For some people, gout is an old-fashioned malady that has long since disappeared. But for many, gout is very real today. A gout is a painful form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid. Uric acid is formed when the body breaks down purine, a chemical found in the body and some foods. Gout pain occurs when the uric acid in the blood causes crystals to form and accumulate in and around joints. Normally, purine found in foods leaves the body via urination, but sometimes it can build up in the joints and then ouch!
Talk to your doctor about your gout pain treatment options. And there are also holistic choices you can make. Gout pain can be helped by eating well and weight loss. Some research suggests that reducing calories and losing weight can lower uric acid and reduce gout attacks even without avoiding foods high in purine. But weight loss is difficult for many people and particularly hard during stressful times like a global pandemic.
But you can take steps today to feel better.
EAT SMARTER: FOODS TO AVOID GOUT
- Consume more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Avoid Fats. Cut back on saturated fats from red meat, fatty poultry, and high-fat dairy products.
- Carefully chose your proteins. Focus on lean meat and poultry, low-fat dairy, and lentils as sources of protein. Avoid meats such a liver, kidney, and sweetbreads. And limit beef, pork, and lamb.
- Stay away from sugary and highly processed foods. Limit or avoid sweetened cereals, baked goods, and candies.
- Choose cherries! There is some evidence that eating cherries is associated with a reduced risk of gout attacks for those of you who like fruit.
DRINK SMARTER: BEVERAGES TO AVOID GOUT
- Drink lots of water. Water helps flush out chemicals and keeps your body functioning.
- Avoid alcohol that can contain purine and dehydrate you.
- Avoid sugary beverages and limit consumption of naturally sweet fruit juices.
And stay active. Consider gentle yoga exercises to start or end your day. Finally, there is evidence to show that Vitamin C lowers uric acid levels. You may want to explore supplements to see if they are right for you.
Gout can make your life painful. Anyone who has ever suffered from it will tell you so, but you are not helpless. There are choices: talk to your doctor, choose foods that avoid gout, drink plenty of water, stay gently active, and explore supplements with Vitamin C to see if they are right for you.
As with any supplement, consult with your health care provider.