GOUT OUCH! Is your diet hurting?

Posted on October 09, 2016

gout diet-image

The secret of a healthy life is hidden in a balanced diet. In the past, gout was considered a disease only of the rich, because the victims of the disease had an easy access to fancy foods and liquor. Gout has been associated with over-indulgence in seafood, meat and alcohol. Long before the modern research, it was believed that a healthy lifestyle can help in its prevention and cure, which is absolutely true. There seems to be a lot of myths and confusion related to the ideal diet to cure gout. Here, we will try to clear things up for you.

What is Gout?

It is a type of arthritis, which is caused by an excess of uric acid in the blood. The excess uric acid results in fluid buildup around the joints, which leads to uric acid crystals. These crystals cause swelling and intense pain which is primarily observed in the big toe.

Many doctors and medical science experts argue upon foods to consume and to avoid. However, it is important to do your homework. It is an established fact that the human body possesses a natural ability to heal. Having said that, it’s not wise to test your body’s threshold and tolerate the inflammation caused by wrong eating and lifestyle habits and wait for the gout to flare up.

Prevalence of Gout
The study of 52,322 participants in the Singapore Chinese Health Study reports a prevalence of gout of 4.1% with a mean age at diagnosis of 54.7 years. A previous study of 100 patients with gout showed that this disease mainly affected middle-aged men who had other diseases, including hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, renal failure, ischaemic heart disease and diabetes.
(http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/gout)

Patient Profile

Gout affects men mainly and only 5% of women suffer with it.  However, it’s important to note that gout increases after menopause as the uricosuric effect of oestrogen is lost. Family history or genetics may contribute to gout. It is estimated that up to 18% of patients with gout have a family history associated with gout. The age of onset is between 30-60 years which may be earlier in cases of renal insufficiency or inborn errors of purine metabolism (e.g. hypoxanthineguanine phosphoribosyltransferase, HGPRT, deficiency).

Your disease may be a reflection of faulty diet habits

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The consumption of foods and drink high in purines such as red meat, sardines and high fructose sweetened beverages alcohol, packaged and preserved foods is also associated with gout.

How to avoid Gout attack?

To avoid gout attack, you need to control the uric acid level in your body also the weight if excess. If you thought that obesity can lead to only diabetes and heart problems, then you may need to think again in terms of gout.  Resistance of insulin is commonly seen in obese people, and involved in gout development also which worsens the whole condition. So keep your weight in check as gout can be very painful.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms including insulin resistance, android (tummy) obesity, high cholesterol and blood pressure. It may be also associated with excess uric acid and gout, which can be improved through gradual weight loss.

Some nutrition guidelines for a Gout friendly diet

Gout, weight loss diet

  • First and foremost thing is to limit the intake of meat, fish, poultry and nuts to 10 percent from your daily calories.
  • Reduce the fat consumption up to 10 percent, including milk, cheese, eggs and butter from your daily intake. It helps your body to lower saturated fats and prevent obesity, which is a cause of gout.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid any type of alcohol.
  • Consume complex carbohydrates in vegetables, fruits, rice, whole grains and avoid refined carbohydrates like cakes and candies.
  • Use olive oil in cooking and baking to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Ancient cures:

Ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine suggest turmeric (curcumin longa) in treating arthritis and gout. Curcumin is a strong antioxidant which helps in lowering inflammatory enzymes in the body. Anti-inflammatory elements are natural way to prevent and cure gout. Edibles having anti-inflammatory effect are:

  • Pineapple
  • watercress
  • lemons
  • ginger
  • peppers

The anti-inflammatory effect of these edibles reduce joint swelling. The anti-gout benefits of natural herbs like celery seeds, moringa leaf, turmeric and cinnamon are also scientifically proven. The use of these herbs has shown to lower urine and plasma uric acid level in the body. These herbs also decrease oxidative stress and inflammation.

Conclusion

It is important to understand that gout diet is not a treatment, but a lifestyle that helps in eliminating gout symptoms. Regulated diet and exercise and weight loss if greater BMI is recommended to prevent and also to cure the existing problem.

A large part of your success depends on lifestyle and eating habits. It is what you eat on daily basis that makes all the difference to your health.

Contact us if you would like us to help you prevent gout or provide a gout friendly customised, therapeutic diet and nutrition program.