What is Gout?
Gout is a common form of arthritis, especially in men. This condition occurs when uric acid accumulates in the blood (hyperuricemia) and crystallizes. These crystals deposit in and around joints.
Symptoms of Gout
When uric acid crystallizes, it causes sharp, stabbing pain in the affected joint. Gout causes sudden attacks of pain and inflammation, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe.
What Causes Gout?
Uric acid is formed from the breakdown of purines, which are chemicals found in certain foods. Many foods contain purines and gout symptoms are often linked to dietary choices. Rich foods and alcohol are the main culprits, though gout symptoms can also be brought on by stress, certain medications, crash dieting, dehydration, or joint injury.
Foods to Avoid When you Have Gout
You can reduce your risk of gout attacks by staying hydrated, limiting alcohol, and reducing foods high in purines such as the following:
- Fish such as anchovies, sardines, mackerel, herring, codfish, trout, and haddock
- Seafood such as shellfish, scallops, and mussels
- Meats such as bacon, turkey, veal, and venison
- Organ meats such as liver, kidney, brain and sweetbread
- Alcoholic beverages
Foods that Improve Gout Symptoms
If you are prone to a gout attack, fruit should be consumed in moderation as the sugar content can worsen a flare. However, some fruits, especially cherries, strawberries, and pomegranates, may be helpful in reducing inflammation.
Supplements to Support Gout
Omega-3 fatty acids: low levels of omega-3 have been associated with gout flares, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) within omega-3 fatty acids limits the production of proinflammatory leukotrienes, inflammatory mediators and tissue damage in gout. Higher strength omega-3s have been shown to ease pain in other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Bromelain: is an enzyme from pineapple that may be helpful for minor pain, swelling, and inflammation relief. Take between meals for the anti-inflammatory effect.
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