Gout is a common type of arthritis that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the blood, tissues and urine. Uric acid is the end product of the metabolism of a class of chemicals known as purines. In people with gout, the body doesn’t produce enough of the digestive enzyme uricase, which oxidises relatively insoluble uric acid into a highly soluble compound. ...Read more As a result, uric acid accumulates in the blood and tissues and, ultimately, crystallises.
Gout may be characterised by:
• Acute onset of intense joint pain, typically involving the first joint of the big toe (about 50% of cases)
• Elevated serum uric acid levels
• Periods without symptoms between acute attacks
• Identification of urate crystals in joint fluid
• Aggregated deposits of urate crystals in and around joints of the extremities, but also in subcutaneous tissue, bone, cartilage, and other tissues
• Uric acid kidney stones
Dietary and Lifestyle Recommendations
• Several dietary factors are known to be causes of gout such as the consumption of high-purine foods. Educate yourself on the high-purine foods and avoid/eliminate them. Examples of high-purine –content foods are organ meats, meat, yeast, poultry, shellfish, sardines, mackerel and anchovies.
• Elimination of alcohol consumption reduces uric acid levels and prevents gouty arthritis in many individuals.
• Reduce the level of refined carbohydrates and sugars in your diet, for example white flour products such as bread, cakes, biscuits, pasta, sweets.
• Reduce ‘bad’ fats such as hydrogenated/trans fats found in many processed foods.
• Consumption of excess calories &/or obesity will increase the likelihood of gout.
• A low-purine diet should be adopted.
• An alcohol-free diet
• Weight reduction if there is any excess weight
• Diet should focus on complex carbohydrates and plenty of vegetables and fruit
• Protein intake should not be excessive but must be adequate
• Make sure and have adequate fluid intake especially water as this keeps the urine diluted and promotes the excretion of uric acid
• Include fruit such as cherries, blueberries and strawberries as these are high in antioxidants and help neutralise uric acid
• Include green Superfoods such as chlorella, Spirulina, barley grass so as to help alkalise the body
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