Is gout only caused by diet?

Diet isn't the sole cause of gout, and lifestyle changes alone cannot treat or prevent it, Dr. The disease is caused by needle-shaped urate crystals that form in the joints and cause severe inflammation and pain. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. The extra uric acid forms sharp crystals that are deposited in the joints and cause swelling and pain.

However, you can help reduce the amount of uric acid in your body by following a low-purine diet. Lowering uric acid levels can help prevent new crystals from forming, reducing gout attacks. If you want to include some animal protein in your diet, only a moderate amount is recommended. It is recommended to avoid eating large portions of purine-rich meats.

A typical serving of meat is 3 ounces and fish is 4 ounces. 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. Many people avoid outbreaks of gout and can reduce the severity of their symptoms, and may even stop having gout.

Others, such as Dr. Hyon Choi, an internationally recognized expert in gout, and a rheumatologist at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver General Hospital and an epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, think that some people can be helped by diet alone, especially if they have a single mild attack. If you're at risk of developing gout or experiencing another gout attack, it's worth trying a low-purine diet.

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