Gout develops when uric acid levels within the blood are increased. These form crystals within a person’s joints, causing painful and severe swelling, often starting at the big toes and feet. While medication can help treat the condition, lifestyle changes and diet can also reduce risks.
If you suffer from constant gout flare ups, below are some tips on how to decrease the risk of this illness, naturally.
Medical News Today revealed that many that suffer from recurring bouts of gout, look to their diet to decrease chances around flare ups. Purines are compounds that are organically found in some foods, and as a body breaks these purines down, it creates uric acid. Therefore, foods rich in purines can sometimes lead to gout, due to producing an excess of uric acid.
While some foods that have increased purines can be healthy, so the idea is to decrease the intake of these foods, and potentially introduce items that are low in purines as well!
Foods containing high purine compounds include:
- Some fish (i.e. haddock, tuna, trout, sardines, mussels, herring, and anchovies)
- Venison (deer)
- Increased alcohol consumption
- Organ meats (e.
- Foods high in fat (e.g. dairy products, bacon, red meat)
- Sugary beverages and food
Foods that contain medium levels of purine are:
- Beef and ham
- Deli meats
- Shrimp, oyster, lobster, and crab
Foods with low-purine content include:
- Peanut butter
- Most nuts
- Low-fat and fat-free dairy products
- Most veggies and fruit
- Whole-grain rice and bread
Healthy Body Weight
Another way to lower the risks around gout, is maintaining a healthy body weight, as obesity can increase a person’s chances of developing the condition. Being overweight has been linked to an increased risk around heightened levels of uric acid in the blood, as well.
Interestingly enough, rapid weight loss, especially around fasting, can also increase uric acid levels; therefore, it is important to focus on long-term and healthy options around weight management via nutritional food choices and a regular fitness routine.
Avoid Certain Medications
While prescribed medications can help treat gout, certain other meds can increase levels of uric acid. They include:
- Diuretic drugs, (i.e.
hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide (Lasix))
- Low-dose aspirin
- Medications suppressing one’s immune system, especially before or after an organ transplant
Medications that increase uric acid levels might be essential for one’s health, so it is important to always discussion drug options with your doctor before making any changes.
A 2011 meta-analysis around 13 randomly selected trials revealed that vitamin C decreased uric acid levels within the blood significantly, which also lowers chances around gout. It’s important to note that research has only proven that vitamin C can decrease levels of uric acid and nothing around preventing or treating the condition.
Preliminary studies have revealed that eating cherries could decrease chances around gout, especially for those who have had past history with the condition. Research conducted in 2012 that gathered just over 600 individuals found that those who ate cherries for two days decreased their chances around developing a gout flareup by 35 percent, versus those who did not eat cherries at all during that time period.