Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is developed when the body has high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product from the digestion of food that purines. Purines are a chemical compound found in foods such as fish, beans, and organ meats. Also, purines can also be found in alcoholic beverages such as beer. Your kidneys are responsible for filtering out the uric acid; however, if you consume high amounts of purine, your body cannot filter out the uric acid fast enough, which can cause it to build up in the blood. This leads to the condition known as gout, which causes many symptoms such as; swelling of the joints, redness, and severe discomfort.
The Urban Health gout guide will help you manage this inflammatory condition, through nutritional and lifestyle recommendations.
Dietary and lifestyle guidelines
Choose lean proteins:
As previously mentioned, uric acid is a byproduct of purines. When you have been diagnosed with gout, you want to be aware of purines sources, and certain protein foods are high in proteins. Meats such as beef, pork, seafood, and organ meats often contain high amounts of purines. You want to be mindful of how much of these you consume. Instead, choose lean proteins such as; egg whites, chicken breast, turkey breast, or spirulina instead.Eat more complex carbohydrates:
It will help if you eat complex carbs, as they have a lower glycaemic index. Researchers have found that low glycaemic index foods can reduce the concentration of uric acid inside the body, and help to reduce the risks of gout flare-ups. There are many sources of complex carbohydrates such as; sweet potatoes, barley, yams, whole fruits, and nuts.
When you’re recovering from gout, it is essential to drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps to flush out uric acid, and this can also help to alleviate joint discomfort.
Limit saturated fats:
Consuming saturated fat can hinder the elimination process of uric acid. You want to avoid eating foods such as; dairy products, fatty cuts of beef, palm kernel oil, and processed foods such as pizza, and fast food.
Be mindful of your seafood choices:
When you are recovering from gout, you should avoid certain types of seafood such as shellfish, anchovies, mussels, and herring. Instead, if you want to eat seafood, opt for seafood such as; lobster and shrimp.
Eat anti-inflammatory foods:
Gout is an inflammatory condition; therefore you want to counteract the inflammation by eating anti-inflammatory foods, examples include; turmeric, extra virgin olive oil, salmon, avocados, and berries.
It would help if you tried to keep stress to a minimum as it can exacerbate gout symptoms. Try to find ways to relax, e.g. through mediation, walking, or even listening to music.
Get enough sleep:
Ensuring that you get enough sleep is very important for the recovery process. As previously mentioned, you want to keep stress to a minimum, and resting can help you do that. Moreover, resting can help to alleviate the discomfort, as gout can often be quite painful.
Once you have recovered from gout, it is essential to make healthy choices to support your body. High amounts of alcohol consumption has been shown to increase the risk of recurring gout attacks. Therefore, if you do wish to have a drink, please do so in a responsible manner.
Exercise is an integral part of life, it helps to keep you energised, agile, and alert. Furthermore, exercise can help with post-gout recovery as it helps to prevent against future gout attack. When you do not exercise enough, you risk being overweight, and being overweight is a contributing risk factor for gout. When you are first recovering from gout
start with low-intensity exercises such as; walking, bike riding, or yoga. These are all great ways of getting your body moving without overexerting yourself too soon.
Another factor that you may want to consider is supplementation. Researchers found that supplements, particularly vitamin C helped to reduce uric acid levels in the blood, which as mentioned earlier, is the root causes of gout. You may want to consider taking vitamin C supplements for additional support. However, it is important to note that supplements should be an addition to following the healthiest diet for you. Supplements are not meant to replace a healthy diet; they are intended to complement your health.
Be mindful of medication:
It would be best if you were mindful of medicine as research has found links between gout and certain drugs, e.g. diuretics, aspirin, and beta-blockers. Researchers have found that these medications can trigger a gout flare-up, so be sure that you discuss this with your trusted health practitioner for guidance before you take medication.