Nutrition Meets Food Science

How to Manage Gout Arthritis with Diet ?

Number of people with complain of joints & bone pain are rapidly increasing at current times, especially in a country like India where there is quite less awareness on health and nutrition in rural population. Weak bones are NOT ALWAYS because of protein or mineral deficiency, sometimes there can be other reason behind. Bone problem is associated with various other health complications and one such is Gouty Arthritis. You may have heard before the word arthritis which is commonly termed as “Joint pain”. In current time, it seems to affect at least one in each family (mostly elderly), hence creating awareness becomes essential. 

This article will take you to the roots of gout disease & how it can be well managed by implementing healthy lifestyle.

An Overview on Gout

Gout is a medical condition caused due to accumulation of uric acid in the joints of your bone. Uric acid is waste product formed in our body as a result of purine metabolism (chemical process). This uric acid once formed enters in your blood and then kidney for excretion. This process carries out successfully under normal health condition. But when the limit of uric acid formation exceeds, your kidney gets tired and fails to filter & excrete uric acid out by urine. As a consequence, the unfiltered uric acid keeps on circulating in your blood stream & finally becomes crystal settling between the joints.

Gout can cause intense pain in the joints. It is more likely to affect feet and the toes causing extremely painful sleep at night. 

The intensity of this disease can be determined by its type.

Types of Gout Arthritis

Different type of gout is an indication of different stages and their level of damage to the joints.

Asymptomatic Hyperuricemia It is a mild condition with no apparent symptoms though small amount of urate crystals begin to deposit between bones. And treatment, if done at this point may verily prevent development of further stages.
Acute Gout It is the initial stage of gout. The affected person may experience minor inflammation and acute pain because of urate crystals being deposited on joints. Physiotherapy along with medication may cure the disease at this point too.
Interval Gout This actually is the time period between each acute gout pain. The period might be of a week, fortnight, months or sometimes years.
Chronic Tophaceous Gout This is last and most critical type of gout causing permanent damage to not only your joints and bones but also the kidneys.

Ways to Prevent or Manage Gout:

Be Positive 

Positivity is the key to tackle any situation. Starting with a positive mindset will boost up emotional as well as mental strength to defeat the disease. 

Switch to Low Purine diet

Along with medical treatment, dietary modification can help manage or prevent gout. The focus should be on eliminating foods that are high in purines as purine is responsible for production of uric acid. Limiting purine rich foods in diet will ensure the range of uric acid in your blood does not get too high.

Here is the complete list of foods that you need to limit/avoid if you have gout:

  1. Beefs, red meat, organ meat –
  2. Individuals with gout must eliminate red meat and organ meats such as kidney, liver, animal brain as these food items are highly rich in purine.

  1. Purine rich Sea foods –
  2. Some seafood such as anchovies, tuna, mackerel, lobster, sardines, shrimp should be taken in moderation or completely avoided in case of severe gout attack.

  1. Alcohol and high sugary drinks –
  2. Beer and hard liquor are high sources of purine. Alcohol consumption may trigger the impact of flares in individuals who are already suffering from gout. According to one analysis, it was found that high intake of alcohol may double the risk of developing gout. 

    High fructose drink can also increase the chance of flares due to its purine content.

On the other side of coin, shifting to plant based diet can help reduce the level of uric acid in body. 

Below are list of healthy-low purine containing foods to eat/include in diet for people with gout:

  1. FRF i.e. Fibre Rich Fruits –
    Raspberries, apple (with skin), banana, orange, strawberry which are less sweet in taste.
  1. All coloured veggies – 
  2. Green leafy, yellow, orange and red vegetable as they are great source of fibre and essential vitamins as well as minerals like Vitamin A, C, K, Zinc, Sodium, Potassium and many more.

    (Note: Do not overcook them in order to retain maximum nutrient quality.)

  1. Whole grain cereals, oatmeal & pulses including all kind of beans, lentils, peas –
  2. Although these food groups too contain purines but researchers have found that these food contrastingly helps flush out uric acid from body. It works best when included in breakfast meal as they are amazing source of fibre and energy that keeps body full and energetic over a long run.

  1. Low fat dairy products including skim milk or fat-free milk as well as low fat varieties of yoghurt and cottage cheese for conditioning bone health.

  1. Healthy oils – Plant based oil like olive oil, flaxseeds oil and avocado.

Stay well hydrated

Gout sufferers must drink enough water to keep the excretory system in well function. For that it is advisable to drink 12 – 15 glasses of water a day. Along with it, taking fresh fruit juices (with no additional sugar), coconut water, and other organic food beverages would help to maintain hydration level.

Weight Management

Gout attack accelerates in case of over body weight as it builds more pressure on joints and bones. Individuals with gout should maintain an ideal body weight with the help of diet and exercise.

Exercising everyday

Doing moderate exercises daily will help to recover from gout arthritis in all ways.

  1. It pushes your body giving outmost flexibility to the bones and muscles, which is lost in arthritis.
  2. Gives positive energy and good vibes
  3. Last but not the least, workouts like cardio, power yoga and jogging help in weight loss in best possible way.

References :

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/144827

https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/why-uric-acid-is-found-in-our-body-how-to-control-painful-gout-with-diet/766310

https://www.healthline.com/health/gout

https://www.healthline.com/health/gout-and-alcohol#:~:text=Limit%20Alcohol%20Intake,the%20risk%20of%20gout%20attacks.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315732

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Abir Ansari

Jr. Nutritionist, PFNDAI

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