Have you ever experienced the excruciating pain of gout? The pain from gout is unforgettable and considered by doctors to be among the worst in medicine. Gout is caused by elevated levels of uric acid which can form needle-like crystals which deposit in unlucky joints such as the big toe, knee or wrist. Once present the uric acid crystals cause the sudden onset of incapacitating swelling, redness, warmth and pain. In many instances high uric acid levels are the result of poor dietary choices. With proper nutrition and smarter lifestyle choices individuals can lower uric acid and prevent episodes of gout.
Reduce purine consumption to lower uric acid. Purines are chemicals which naturally occur in some foods. When these purine chemicals are consumed and metabolized uric acid is produced. All meat (red or white) and seafood contain moderate amounts of purine and are directly correlated with the occurrence of gout. Certain items contain very high levels of purine including animal organ meats such as sweetbreads, beef kidneys, and liver as well as certain seafood such as anchovies, sardines and scallops. Interestingly, the consumption of purine-rich legumes, grains (excluding beer) and vegetables is no longer associated with gout. Many lay sites still incorrectly discourage consumption of purine-rich vegetables.
Avoid all alcohol products. Some items such as beer and certain spirits contain high levels of purines which increase uric acid levels. More importantly all alcoholic products prevent your body from eliminating uric acid. As a result, the risk of gout increases dramatically with any alcohol consumption. Alcohol also causes dehydration which in turn can predispose to uric acid crystal deposition in susceptible joints.
Skip all sugary soft drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup to lower uric acid. High fructose corn syrup directly increase levels of uric acid.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Staying well hydrated allows the kidneys to lower uric acid and it reduces the chances of uric acid crystal deposition into joints.
Consider eating low fat dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese and skim milk since may actually prevent gout. The mechanism of action is unknown but it may be due to dairy products effecting how quickly the body is able to eliminate uric acid.
Go for super fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and black cherries all of which prevent gout attacks by helping to lower uric acid levels.
Take a vitamin C supplement since it may reduce the incidence of gout by preventing the kidneys from reabsorbing uric acid which in turn will lower uric acid.
Consume a Mediterranean diet. Olive oil, nuts, fruits and vegetables, whole grains as well as fatty fishes such as salmon are not only gout friendly but heart healthy.
High uric acid levels are typically seen in individuals who have other metabolic abnormalities such as diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. Some medical experts believe that a high uric acid level may be a marker for greater stroke and heart attack risk.
High uric acid levels can only be diagnosed by seeing a medical doctor. Work with your doctor to lower uric acid levels with dietary changes. If you're unsuccessful then your doctor can recommend medications to lower uric acid levels.