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Gout and Shrimp

By Janet Renee, MS, RD

If you have gout, you belong to a group of 8 million Americans estimated to suffer from this painful arthritic condition, according to data gathered from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2008. Gout occurs when excess uric acid, a byproduct of purine metabolism, accumulates in your joints. The result is swelling, stiffness and pain. Gout sufferers typically need to follow a low-purine diet to control their symptoms. Various foods contain purines, particularly organ meats, anchovies, sardines, mussels and shrimp.

Bad News for Shrimp Lovers

You may need to avoid eating shrimp if your doctor recommends a low-purine diet. Limit your purine intake to 100 to 150 milligrams daily on this type of diet. Shrimp belong to the very high purine category. Foods in this group contain anywhere from 100 to 1,000 milligrams of purines per 3-ounce serving. Gout sufferers must usually avoid purine-rich foods. Only your doctor can determine whether your gout symptoms are well controlled enough for you to consume shrimp, how much and how often.

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