What Is A Gout Diet?
A Gout diet is a type of diet that aims to manage and treat gout symptoms.
Gout is one of the most common types of arthritis that affects the joints in the lower part of the body. It is characterized by a painful swelling of the joints particularly in the big toes but can also affect the knees, feet, insteps, elbows, wrists and fingers. Men are at higher risk of developing gouty arthritis than women because their uric acid level production increases during puberty. A few decades early compared to women whose uric acid level production doesn’t change until menopause. Although gout causes intense pain in one or more joints at the same time, prognosis is very good especially for people who observe proper gout diet and healthy lifestyle.
Managing Gout with Gout Diet:
Your diet can either work for you or against you when it comes to gout. This is because gouty arthritis is aggravated with over consumption of foods rich in purine such as red meat, game meat and organ meats. The main goal of a gout diet is to reduce consumption of high purine foods and increase consumption of foods that are high in vitamins and have anti-inflammatory properties. The types of food that should be included in your diet include fruits, green leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts. Complex carbohydrates from rice, cereals, potatoes and bread also help in keeping a healthy level of uric acid in blood.
Benefits of A Gout Diet:
Although gout attacks can be extremely painful, the good news is that gout diet can help manage symptoms and prevent future flare-ups. Contrary to popular beliefs, gout does not happen instantaneously. It is often caused by your body’s overproduction of uric acid that in the long term, results in the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints and surrounding tissues. Gout is also a result of a problem in the kidneys that affect its ability to effectively flush out uric acid. If you are predisposed to gouty arthritis, certain types of food can significantly increase your chances of getting gout attacks. This is why you need to be conscious of the food you consume. A great overview of how to get rid of gout or stop it starting is given in our reccommended partner site available by clicking here
Reverse the Bad Effects of Gout with Gout Diet
Hyperuricemia is one of the most common symptoms of gout. People with hyperuricemia have excessive levels of uric acid in the blood and while hyperuricemia in itself do not lead to gout, it can eventually cause problems to your internal organs especially the kidneys. If the kidneys are compromised, it can affect how it filters and flushes out the uric acid. In turn it can lead to gout and other serious medical problems. If left untreated, gout increases your chance of developing heart diseases. It also puts you at higher risk for permanent joint and tissue damage.
Gout diet includes increasing consumption of foods that have high levels of vitamins and contain anti-inflammatory properties such as fruits and leafy vegetables. Citrus fruits contain flavonoids and vitamin C that helps repair the cells damaged due to excessive levels of uric acid. On top of that, vitamin C helps reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood. The anti-inflammatory properties also help in preventing or reducing the inflammation of the joints that accompanies severe pain associated in a gout attack. Most importantly, gout diet helps in preventing permanent damage to the joints that leads to disability.
Gout Diet in Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Gout diet includes eliminating or reducing intake of red meat and consumption of fat. This is generally good for people who are trying to lose weight as people who are obese have higher chances of developing gout. Although anyone can go on a gout diet regardless of their predisposition to the disease, it is important to talk to a rheumatologist or a dietician before starting a diet plan. This is because gout diet is often restrictive, eliminating most foods such as seafood that are important in acquiring optimum nutrition.
Improving Your Way of Life with A Gout Diet:
One can never overstate the importance of gout diet in preventing and treating gout. Being mindful of what you eat – avoiding gout triggers and switching to low-purine foods can reduce the amount of swelling and the pain during a gout attack. It can also prevent future flare-ups especially when coupled with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
Although you can argue that gout diet is restrictive especially in terms of the consumption of meat, there are a number of protein-rich foods that can be used as substitute. Going on a gout diet doesn’t necessarily mean that you should give up on your favorite meals. Soy products that are used as meat substitutes in vegetarian diets are excellent choices when you need to prepare meals that include red meat in the ingredients. As recommended by the Arthritis Foundation, you can do a trial and error on finding out which high-purine foods trigger an attack and which doesn’t. If you’re not sure, you can ask your doctor or dietician to help you create an individualized diet plan that is suited to your specific needs.