Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis caused by uric acid deposits in the joints. Increased uric acid is caused either by overproduction in the body or by the kidney’s inability to remove it.
Excess uric acid deposits in joints, and because of the lower body temperature in the joints, the acid crystallizes. When the crystals develop, white blood cells are sent to the area, causing an inflammatory response. That process is responsible for the inflammation, redness, and pain associated with gout.
Gout is caused by the body’s inability to detoxify the uric acid and the foods you eat. One reason your body could have a harder time detoxifying uric acid is the use of blood pressure medications.
If you have high blood pressure and gout, making tweaks to your lifestyle to control your blood pressure may lessen your need for medications. That can allow your kidneys to function better.
Another way to decrease uric acid is to reduce your intake of purines, which break down into uric acid. Below, we asked Dr. Aashish Jay Kumar, our expert at Spine & Pain Specialists of the Carolinas, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, to explain what foods to avoid to prevent another gout flare-up.
Many foods at the supermarket — including yogurts, baked goods, soda, and candies — contain a concentrated form of high fructose syrup. The best way to avoid it is to read every food label because high fructose corn syrup is sometimes used in foods that aren't even sweet, such as sauces and condiments.
Standard table sugar is also half fructose and can increase your risk for a gout flare-up.
Alcohol isn’t high in purines, but it prevents your kidneys from eliminating uric acid from the body.
Pork and game meats, especially the organs (liver, brain, and kidneys), are high in purines. Meat contains complete proteins and should be part of a balanced diet, but people with gout are often better off getting their proteins from chicken, duck, eggs, or dairy.
Tuna, trout, herring, crab, lobsters, mackerel, and sardines are all high in purines. Fortunately, steaming and boiling these types of seafood eliminates some of the purines.
Milk, eggs, cherries, and coffee are not only low in purines but also help you eliminate uric acid faster.
If you experience frequent gout flare-ups, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our experts will examine how your diet, medications, and current medical conditions impact the rate you produce and eliminate uric acid.