Practicable Dietary Advice For Gout and Hyperuricemia

Gout is painful arthritis, which occurs due to excess uric acid in blood (known as hyperuricemia). When there is excess uric acid in blood, the crystals of uric acid may get deposited in the joint space and cause painful inflammatory arthritis, which is gouty arthritis. Gout has close link with overindulgence of certain diet (such as red meat, sea foods and alcohol). Hence, an important part of management of gout is dietary change (avoid foods that increase uric acid production). Uric acid is produced when purine is broken down in the body. Although human body contain purine, certain foods are high in purine content, hence should be avoided in gout.ID-100167040

Medications used for management of gout usually reduce uric acid production or increase uric acid excretion or both. Most commonly uric acid production lowering agents are used and dietary changes work as adjuvant in optimal management of gout and hyperuricemia.

Diet for patient of gout or hyperuricemia:

What to avoid in gout?

  • Avoid red meat, sea foods: these foods are high in purine content and need to be avoided by patients of gout. Red meat (e.g. beef, pork, mutton etc.), sea foods (such as shrimp, herring, lobster, tuna etc.) contain high purine and need to be avoided. Even white meat (such as poultry) and fish contain purine and should be taken in limited quantity.
  • Alcohol: although alcohol does not contain purine, it reduces excretion of uric acid by kidneys and lead to accumulation of excess uric acid in blood (hyperuricemia). Alcohol intake (especially beer) can precipitate gouty attacks and should be avoided during acute attacks of gout.
  • Reduce intake of fat and high fructose corn syrup. Saturated fats (rich in animal products) reduce uric acid excretion hence, need to be reduced in diet. Among the carbohydrates, fructose is known to increase uric acid production and foods sweetened with fructose corn syrup should be avoided by patients of gout or hyperuricemia.

What to take in gout?

  • Consume complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and cereals. Make sure your diet is low in refined carbohydrates.
  • Take lots of vegetables and fruits which contain complex carbohydrates along with vitamins and minerals.
  • Drink plenty of water daily. Make sure you drink at least 2-3 liters (8-12 glasses a day) of water daily. Drinking plenty of water will remove uric acid and make urine dilute, which will prevent crystallization of uric acid and prevent stone in urinary tract.
  • Low fat or fat free dairy products should be added to the diet/menu.

In general taking vegetables does not harm in gout, even if they contain some purine in them, hence, taking lots of vegetables is good idea for gout patients.

Here is a sample menu for patients with gout :

  • Breakfast: whole grain cereal, fruit juice or whole fruit, whole wheat bread/toast, cup of tea or coffee.
  • Lunch: 2-3 ounces of lean/white meat (such as poultry) or low fat fish, whole wheat bread, vegetable salad, fresh fruit and fat free milk.
  • Dinner: steamed vegetables, whole grain cereal, and vegetable salad 2-3 ounces of lean meat or fish, fresh fruits.

This is just a sample menu for general guidance of diet for patients suffering from gout or hyperuricemia. All patients with hyperuricemia may not suffer from gout, but they are greater risk of developing gout, hence, uric acid should be controlled to reduce risk of gout.

Image courtesy of [Sira Anamwong] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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