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Avoid These Foods if you Suffer from the Symptoms of Gout



Gout is a common type of Arthritis that causes intense pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.  It usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe, known as the metatarsophalangeal joint and is caused mainly because of the presence of too much uric acid in the body.

While the development of gout has a lot to do with genetics and aging (which we are not able to do much about), other factors contributing to gout (including diet and weight) we have more control over.

Gout can be a very painful condition and obviously anyone suffering such pain and discomfort will want to do everything to prevent flare-ups.

What you eat can make a considerable difference to controlling your symptoms.

What are the symptoms of gout?

The main symptom of gout is intense joint pain that subsides to discomfort, inflammation and redness.

The condition frequently affects the base of the big toe but can also occur in the forefoot, ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers.

In some cases, gout can develop into more severe types of conditions with complications, including kidney stones or recurrent gout.

What foods should we avoid?

Gout occurs when an excess of uric acid in the body crystallizes in the joints.  These sharp crystals cause sudden swelling and are the source of the pain.  Uric acid is produced naturally as the body breaks down purines.  Although the body produces uric acid naturally, consumption of foods rich in purines can make the pain and discomfort of the gout worse. 

It is important to avoid those foods rich in purine as well as those with added sugars and refined carbs.

1. Alcohol such as beer, wine and liquor can all trigger attacks, especially when more than one serving is consumed at a time.  The yeast content adds to the problem.

2. Yeast is rich in purine and can contribute to gout.  Avoid any yeast taken as a supplement as well as foods like Vegemite and Marmite. 

3. Red meats (with their high purine content) should be avoided especially organ meats such as liver, kidneys and sweetbreads.

4.  Some seafood contains high amounts of purines especially shellfish such as shrimp, scallops and crab as well as herring, anchovies, mackerel and other fish.

5. Canned fruit often contains sugary syrup and should be avoided to decrease the risk of risk of flare-ups. 

6. While sugary juices may not contain high levels of purines, they do come with an excess of sugar which could spike uric acid production by speeding up cellular processes.

7. Soda should be avoided for the same reasons as juices and canned fruit.

8. Candy and other sweet treats should be enjoyed only very sparingly because of the excess sugar and the fact that they often contain high levels of fructose corn syrup. 

9. White bread and pasta have a higher glycemic index, which can increase the  risk of gout. Healthier options, such as whole wheat bread and pastas, contain more nutrients and a lower glycemic index, which can help keep uric acid production at reasonable levels.

10. Cakes and cookies of course come with refined carbs and added sugar resulting in an unhealthy combination and an increased risk of gout.

Adding to the effort of avoiding those foods listed above, you can take other positive measures to help the body manage uric acid including drinking plenty of water and working to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.




Gouty Arthritis: A Review of Acute Management and Prevention - PubMed (nih.gov)