary and alternative therapies for gout treatment, it is best to work with a knowledgeable provider. Herbs and supplements that may be beneficial for some people, may be harmful for others. If you are pregnant, or thinking about becoming pregnant, do not use any CAM therapies unless directed to do so by your physician.
Nutrition and Supplements
These nutritional tips may help reduce symptoms:
You may address nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements:
Avoid taking extra niacin and vitamin A. Both may play a role in gout.
Herbs are generally a safe way to strengthen and tone the bodys systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your provider before starting any treatment. You may use herbs as dried extracts , glycerites , or tinctures . Unless otherwise indicated, make teas with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day. You may use tinctures alone, or in combination, as noted.
Acupuncture may help manage pain associated with gout.
Some of the most common remedies used for gout are listed below. A common dose is 3 to 5 pellets of a 12X 30C remedy every 1 to 4 hours until your symptoms improve.
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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 Is Gout Treated
Gout can be effectively treated and managed with medical treatment and self-management strategies. Your health care provider may recommend a medical treatment plan to
- Manage the pain of a flare. Treatment for flares consists of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, steroids, and the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine.
- Prevent future flares. Making changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as losing weight, limiting alcohol, eating less purine-rich food , may help prevent future attacks. Changing or stopping medications associated with hyperuricemia may also help.
- Prevent tophi and kidney stones from forming as a result of chronic high levels of uric acid. Tophi are hard, uric acid deposits under the skin. For people with frequent acute flares or chronic gout, doctors may recommend preventive therapy to lower uric acid levels in the blood using drugs like allopurinol, febuxostat, and pegloticase.
In addition to medical treatment, you can manage your gout with self-management strategies. Self-management is what you do day to day to manage your condition and stay healthy, like making healthy lifestyle choices. The self-management strategies described below are proven to reduce pain and disability, so you can pursue the activities important to you.
How Tart Cherry Extract Provides Relief
For those suffering from gout, you may find relief with the power of tart cherries . In fact, studies suggest that about 25% of people with gout use these and want to avoid problems with pharmaceuticals. Tart cherries have been noted for their aid in alleviating symptoms of gout thanks to their rich antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory powers.
These small fruits help to alleviate inflammation, a key element of a gout attack.
Scientists believe that part of the reason cherries might work is that they increase the excretion of urate and also limit the production of uric acid in the liver. The abundant urate crystals in those with gout stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Cherry counteracts this problem and also protects the body and joints by providing good antioxidant coverage. This is an excellent non pharmacological option for the treatment of many of the problems associated with gout.
Tart cherries have many phytochemicals that help, but cyanidin is the most prevalent compound. These nutrient-rich cherries help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body and may even help to offset the effect of gout on the bones and joints.
Reach for a bowl of fresh Montmorency cherries, a glass of sugar-free tart cherry juice, or a tart cherry supplement to stay on top of your symptoms. Tart cherries are not just for good gout but also insomnia, muscle pain, and over-exertion, and they offer an excellent way to help the body recover.
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Some Meat Fish Eggs Beans And Pulses
Eat these foods in moderation. Having vitamin C with meals can help to improve the absorption of iron, so drink a small glass of orange juice, have a piece of fruit for dessert, or serve up meals with plenty of vegetables. Keep your portions of meat controlled by using your hands as a serving size guide. A serving is about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand.
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.
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Characteristics Of The Trials
The literature search retrieved 2021 references, of which 20 were duplicates 1856 articles were rejected on reading their titles and abstracts, and 145 articles were identified for detailed review. Finally, 9 articles were included .
Risk of bias summary.
A total of nine RCTs with 1156 participants were included in this review. Seven trials were conducted in China , 1 in the USA , and 1 in New Zealand . All the studies were published from 2008 to 2019. Seven studies evaluated herbal therapies, with the remaining two evaluating skim milk and cherry extract. Six trials had two arms two trials had three arms one trial had four arms. Five trials reported natural product formulation in decoction, two in capsules, and one in powder. Five trials recorded gout flare-up four trials did not record gout flare-up. Five trials reported no AEs four trials reported AEs. Two trials assessed the compliance of patients .
How Much Alcohol Can People With Gout Drink
Each gout patient is different, so its hard to determine what the safe limit for alcohol is. Its best to monitor your alcohol consumption and limit yourself to amounts that work best for you.
Lifestyle is an important factor for living with gout along with diet, medical condition, family history, age, and sex. If you find that beer is a common trigger for you, consider lowering your dose to minimize instances of gout attacks.
If taking alcohol out of your lifestyle is not an option, you should still lower it to avoid those crippling gout attacks. Thankfully, there are medications now that can help prevent and treat gout symptoms. Aside from maintaining a rigid diet low in purines, you should also be taking gout medications such as allopurinol.
Make sure to speak with your doctor about taking medications while drinking alcohol.
There is no hard evidence to prove that alcohol reduces the efficacy of allopurinol, but its still best to get the proper dosage to help you achieve low enough uric acid levels. If you still cannot lower your uric acid levels, then you may need to make drastic lifestyle changes such as cutting out alcohol altogether.
During a gout flare up, you should be avoiding alcohol as it could make it worse. Your gout is already experiencing a buildup of uric acid crystals. By drinking alcohol, you are only adding to the buildup and overworking your kidneys resulting in kidney stones and lumps under the skin.
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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.
Celery Or Celery Seeds
Celery is a food traditionally used to treat urinary issues. For gout, extract and seeds of the vegetable have become popular home remedies.
Experimental use is well-documented, though scientific research is scant. Its thought that celery may reduce inflammation.
Adequate celery amounts for treating gout arent documented. Try eating celery many times per day, especially raw celery sticks, juice, extract, or seeds.
If purchasing an extract or supplement, follow label directions closely.
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What Foods Should You Avoid
If youre susceptible to sudden gout attacks, avoid the main culprits high-purine foods.
These are foods that contain more than 200 mg of purines per 3.5 ounces .
You should also avoid high-fructose foods, as well as moderately-high-purine foods, which contain 150200 mg of purines per 3.5 ounces. These may trigger a gout attack.
Here are a few major high-purine foods, moderately-high-purine foods and high-fructose foods to avoid (
- meats: These include liver, kidneys, sweetbreads and brain
- meats: Examples include pheasant, veal and venison
- Fish: Herring, trout, mackerel, tuna, sardines, anchovies, haddock and more
- seafood: Scallops, crab, shrimp and roe
- Sugary beverages: Especially fruit juices and sugary sodas
- Added sugars: Honey, agave nectar and high-fructose corn syrup
- Yeasts: Nutritional yeast, brewers yeast and other yeast supplements
Additionally, refined carbs like white bread, cakes and cookies should be avoided. Although they are not high in purines or fructose, they are low in nutrients and may raise your uric acid levels (
Summary: If you have gout, you should avoid foods like organ meats, game meats, fish and seafood, sugary beverages, refined carbs, added sugars and yeast.