Gout Foods to Avoid and Other Gout Triggers to be Aware O
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Gout Foods to Avoid and

Other Gout Attack Risk Factors

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There are certain gout foods to avoid in order to minimize the likelihood of a gout attack. Foods and other triggers can cause gout flare ups but the pain can only happen if certain underlying conditions are present. Hyperuricemia (high uric acid levels) can be present in the body for two or three decades before the first attack. Once you find that you do have elevated levels and are at risk of a gout attack, read and be aware of these risk factors to help you avoid a gout attack:

Foods to avoid - Uric acid is the end product of the metabolism of purines which are present in certain foods so the following list with higher purine levels are the dietary items to avoid:

  1. Alcohol (beer is the worst)
  2. Soft drinks
  3. Meat, especially red and organ meats
  4. Anchovies, herring, sardines, mussels
  5. Asparagus, mushrooms, sweetbreads
  6. Fried foods, roasted nuts
  7. Any foods with oils that have been heated
  8. Rich foods such as cakes and pies
  9. White flour and white sugar products
  10. Food yeast

(Foods that are good are listed are listed on the Gout Treatments Page)

Alcohol is a strong trigger for gout attacks for three reasons:

  1. It is a major source of purines
  2. It stimulates the liver to breakdown purines increasing uric acid levels
  3. It decreases the rate at which the kidneys remove uric acid

Soft drinks and fructose According to one study (by the University of British Columbia and Harvard Medical School published in the British Medical Journal) the incidence of gout increased with number of soft drinks consumed and with the percentage of calories from soft drinks.

Increase (%) in incidence
relative to reference group
(less than 1 serving/month)
2 or more/day

Exercising too much can produce lactic acid which won't help the problem.

Fasting or too rapid a weight loss may increase uric acid levels and trigger gout.

Infections or complications from illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high serum levels of cholesterol, insulin resistance and diabetes. Kidney disease is especially bad if the ability to excrete uric acid is affected.

Joint injuries may affect circulation in the affected area and contribute to an attack.

Medications and most drugs are very acid-forming and harmful to the body. Increased acid of course contributes to hyperuricemia. So while some drugs may help to relieve symptoms the may contribute to a more acid body making things worse in the long run. Diuretic drugs are especially bad.

Overeating can stress the body and cause an attack. It also contributes to obesity often from acid-forming foods which contribute to the underlying elevated uric acid levels.

Stress including both emotional and environmental factors can cause an attack. Stress is very acidifying to the body. Learn to relax and slow down.

Surgery including organ transplants.

Weather if cold can cause an attack so be sure to keep the extremities warm. Of course the attack will often happen there, especially in the toes. Avoid being outside during cold weather as much as possible. Hot and humid weather can also cause an attack.

Learn what causes gout.

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