Apr 20, 2018

Reclaim: Five Foods to Help Manage Gout

what-to-eat-and-avoid-with-gout-healthy-living-tips

Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by chronically elevated levels of uric acid in the diet.  The uric acid eventually forms crystals, which can be deposited in different joints. As those who suffer from gout know, severe attacks can be debilitating. Fortunately, this condition is very treatable with a doctor’s care and a healthy diet. We know what not to eat when battling gout, but there are also things we should be eating to help alleviate the discomfort. Along with a generally healthy lifestyle, here are five foods to help manage gout.

Vegetables.

A healthy diet full of vegetables is great for everyone, but for those who suffer from gout it is essential. Research now shows that even vegetables high in purines do not increase chances of gout, so even mushrooms, spinach and asparagus are safe.

Fruits.

It is best to avoid foods with added sugars if you suffer from gout. Fool your sweet tooth and eat strawberries and kiwi in place of cakes and cookies. Cherries are especially beneficial; studies show that people who eat cherries or consume cherry juice experience fewer gout attacks. Be sure to eat lots of fruits that are rich in vitamin C as it helps the kidneys remove uric acid from your system.

Dairy products.

A diet that’s full of low-fat dairy products may help improve uric acid excretion. According to studies, gout sufferers whose diet included a serving or more of low-fat milk or yogurt per day had less uric acid in their blood.

Water.

Not only is water a joint lubricant that helps with arthritis joint pain, it is one of the simplest remedies for gout. Drinking a half-gallon of water a day can assist in diluting the uric acid, making it easier for the kidneys to expel it before build-up begins.

Coffee.

Believe it or not, there is research that suggests moderate coffee intake may help reduce the risk of gout attacks. However, be sure to talk to your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake to ensure it’s the right addition to your diet.

What to avoid.

In addition to increasing your consumption of these five foods and drinks, be sure to continue to watch your intake of the foods that can contribute to gout attacks. Avoid red meat, beer, organ meats, and high fructose products like soda, candy, and fast food.

Other lifestyle changes.

If you carry excess weight, your risk of gout attacks can also increase. Research shows that losing a few extra pounds in a healthy way can help lower your uric acid levels. Exercising more is another important step in preventing your gout from flaring up. It helps you maintain a healthy weight and therefore contributes to lower acid levels in the body. Implement a menu based on the frequency at which you experience gout attacks; this week-long meal plan from Healthy Living includes gout-friendly foods that will help manage pain and swelling as well as prevent future attacks.

It is possible to manage gout attacks with these and other simple lifestyle changes. In addition to making these changes to your diet and exercise regimen, we recommend making an appointment with Carolina Arthritis. Our team of specialized doctors can meet with you to discuss your specific situation and create a treatment plan that is tailored specifically to you. Don’t wait for your next gout attack — contact us today and get the relief you need!