How much does diet affect gout?

Therefore, a diet high in purines can allow uric acid to build up and cause a gout attack (. Fortunately, research shows that restricting foods high in purines and taking the right medication can prevent gout attacks (. Foods that commonly trigger gout attacks include offal, red meat, seafood, alcohol, and beer. However, the truth is much more complicated.

Up to 4% of American adults have gout each year, and rising rates of obesity increase our risk. But don't believe everything you hear when it comes to diet and gout tips. Diet matters, but not always in the way you think. Rheumatologist Scott Burg, DO, shares more information about this common condition.

It's a common myth that these foods cause gout. When consumed in moderation, desserts and other rich foods do not affect gout outbreaks. But “moderation” is the key word. Rich foods may not cause exacerbations directly, but they can lead to weight gain.

And obesity is one of the main risk factors for gout attacks. Yes, it's a good idea to give up alcohol. Alcohol molecules in the body tend to increase uric acid levels, so drinking can push you to the limit and cause you to have an attack. If you've been recently diagnosed and start taking medications, try to stop drinking alcohol at first.

Your doctor may allow you to add a small amount back to your diet over time as your uric acid levels drop. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is the best way to combat gout. Foods that are low in purines that can help lower uric acid in the body include fruits (especially those that are high in vitamin C), vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and dairy products that are low in lifestyle measures, such as dietary changes, may help lower levels of uric acid, the chemical substance that is deposited in joints and causes gout. However, for most people, dietary changes alone aren't enough to prevent gout.

To lower uric acid levels enough to stop attacks, medications are usually needed. Even so, making changes in what you eat can cause fewer outbreaks of gout. Peixoto's study on the effect of a low-purine diet versus medication showed a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the non-medication diet group. However, the effects of the Mediterranean diet on patients with gout or hyperuricemia have not yet been sufficiently studied.

A low-purine diet could be an alternative, although this diet is less complete and focuses mainly on its effect on SUA. The ultimate goal is to define an appropriate diet for hyperuricemia and gout, which addresses both gout activity and traditional cardiovascular risk factors. However, based on current evidence, a Mediterranean diet low in animal purines obviously adds to the benefits of both diets. Following a low-purine, gout-friendly diet recommended by your healthcare provider or a dietitian may help ease symptoms of gout.

If you're at risk of developing gout or experiencing another gout attack, it's worth trying a low-purine diet. Most cases of gout can be prevented or controlled with healthy lifestyle changes, such as a proper diet for gout. People with gout can help themselves by adding citrus fruits and other vitamin C-rich foods (such as strawberries and peppers) to their diet.

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