Foods that may help keep gout under control are:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and skimmed milk
- Nuts including nut butters such as almond butter and peanut butter
- Whole grains
- Potatoes, rice, whole-grain bread and whole grain pasta
- Eggs (in moderation)
- Oils such as olive oil
- Flax and other seeds
- Plenty of water and other non-sugary and non-alcoholic drinks
How do you permanently treat gout?
Gout is a life-long disease that needs constant monitoring and diet modifications. The disease is managed by a combination of medications and lifestyle changes to prevent the flares and minimize the complications. To manage gout, your doctor may recommend the following:
- Management of flare-ups: the pain of a flare-up may be managed by taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, steroids, and the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine.
- Preventing future gout flares: To manage symptoms and prevent future flares you need to make healthy changes in your diet and lifestyle. These include maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol, eating less purine-rich food such as red meat or organ meat, and including more non-sugary fluids, fruits and vegetables in your diet. If you are taking certain medications such as diuretics, your doctor may ask you to change to other alternatives.
- Prevent complications such as tophi and kidney stones: Tophi are hard deposits of uric acid under the skin. Stones and tophi may form because of long term high levels of uric acid. As a preventive measure for kidney stones and tophi, doctors may prescribe preventive therapy to lower uric acid levels in the blood. This includes medicines like allopurinol, febuxostat and pegloticase.
- Eat a healthy diet: Include plenty of fluids, fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut down on foods that may cause a gout flare. Foods high in purines (like red meat, organ meat and seafood) are to be avoided. Limit your alcohol intake, especially beer and hard liquor.
- Get educated with self-management skills: Self-management education classes help people with arthritis and other chronic conditions, including gout, understand how the disease affects their lives and what all they can do to improve the quality of life and live productively.
- Stay physically active: Regular exercise helps control the physical and emotional aspects of the disease. Exercise also helps to reduce the risk of other conditions such as heart diseases and diabetes. According to the experts, adults should engage in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity.
- Go for regular follow up with your doctor: Regular check-ups and following recommended treatment plan are crucial in controlling gout.
- Lose weight: You must lose weight if you are overweight or obese. Maintaining a healthy weight helps relieve gout symptoms and slows the disease progression.
- Take care of your joints: Protect your joints from injuries during physical activities and avoid over-exertion during exercise.
Foods to avoid with gout
People with gout can have a moderate intake of lean meats such as chicken and turkey. They must, however, avoid organ meats such as liver and kidney as they have higher levels of purines, which can cause gout flares. They should also avoid seafood such as shrimp, mussels, anchovies, sardines and lobster as it tends to contain a higher amount of purines.
Other foods to be avoided in gout include:
- Beer and grain liquors such as vodka and whiskey
- Red meat including lamb and pork
- Food products containing a high amount of fructose (a type of sugar) such as soda and some juices, cereal, ice cream, candy and junk food
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