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July 11, 2018
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What is Gout?

Gout is a disease that affects the joints. Left untreated, it can lead to painful foot deformity and even kidney problems. The good news is that by treating gout early, you can relieve pain and help prevent future problems. Gout can usually be treated with medication and proper diet. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.

What causes Gout?

Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid (a waste product  made by the body). The uric acid forms crystals that collect in the joints, bringing on a gout attack. If you have many gout attacks, crystals may form large deposits called tophi. Tophi can damage joints and cause deformity.

Treating Gout Attacks

Gout attacks are painful and often happen more than once. Taking medications may reduce pain and prevent attacks in the future. There are also some things you can do at home to relieve symptoms.

- Rest the painful joint as much as you can.

-Raise the painful joint so it is at a level higher than your heart.

Preventing Gout

With a little effort, you may be able to prevent gout attacks in the future. Here are some things you can do:

-Avoid alcohol and foods that trigger gout.

-Take any long-term control medications prescribed by your doctor.

-Lose weight if you need to.

- Control blood pressure and cholesterol.

-Drink plenty of water to help flush uric acid from your body.

During a Gout Flare Up, Avoid All...

Artificial sweeteners, carbonated or fizzy drinks, cigarettes, flour (white & wheat), goat, lamb, pastries, pork, sugar, beer, brown sugar, deer, chocolate, coffee, custard with white sugar, jams, jellies, liquor, pasta, rabbit, semolina, table salt ( refines & iodized), black tea, turkey, breads (white & wheat), white rice, and vinegar.

Food to Eat more of to Help Lower Uric Acid Related to Gout

-Food high in complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables

-Foods low in protein such as tofu, lean meats and poultry

-Dark berries and especially cherries may lower uric acid and reduce inflammation

-Oils found in Salmon, flax or olive oil, or nuts may reduce inflammation


Nutrition and Supplements

-Eliminate potential food allergens, including dairy, wheat (gluten), corn preservatives, and food additives. Your health care provider may test for food sensitivities.

-Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits ( such as blueberries, cherries and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell peppers). Some nutrition minded doctors promote a low fructose diet to treat gout. Another theory sates that one half  pound of cherries per day ( fresh or frozen)for 2 weeks lowers uric acid and prevents attacks. Cherry juice (8 to 16 oz per day) is also helpful.

-Eat more high fiber foods, including oats, root vegetables ( such as potatoes and yams), and psyllium seed.

-Avoid refined foods, such as white bread, pastas, and sugar.

-Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold water fish, tofu or beans for protein.

-Cut down on foods containing oxalate, such as spinach, rhubarb, beets, nuts, chocolate, black tea, wheat bran, strawberries, and beans.

-Include foods rich in magnesium and low in calcium, such as barley, bran, corn, rye, oats, soy, brown rice, avocado, banana, and potato.

-Restrict purines in your diet. Foods with a high purine content include beef, goose, organ meats, sweetbreads, mussels, anchovies, herring, mackerel, and yeast. Foods with a moderate amount of purines include meats, poultry, fish and shellfish not listed above. Spinach, asparagus, beans, lentils,  mushrooms, and dried peas also contain moderate amounts of purines.

-Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil.

-Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, french fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.

-Avoid alcohol and tobacco.

- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water daily to help flush uric acid from the body. Dehydration often triggers a gout attack.

-Exercise at least 30 minutes daily, 5 days a week.

-Avoid sugar sweetened soft drinks. Diet soft drinks have not been associated with the risk of gout.