Gout and Your Diet

Is there a diet you can follow to prevent a recurrence of gouty arthritis?

So, you've had your first and you hope-your last attack of gout. You've been a good soldier, seeing your doctor and following his orders. Now, you sure don't ever want to go through that kind of sudden and intense pain again. You're wondering: is there a diet you can follow to prevent a recurrence of gouty arthritis? You're thinking that most diseases have been found to have a correlation to diet. For instance, too much cholesterol clogs arteries leading to heart attacks, and too little fiber causes irritable bowel disease. Is there a diet specific for gout?

Diet might be just the trick to keep gout away

Doctors used to think so. In fact, gout patients once had severe dietary restrictions. But today, the situation is less dire for those who suffer from gout. The limitations you'll want to impose on your diet are much more reasonable than in the past. That doesn't mean you can't modify your diet a bit. Changing the way you eat and drink might just have a significant effect on the level of severity of an attack of gout. Also, if you find that you can't take gout medications, diet might be just the trick to keep gout away, or at least mitigate the effect the disease can have on your lifestyle.

Certain foods contain purines, which, when metabolized, turn into uric acid. When too much purine is consumed, uric acid levels rise, leading to the formation of uric acid crystals around the joints. It's these sharp, needle-like crystals that cause the pain of gout. Try eliminating foods high in purine from your diet. Examples of foods high in purines are: organ meats like kidneys, sweetbreads, liver, and brains. Some varieties of fish are also high in this substance. Avoid mackerel, herring, and anchovies. Limit your consumption of animal protein to no more than 5 or 6 ounces a day.

Don't drink alcohol. Alcohol inhibits the excretion of uric acid from your body and can lead to a dangerous build-up of gout-causing uric acid crystals. Moderate alcohol consumption won't harm you too much, but if you're having a gout attack, avoid alcohol like the plague.

Drink lots of fluids. Fluids can help flush out that uric acid before it forms painful crystals. Water is the best way to replace fluids and in fact, the consumption of sugary soft drinks is considered to increase the risk of gout.

Lose weight and stay trim. Losing those pounds takes stress off the joints that could make them vulnerable to a gout attack.