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MAIN Arrow to HealthHealth Arrow to DiseaseDiseases & Conditions Arrow to GoutGout

Gout Diet
- Foods to Avoid -

meat, seafood and dairy - foods to avoid with gout

Purine is metabolized in the digestive system as uric acid, and present in the following foods at high levels. For gout sufferers, it is recommended that these be avoided or reduced in the daily diet :

• Meats - especially organ meats such as kidney, liver, sweetbreads.
• Seafood - all types - especially shrimp, lobster and scallops.
• Dairy - whole milk, cream & ice cream (opt for skim milk.)
• Alcohol - especially beer.

Source: Johns Hopkins

The main culprit in gout attacks is abnormally high levels of uric acid within the bloodstream, the same condition typically leading to kidney stones.

A natural chemical within the body, excess uric acid normally passes from the blood to the kidneys and exits the body while urinating.

When that normal process breaks down, uric acid in the form of sodium urate crystals begins to build up in the joints (usually in the big toe) causing severe foot pain, redness and swelling.

Recognized as a form of arthritis, gout overwhelmingly effects more men than women, and is generally believed to have a hereditary component.

For centuries, gout was known as a "wealthy man's disease" since a rich diet of red meats and shellfish - high in purines which convert to uric acid within the body - was often associated with the condition.

Today, being overweight and excessive drinking are also recognized risk factors.

Typical treatment includes a course of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs which often can reduce pain within hours.

In some cases, steroid drugs may be injected into the joint to quickly reduce pain and swelling. For chronic cases of gout, medications such as allopurinol and probenecid may be prescribed to help lower the levels of uric acid in the blood.

More about gout around the Web:


Patient Education - Gout - Check out an illustrated fact sheet from the American College of Rheumatology with information on causes, symptoms and treatment, tips on diet & alcohol consumption to avoid risk, searchable database of U.S. rheumatologists, related links.

UK Gout Society - Downloadable "All About Gout" brochure in PDF, MS Word or text format, with related fact sheets on diet and treatment. - Arthritis and Gout - Australian medical site focusing on symptoms and aggravating factors, prevention and treatment of acute attacks, with hyperlinks to arthritis information and resources.

This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.


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