Gout is a painful form of arthritis accruing when blood uric acid levels are higher than normal. The excess uric acid forms crystals in the joints which cause pain and swelling. Medication is an option regularly taken by many patients, but changing diet and lifestyle offers other options.
The goal in changing diet and lifestyle is to lower the amount of uric acid in the body, which will reduce swelling and pain. Limiting purine-rich foods is one way. Purines are compounds natural in some foods. In breaking down these purines, uric acid is created by the body. Purines are healthy, so the goal is to reduce the amount of purines, not eliminate them completely. A variety of foods have purine in them, including trout, tuna, haddock, sardines, anchovies, mussels, and herring, high fat foods, alcohol and sugary food.
In limiting purine rich foods, the individual can consume low-purine foods. These foods include low-fat and fat-free dairy products, peanut butter and most nuts and most fruits and vegetables. Additionally, there are a variety of medications which increase the amount of purine levels in a person. Diuretic drugs, such as furosemide (Lasix) and hydrochlorothiazide which suppress the immune system, especially before or after an organ transplant.
Low-dose aspirin can also increase uric levels. Because medications such as these may be needed for a person’s health, it is important that you speak to your doctor before making a switch. Maintain a healthy body weight reduces the amount of gout flare ups a person may have and can help combat heart disease. While being overweight is risky in its own right, the condition can increase the amount of uric acid in the blood. But, rapid weight loss, with fasting, can raise uric levels. Therefore, people should focus on making long-term sustainable changes to manage their weight, such as becoming more active, eating a balanced diet, and choosing nutrient-dense foods.
There is some research suggesting coffee drinkers are less likely to develop gout. On study found women who consumed 1 to 3 cups of coffee per day had a 22% reduction in their risk. The decrease was even better in women who drank more than 4 cups of coffee per day. That went down to 57%. Additionally, a handful of studies have linked drinking coffee to lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately, coffee does have risks. Too much can increase the risk of chronic kidney disease and possible bone fractures in women. And if you want more information about gout and CKD, be sure to visit my YouTube channel.