Because you're overweight?
If you suffer
referred to as "gouty arthritis"), or know someone
who does, you know how painful and annoying the discomfort can
be. Although it predominately affects men, gout also affects
women after menopause. Symptoms of gout are swelling, redness,
and inflammation of the foot which can cause inability to walk
or wear shoes.
Gout occurs when
too much uric
the end product
is produced in the body. In small amounts, uric acid is harmless,
but when levels get too high, the kidneys are not able to adequately
excrete it and it builds up in the blood. Uric acid is then deposited
in joints beginning with the large toe on one foot (podagra)
and can spread to the knees and upper leg. Purines, contained in the food we eat,
can also exacerbate gout.
of gout include obesity, a genetic disorder, or a high protein
diet, and many times, the combination of two or all of these.
If you have gout due to any of these reasons, dietary modification
and medication can help control it.
high protein foods - meat, eggs, milk, and cheese - is necessary
to reduce uric acid production. Some people report that eliminating
foods containing purines is helpful, like sardines, anchovies,
shrimp, salt, liver, animal entails, pickles, honey, baking soda,
legumes (beans, nuts, peas), and alcohol. At one time, it was
thought that theobromine, theophylline, and caffeine found in coffee, tea,
chocolate, and colas would exacerbate gout, but further research
revealed that the breakdown products of these foods are not deposited
in gouty fluids. If dietary modification doesn't alleviate the
symptoms, see your doctor for medication.
Do you have
gout because you're overweight? Weight loss can be achieved by including more fruit and vegetables in your diet and by
decreasing high fat, high protein foods. These dietary changes
create a dual effect in helping to eliminate gout - fruit and
vegetables, while helping you to lose weight, won't elevate uric
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to assist the kidneys in flushing out
excess uric acid. A mild exercise program to promote gradual weight loss is highly recommended.
But beware! Vigorous exercise and rapid loss of weight can generate
a buildup of uric acid in the blood.
In summary, here
are a few things you can do to help control or eliminate gout:
- Decrease the
amount of protein in your diet by limiting meat, cheese, eggs,
- Eat more complex
carbohydrates - fruit, vegetables, grains, and starches. These
foods will not contribute to gout.
- Try restricting
foods containing purines to see if it helps.
- Lose excess
- Exercise regularly
- Ask your doctor
about medication that can help.
Note: Other obesity
related diseases in addition to gout are diabetes, insomnia,
arthritis, heart disease, fatty liver, cancer, high blood pressure,
arthritis, osteoporosis, and gallbladder disease.
Where do you get your nutrition
information? Most states now have licensure laws for Dietitians
and Nutritionists. Be sure your nutrition advisor is "Licensed"
by the State as a Licensed Dietitian (LD) or Licensed Nutritionist
(LN), or in states that don't have licensure laws, a Registered
Barbara Herondorf, L.D.
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