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Oct 16

Gout Diet Considerations

green and red healthy foodWhile we can’t totally prevent gout with diet, there are some considerations to help alleviate the symptoms.  High levels of uric acid do not have any symptoms themselves and show up in an attack of gout or kidney stones.  The goal is to help reduce the uric acid in the blood stream and subsequently reduce the formation of uric acid crystals.

Dietary changes are most helpful in accomplishing this. Gout diet recommendations include:

  • Drink more water and other fluids (non-alcoholic)
  • Reduce Alcohol intake. (especially beer)
  • Limit high purine foods like organ meat, shellfish, red meats and fatty fish.
  • Drink more coffee as research shows coffee (both regular and decaf) help to reduce levels of uric acid.
  • Eliminate all high fructose from your diet. High fructose is found in fruit drinks, processed foods and regular soda drinks.
  • Switch to low fat dairy products as these have been shown to assist in the reduction of uric acid.
  • Increase intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Maintain an intake of at least 500mg of vitamin C daily. It has been shown that adequate vitamin C intake can contribute to the reduction in uric acid.

Research has shown that obesity is also a risk factor for gout.  Maintaining a healthy weight and participate in regular exercise is important in managing gout.  We have collected some gout friendly recipes for you.  We hope you will find them useful and delicious!

While diet has a significant effect on the development of gout and uric acid levels in the blood, there are additional contributing factors.  We know that uric acid comes from a breakdown in purines in the blood.  Purines come from foods that are ingested and broken down in the body.  There has been an increase in the incidence of gout and those following a gout friendly diet are ingesting more highly processed and refined carbohydrates in an effort to avoid “unfriendly to gout” foods like sea foods, meat and organ meats.  This practice can lead to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

It has been found that a diet that reduces insulin levels will prevent insulin resistance and will help to lower uric acid levels.  A diet low in fat and low in carbohydrates will help those suffering from gout.

It was previously thought that legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) contributed to increased purine breakdown.  It is now advised that gout sufferers should be encouraged to eat vegetable protein along with nuts and other vegetables.

Alcoholic drinks remain as a significant cause of increased levels of uric acid as well as intake of red meat, organ meat and fatty fish.

Uric Acid Blood Tests

Your doctor may or may not perform a uric acid blood test to determine the levels of uric acid in your blood.   As we know uric acid is a byproduct of purine breakdown in the blood.  Uric acid is filtered through the kidneys and eliminated in the urine.  In addition to uric acid from purines in food sources, uric acid can originate from a rise in cell death within the body.  This can come from a number of sources.

A normal reading from the uric acid blood test is 3.5 to 7.2 milligrams per deciliter.  Levels over this norm may indicate diabetes, gout, a diet high in purines, bone marrow disorders, hypoparathyroidism, kidney stones, kidney failure, chemotherapy or multiple myeloma.  These disorders can cause death of human cells in the body resulting in purines which are broken down into uric acid showing higher than normal levels.  It should be noted that human cells are dying all of the time in the natural process of regeneration of new cells and can cause uric acid levels to increase.