Often, healthcare professionals recommend a low-purine diet for patients who have gout and other similar disorder. The diet usually involves avoiding certain foods or beverages that are high in purine. This is done to ease the symptoms of gout and improve the general well-being of the patient.
This article reviews the food that patients who have gout must avoid. But first, let’s learn a few things about gout and how avoiding high-purine foods can help you manage gout symptoms.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a painful form of arthritis, which is an inflammatory condition of the joints. It occurs when there’s a build-up of too much uric acid in the joints, leading to crystals formation in those areas. The main cause of gout appears to be excess levels of uric acid or hyperuricemia.
Typically, uric acid should dissolve in the blood, with the kidneys filtering it out, and the body passes it out through urine. However, if this process doesn’t happen as it should, the uric acid left in the body can build up in the joint in the shape of crystals.
According to a study, gout affects close to 8.3 million people in the United States alone. People who have gout tend to experience sudden and severe pain and inflammation of the joints, causing extreme discomfort.
The Role of Purines in Gout
Purines are chemical compounds that are found in certain foods. The body usually breaks down foods containing purines into uric acid as a waste product. This shows that uric acid comes from high-purine foods, and it only makes sense that you stick to a low-purine diet to manage gout symptoms.
However, there is a general misconception that gout is primarily caused by diet. This is far from the right because uric acid from foods only makes up about 15 percent of the body’s uric acid. This point is where genetics come to play. Study shows that genes play very important roles in determining the level of uric acid that the body will produce.
Experts say it is unlikely to manage gout strictly through diet completely. However, you can shift the odds in your favor with the kind of foods you eat. A good diet, one not containing high-purine foods, can help decrease the possibilities of gout flares.
According to a study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Disease Journal, people with gout who have gout and ate high-purine foods were more exposed to risks of gout attacks than those with low-purine diets. Regardless of the medications people took, a high-purine diet was linked with more gout attacks.
High-Purine Foods to Avoid with Gout
· Organ Meats
Organ meats such as liver, kidney, sweetbread, heart, and tripe are high in purines. It’s best for people with gout to avoid dishes, including these meats. Instead, you can moderately eat other poultry meats and beef since they are low in purines. A vegetarian pate recipe, including mushrooms and walnuts, can substitute the flavor you’ll get from most of the organ meat.
Seafood such as mussels, crab, shrimp, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and more have been found to contain high purines levels. According to a study by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, people who ate more seafood were more than 50 percent exposed to high amounts of uric acid compared to those who ate less. Trying fishes such as sole and cod, which are lower in purines, can be an alternative to those mentioned above.
· Alcohol and Alcoholic Beverages
Beer, whisky, and every type of alcoholic beverage have a nasty effect on people suffering from gout. They are said to be high in purines, and they trigger gout attacks. Researchers have linked intake of beer, wine, or liquor with risks of gout attacks. Several studies show that there are greater risks when a person drinks more alcohol. It is always best to stay away from alcohol. However, if you cannot do without it, stick to not more than one or two servings per day.
· Sweetened Drinks and Beverages
People with gout should, by all means, avoid soft drinks and beverages that contain the sugar – fructose. Fructose itself does not contain a high level of purines. However, once it gets into your body, it gets broken down into purines. Hence, it is safe to avoid drinking sodas containing high-fructose levels to prevent risks of gout attacks.
A low-purine diet has many advantages. Apart from reducing uric acid levels in your body, it may also help overweight or obese people lose weight. Thus, preventing the occurrences of gout attacks.
Above all, remember to speak to a medical practitioner before choosing a new diet that addresses your health issue.
If you are interested in a step by step guide to getting rid of gout, CLICK HERE!