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How Dietary Changes Can Improve Your Gout

Are you feeling a little pain in your feet after another weekend of barbecuing? Well, then maybe it’s time you learned about gout.

Often referred to as the “Disease of Kings” for its ties to famous monarchs such as Henry VIII, gout is an illness that can cause a royal amount of pain for those unfortunate enough to be afflicted.

Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when needle-shaped urate crystals accumulate in joints, causing inflammation, redness, swelling and intense pain. These urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood.

Uric acid is a substance that results from the breakdown of purines, which are part of all human tissue and are found in many common foods. Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. When your body either produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid, however, the buildup of acid can form crystals.

The more purines you ingest, the more uric acid your body creates, increasing the risk of gout. These purine-rich foods can trigger a gout flare-up relatively quickly — often within two days of eating higher amounts of them, a study in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found.

If you hope to safeguard yourself against a gout flare-up, then considering ingesting the following foods in the moderation:

Foods Known to Cause Gout

Seafood: This might be tough for those living in South Florida, but a wide variety of seafood contains elevated levels of purine that can lead to gout. Herring, anchovies, sardines, tuna and other oily fishes not only exacerbate symptoms during a gout flare-up, but they can trigger one as well. Not all seafood is created equal, however, as salmon, lobster, shrimp and crab can all still be ingested in moderation — no more than 4-6 ounces a day — without the risk of a gout flare-up.

Steak is one of many foods associated with gout. Read more to learn the rest! (Wikimedia Commons)

Steak is one of many foods associated with gout. Read more to learn the rest! (Wikimedia Commons)

Beer: How did Homer Simpson avoid getting gout? It’s baffling! Believe it or not, beer is actually twice as bad for those with gout than meats and seafood. The consumption of alcohol actually increases uric acid levels and then makes it difficult for the body to get rid of the excess buildup. For this reason, most doctors will recommend avoiding drinking alcohol altogether if you already have gout. However, if you insist on having a drink or two, wine is considered to be less harmful than beer.

Red Meat: Think of gout as a busy intersection — red means stop! While it’s unfair to expect someone to completely eliminate meat from their diet, white meats, like pork, and poultry contain slightly less purines and are considered to be a better option than red meat for those hoping to avoid gout. That being said,  it’s important to keep your consumption of all meats and wild game to an overall minimum, remembering to mix in numerous vegetables and fruits in with your regular meals.

Organ Meats: Like red and white meat, organ meats also contain a high amount of purines. In fact, liver, kidneys and other organ meats are believed to contain some of the highest levels of purine, with calf’s liver leading the way with 460 mg of purine per serving. These meats should be at the top of the list of foods to avoid if you hope to continue living a gout-free life.

Sugary Drinks: Soda contains high fructose corn syrup, which stimulates uric acid production. Studies show that men and women who eat a lot of fructose or drink a lot of beverages with fructose corn syrup have a higher risk of developing gout. Instead of sugary drinks, stick with water, tea, coffee or pure, fresh-squeezed juice.

At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum educates his patients on how to improve their gout through dietary improvements, while also treating the initial problem.

If you live in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach or Boca Raton and would like to know more, please see our contact information below to schedule a consultation.

Follow Delray Beach Podiatry on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472



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