By Sarah Howes
What is Gout?
Gout is caused by a high level of uric acid in the blood stream and is an acute inflammatory arthritis which usually occurs in the big toe causing a very painful burning feeling. Uric acid is formed from the breakdown of substances called purines which are found in foods such as liver, dried beans, peas and anchovies.
Purines are everywhere and are the fundamental building blocks of DNA and life. They are located in the cells of our body and the body and the foods we eat. Purines are not bad however if you consume too many purines then you will produce a high level of uric acid which can lead to gout.
Both lifestyle diet changes and medications can decrease uric acid levels in the body. Foods you will want to avoid if you have gout fall into different levels of purine content. Here is a useful list of food items to avoid if you have gout:
Gout Foods to Avoid
Foods to avoid that have a HIGH purine level:
Foods to avoid that have a MODERATE purine level:
Vegetables to avoid that contain HIGH purine levels
You will also want to avoid alcohol consumption especially beer as yeast can contain high amounts of purines.
Good Gout Foods
Foods that are GOOD to eat if you have gout include:
Banana (high in potassium and vitamin c)
If you have gout, the first method of therapy a doctor will recommend is non steroidal anti-inflationary drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen and indomethacin. Other therapies for acute gout attacks include colchicine and prednisone. While these medications can be helpful, there are also unwanted side effects that can occur which include gastric ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney side effects and elevated blood pressure. If you have previous had a gastric ulcer or you are currently taking blood thinners then you will want to avoid taking the anti-inflationary drugs.
A diet high in consumption of alcohol and meat can contribute to a risk of gout. Work towards a balanced diet and try to avoid foods that are high in fat and cholesterol, meat proteins, organ meat and alcohol – particularly beer.
If you think you are suffering from the symptoms of gout like a swollen toe then please contact your doctor or health professional as soon as possible to diagnose your gout.
Check out this great short gout video that covers the history and common symptoms of gout