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Fight gout with right diet

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th September 2005 03:00 AM

GOUT brings excruciating pain in the first great toe joint or other large joints (ankles, knees, instep of the foot or even hands). Medications produce dramatic, almost instant results, but they are not without side effects. However, with the right diet, you may be able to reduce the need for medica

GOUT brings excruciating pain in the first great toe joint or other large joints (ankles, knees, instep of the foot or even hands). Medications produce dramatic, almost instant results, but they are not without side effects. However, with the right diet, you may be able to reduce the need for medica

By Grace Canada - Nutrition

GOUT brings excruciating pain in the first great toe joint or other large joints (ankles, knees, instep of the foot or even hands). Medications produce dramatic, almost instant results, but they are not without side effects. However, with the right diet, you may be able to reduce the need for medication or even prevent attacks from occurring.

What is gout?

Gout is a common type of inflammatory disease of the joints (arthritis) that occurs when there is too much of a chemical known as uric acid in the blood, tissues and urine.

It occurs more in men after the age of 30 than in women until menopause. Then the difference narrows.

Uric acid is the end product of breakdown and usage (metabolism) of a class of chemicals known as purines. In people with gout, the body does not produce enough of a digestive chemical called uricase, which dissolves uric acid.

As a result, the acid accumulates in the blood and tissues, ultimately forming middle-like crystals. These crystals jab their way into the joints causing inflammation.

Why too much Uric acid?

  • Underproduction of uricase.


  • Under excretion of uric acid as a result of kidney ineffectiveness or failure.


  • Excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol increases uric acid and inhibits uric acid excretion.


  • Eating too many foods containing higher amounts of purines like organ meats (heart, kidney, brains), sardines, meat extracts, yeast (baker’s and brewer’s) taken as supplements, spinach and mushrooms.


  • Obesity (including improper diet).

  • The condition may be inherited.

  • Crash (starvation) dieting, overeating, stress, and certain medications.


  • Deficiencies of such vitamins as B5, E and A. Vitamin E deficiency causes damage to the cells that produce uric acid, causing them to produce more uric acid.


  • l Candida (yeast) infections, or antibiotics on and off for long periods.
    l Chemotherapy in cancer treatment may destroy cells causing a release of uric acid in extreme amounts resulting in gouty arthritis.

    Dieting for gout
    If you are prone to gout, avoid all fried foods because as oil is heated at high temperatures, it becomes rancid. Rancid fats quickly destroy Vitamin E resulting in the release of increased amounts of uric acid.

    Also foods such as cake, white bread, cookies, all soft drinks and colas should be avoided.

    Eat meat, fish, chicken without skin, beans, peas and lentils sparingly. Do not exceed one serving of (three grams to nine grams of meat, fish or chicken and one serving of (half a cup) of beans, peas and lentils.

    The majority of protein should come from low fat dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. And between two to three eggs a week, depending on your condition. Tomatoes should be watched because in susceptible individuals, they could precipitate an attack.

    Eat those foods that are low in purines. They could control gout or even prevent recurring attacks. Such foods include:
    Carbohydrates: (whole wheat bread, millet products, posho prepared with maize flour No. 2, brown unpolished rice, yams, cassava, potatoes, macaroni, plantain, unroasted sim-sim, sunflower seeds and groundnuts).

    Fruit and vegetables:
    (cabbage, bell pepper, avocado, collard greens (nakati, gobe, sukumawiki), celery, parsley, eggplant and any other leafy vegetables except spinach. Any fruit is fine)
    Water: Drink at least three litres of clean boiled water daily to aid with the excretion of uric acid.

    Stress: Avoid stressful situations, or learn to handle stress by understanding that no amount of worry changes any situation.

    Instead, work on a solution, or talk to a trusted friend and exercise. Walking, stretching and swimming are some of the best exercises for stress reduction.
    Watch your diet. If any food aggravates your condition, stop it for sometime, then reintroduce it and observe how you feel.

    Fight gout with right diet

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