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Foods That Aggravate Gout Symptoms

written by: efrontiers • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 4/15/2011

The diet is one of the risk factors for the occurrence of gout. Hence, diet management is very important to reduce the incidence of gout attacks. This article will present the foods that aggravate gout symptoms.

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    Gout and Hyperuricemia

    Gout is a painful condition due to the accumulation of uric acid, in the form of gout crystals, in the joints. The phenomenon of abnormally high levels of uric acid in the body is called hyperuricemia. This occurs when the body produces excessive uric acid or cannot eliminate it properly.

    To properly control gout, one needs to avoid hyperuricemia by reducing the levels of uric acid in the body. One of the solutions to effectively reduce the uric acid levels is to avoid foods that are loaded with purine, a certain form of protein. The right knowledge about purine-rich foods is of paramount importance among individuals with gout.

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    Dietary Management with Purine-Rich Foods

    Dietary management is really recommended when one has gout. The plan is to reduce the uric acid levels in the body as well as manage the associated disorders that frequently occur with gout. These disorders include obesity, hypertension, atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus.

    The recommended plan is by following a low-purine diet. It has to be acknowledged that completely avoiding purine is really impossible. The objective, then, is to limit the intake. Here are the foods that are considered high in purine:

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    Foods That Aggravate Gout

    Alcoholic Beverages

    All forms of alcoholic beverages have high-purine content. One needs to be particularly careful with beer. It has eight times more purines than wine and other alcoholic beverages.

    Seafood

    Certain fishes and shellfish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring, trout, haddock, scallops, mussels, codfish and anchovies are very rich in purines. On the other hand, crab, lobster, oysters and shrimp contain moderately high purine content. Although rich in omega-3 fatty acid, seafood should be avoided with gout patients.

    Meats, Organ Meats and Poultry

    Meats like bacon, veal, venison, pheasant, squirrel and other game meats contain high purines. Organ meats such as beef kidney, brains and liver are also very high in purines and should be avoided. Beef, chicken, pork and ham contain moderately high levels of purine. Poultry such as goose, turkey, duck and other white meats contain lesser purines than the red meats but these meats need to be limited too.

    Dairy Products

    Dairy products must also be avoided by gout sufferers. Milk, butter, cheeses and milk-based foods are rich in purines and should be blacklisted in a low-purine diet for people with gout.

    Certain Vegetables

    Vegetables like asparagus, kidney beans, lima beans, dried peas, lentils, mushrooms and spinach are moderately high in purine content. These vegetables need to be restricted in the diet to reduce the occurrence of gout attacks.

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    Conclusion

    Dietary management of gout can be a good way to complement medication in the prevention of gout attacks. With the list of foods that aggravate gout, one can now make a diet plan with the exclusion of restricted foods. One needs to understand, however, that the best diet may only be planned based on trial and error and individual personal limits. Hence, one needs to listen to the response of the body for proper diet management.

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    References

    Arthritis Today: http://www.arthritistoday.org/community/expert-q--a/gout/food-for-gout.php

    National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/default.asp


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