Gout is a common and complex type of arthritis that can affect anyone
Gout is a common and complex type of arthritis that can affect anyone.

Medications for acute gout attack: These medications are usually prescribed to treat an acute attack of gout.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These can quickly relieve the pain and swelling of an acute gout episode. They can shorten the attack, especially if taken in the first 24 hours.
  • Corticosteroids: These drugs can be taken by mouth or injected into an inflamed joint to quickly relieve the pain and swelling of an acute attack. Corticosteroids usually start working within 24 hours after they are taken.
  • Colchicine: An anti-inflammatory medicine that works best if taken within the first 24 hours of a gout attack.

Medications for reducing uric acid levels: These are usually prescribed after an acute attack ends to reduce uric acid levels in the body to prevent future attacks.

  • Colchicine: Regular and low doses of colchicine may be given along with other medications below to prevent flare-ups.
  • Allopurinol: It reduces uric acid production in the body.
  • Febuxostat: It reduces uric acid production in the body.
  • Probenecid: It acts on the kidneys to help eliminate uric acid.
  • Pegloticase: This is a medication that is injected every 2 weeks. It reduces uric acid quickly and is used when other medications fail.

Lifestyle and home remedies to treat acute gout and can prevent recurrent attacks:

  • Limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption and drinks sweetened with fructose (fruit sugar)
  • Limiting intake of foods high in purines, such as red meat, organ meats, and seafood
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy body weight

What causes gout?

Gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in the joints, causing inflammation and intense pain. This typically occurs when there are high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is produced when purine-rich foods such as steak, organ meats, seafood, and alcoholic beverages, especially beer and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose), are consumed in a large quantity.

Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood and gets excreted into the urine. However, sometimes there is too much uric acid or too little uric acid excreted causing urate crystals in the joint.

The following risk factors increase the uric acid level in the body:

  • DietEating a diet rich in meat, seafood, alcohol, and beverages sweetened with fructose (fruit sugar) increases levels of uric acid, which increases the risk of gout.
  • Obesity: Higher the body weight, the higher the uric acid produced in the body.
  • Medical conditions: Certain diseases and conditions increase the risk of gouts, such as untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart and kidney diseases.
  • Certain medications: Certain anti-hypertension medication, aspirin, etc. can increase uric acid levels.
  • Family history of gout
  • Inadequate hydration
  • Age and sex: Gout occurs more often in men because women have lower uric acid levels. Men are more likely to develop gout between the ages of 30 and 50 years, and women may develop signs and symptoms after menopause.
  • Recent surgery or trauma

QUESTION

Gout is a form of arthritis. See Answer

What foods are good for gout?

Dietary management of gout focuses on reducing the amount of uric acid in the system and attaining and maintaining a healthy body weight.  

Foods that may help keep gout in check are:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables such as berries, oranges, bell pepper and pineapple
  • 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 pasta
  • Eggs (in moderation)
  • Oils such as olive oil 
  • Flax and other seeds
  • Plenty of water and other non-sugary and non-alcoholic drinks

What can you not eat with gout?

Foods rich in purines must be avoided if you have gout. Purines are a type of chemical that produces uric acid in the body. They are naturally found in the body and can also be found in certain foods. The main modification in the diet traditionally involves eating a low-purine diet. Although avoiding purines completely is not possible, you should strive to limit them. 

Both moderate and high-purine foods and drinks must be avoided if you have gout, such as: 

  • Alcohol is a major trigger for gout attacks. This is because when you drink alcohol your kidneys filter it out instead of uric acid. This leads to the build-up of uric acid in the body. All alcoholic beverages are bad for gout. Beer is especially bad for gout since it is rich in purines. 
  • Certain fish, seafood, and shellfish, including anchovies, trout, sardines, herring, codfish, mussels, codfish, scallops, and haddock
  • Organ meats such as liver, kidney, sweetbreads, and brain. People with gout, however, can have a moderate intake of lean meats such as chicken and turkey. 
  • Red meat including bacon, turkey, veal, and venison 
  • Dried beans and peas
  • 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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Medically Reviewed on 3/3/2022
References
https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-08-2012/gout-myths-vs-facts.html

Medscape Medical Reference

CDC https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/gout.html#causes

Arthritis Foundation https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/nutrition/healthy-eating/which-foods-are-safe-for-gout

American Kidney Fund https://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/complications/gout/diet-for-gout/