Living with Gout

By: Nutrition expert- Vidula Kozarekar, Mumbai.

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Gout is one of the most common inflammatory joint diseases. A well-balanced diet can not only lower your risk of an attack, but it can also slow the progression of gout-related joint damage.

Intensely painful, swelling joints (most often in the big toe or other part of the foot) and/or bouts of arthritis that come and go may indicate gout.

What increases your chances for gout? (1)

The following make it more likely that you will develop hyperuricemia, which causes gout:

  • Being male
  • Being obese
  • Having certain health conditions, including:
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • Insulin resistance
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Diabetes
    • Poor kidney function
  • Using certain medications, such as diuretics (water pills).
  • Drinking alcohol. The risk of gout is greater as alcohol intake goes up.
  • Eating or drinking food and drinks high in fructose (a type of sugar).
  • Having a diet high in purines, which the body breaks down into uric acid. Purine-rich foods include red meat, organ meat, and some kinds of seafood, such as anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, and tuna.

Nutritional Considerations: (2)

Consider following food allowances: (2)

  • Plenty:
    • Most meals: Whole grains, plant protein, fresh vegetables
    • 2-3 servings a day: fresh fruits (less sweet when possible)
    • 1-3 servings a day: legumes, nuts
    • 1-2 servings a day: low fat dairy
  • Moderation (0-3 servings of each daily):
    • Oily fish (tuna, salmon, trout) , Chicken, eggs
  • Rare / Avoid:
    • Red meat / Shell fish, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), Refined Sugar
    • Liquor, Beer

Other nutrient considerations:

  • Increase water intake

High water intake (8 glasses of bottled/ filtered water daily) helps to keep urine diluted and increase the excretion of uric acid.

  • Vitamin C & Vitamin E

They are useful for repairing tissue damage and limiting inflammation caused by gout.

  • Omega-3 oils

Omega 3 oils inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators that fuel symptoms of gout

  • Folic acid (vitamin B10) & Quercetin

These may inhibit the production of uric acid.

Living with Gout: (3)

Gout affects quality of life by both the intermittent attacks and the potential for chronic (lasting) arthritis. Compliance with your treatment plan is critical. Lifestyle changes may make it easier to manage this lifelong disease. Suggestions include gradual weight loss, avoidance of alcohol and reduced consumption of fructose‚Äźcontaining drinks and foods high in purines.



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