What is Gout?
Gout is a rheumatic disease, which causes pain or inflammation in the joints or muscles. Gout is the result of too much uric acid in the blood and tissues. Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down substances called purines, which are compounds found in foods and drinks such as beans, some fish, and beer. Typically, uric acid is filtered by the kidneys and subsequently is passed out in urine. However, if your body produces too much uric acid, or your kidneys aren't filtering it properly, the uric acid can form crystals in the joints. Too much uric acid can put you at risk for kidney disease, kidney stones, and gout.
Because gout is an inflammatory disease, anti-inflammatory medicines can quell occasional flare-ups. However, to truly treat the cause, dietary changes are necessary. Since gout occurs when the body produces high levels of uric acid, it's essential to avoid foods with high levels of purines. While some foods can trigger gout, others can help alleviate it. Try to increase your intake of the following fare:
What You SHOULD Eat If You Have Gout:
1. Lowfat foods. Opt for lower fat or fat-free dairy products, which studies suggest help lower the risk of flare-ups.
2. Berries. The dark varieties, like blackberries and blueberries, have been shown to help limit the production of uric acid.
3. Vitamin C. Vitamin C significantly lowers uric acid levels in the body. So load up on oranges, red bell peppers, and kiwi.