Gout and What Foods to Avoid

What is Gout?

Gout is a build up of Uric Acid in your blood stream.  This reaches a certain point, and turns into small crystals.  These crystals then scrape and scratch the joints, causing them to become swollen, red, and inflamed.

What Causes Gout?

Gout is most commonly caused by eating foods with excessive Purines.  Purines are a type of molecule, called a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound.  Purines are found in foods such as meat, and meat by-products, most especially internal organs.  Eating foods high in purines is directly associated with gout, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, in an article from 2004.  Alcohol is also a major contributing factor to gout.  Strangely, the Purine adenine (directly associated with gout) is extraterrestrial in origin, according to NASA studies.

I’ve got “The Gout” now what?

Bad news.  There’s not much you can do to get rid of The Gout.  It’s a disease, like diabetes, and you can never be rid of it.  However, much like diabetes, you can control it with proper diet.  Exercise always helps, but gout makes exercise difficult, due to the massive foot pain, either across the top of the foot, or the big toe.

What are symptoms of The Gout?

Inflamed, painful to the touch, swollen, and red joints.  It’s most common in the big toe, especially the right side.  It’s also common to have pain across the top of the foot, or the knee.  Fingers and other joints are less likely to occur, but still possible.  If the pain of a bed sheet is too great, it’s gout.  The most common gout symptoms are the affected area turns red, swells up, and is extremely painful to the touch.

What is Uric Acid?

Uric Acid is an acid compound and is produced when the body breaks down Purines.  It is associated with gout, diabetes, and kidney stones.  In normal body function, the uric acid is passed through the body via urination.  When the body stops passing the uric acid, or cannot pass it fast enough, the uric acid will form into small needle-shaped crystals.

What is high Uric Acid?

High levels of Uric Acid are called hyperuricemia, and induces gout.  According to the National Institute of Health, the upper end of the normal range is 360 µmol/L (6 mg/dL) for women and 400 µmol/L (6.8 mg/dL) for men.

How do I reduce uric acid in my body?

The first, and best method, is to lower your intake of foods high in Purines.  This includes beef, pork, and lamb.  Seafood is very well known to cause gout, and shellfish especially should be avoided.  Low-fat dairy has been shown to lower levels of Uric Acid in the body.

What is a Purine?

Purines are produced when the body breaks down food.  Animal purines are associated with gout, while plant and dairy purines are not.  Dairy purines have been shown to reduce uric acid levels, and help reduce the risk of gout.

What medications for gout are there?

There are several medications.  Talk to your doctor about which is best for you.  Allopurinol is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs to control uric acid levels.  I have found Uricel to be effective, without needing a prescription, or a Doctor’s visit.

What is the treatment for gout?

Some people prefer natural treatments for gout, while others prefer medical assistance, especially for extreme cases.  I have tried Urcel with great effect to prevent gout, but if the flare up has started, try these suggestions.

What is the best natural gout treatment?

The best treatment is adjusting your diet, and avoiding high-purine foods.   If you are in the middle of a flare-up, then: Ice directly on the affected joint (if possible), ibuprofin for pain and inflammation, rest, lots of water to help flush the Uric Acid out, and eat tart cherries!

Foods to avoid with gout

This is by no means a complete list.  This infographic can help thought.

Fish, Alcohol, Caffeine, Organ Meats (Offal), Fried Foods, Beef, Soda (all High-fructose corn syrup in any form), Rich Sauces (brown and white gravy, béarnaise sauce, béchamel sauce, and hollandaise sauce), Shell Fish, and Fruit Juices.