What does gout and its associated pain have to do with what you eat? This article will address that but let’s look at what causes gout in the first place.
Causes of Gout
There has been much discussion about gout. Many people believed it was a rich man’s ailment dating back to Victorian times. Yes, it was around then but more and more people get gout these days, normally from as young as 25 years of age. It is not an old rich man’s ailment anymore. Its cause can lay in a damaged liver function or a poor diet. If the uric acid levels increase in the blood then this indicates that there is too much purine in the body. The kidneys will filter out any excess of uric acid through your urine. However, uric acid may continue to build up to a high level just because the body produces more than is required. What happens then is that this excess acid then metabolizes and forms what is known as urate crystals. These urate crystals form around the joints, most commonly for men around the big toe joint. The gout attack can happen rapidly with redness and swelling of this joint. The pain level increases very quickly with people describing it as the worst pain they have ever experienced. If the pain is in the big toe joint walking becomes difficult and so does sleep. Most pain killers will not help alleviate the pain but elevating the leg and ice packs can help. You need to see your doctor and if your body is making too much uric acid then further attacks may be prevented with a medicine taken daily. The doctor will also look into what you eat on a daily basis and if this diet is producing excess purine they will recommend certain changes.
A Low Purine Diet
Dieting on its own will not resolve further gout attacks. For example if you are overweight the loss of excess fat will reduce the risk of gout. Obese people tend to suffer more from gout attacks than slimmer people. Maintaining or starting a fitness regime is a major life style change but can help enormously in the prevention of gout. Drinking the right liquids, mainly water and limiting or stopping drinking alcohol will have a major impact for prevention.
What is a Regular Diet for Gout Prevention
Now let’s look at what foods produce those purines that lead to a possible gout attack before we look at a recommended diet. In all cases avoid red meats including food stuff like brain, liver and kidney. Sardines whether fresh or from a tin, anchovies, mackerel or herring contain high levels of purine. Avoid meat extracts like processed meats, i.e. ham, beef, or chicken out of a wrapper. Avoid wheat based products for a while and then find a substitute that is classed as medium to low purine levels. Go and discuss your requirements with a dietitian or nutritionist who will assist and guide you as to what diet to follow. Remember this is a change of lifestyle, the right diet will help you achieve this.