Knowing what foods to avoid with gout can lessen the severe, painful joint attacks of this form of arthritis. Generally, foods that are high in fat should be avoided overall, as weight gain and high cholesterol can contribute to the attacks. Specific foods to avoid with gout include shellfish, anchovies, herring, asparagus, spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms, kidney beans, peas, lentils, instant oatmeal, beef, pork, lamb, duck, goose, meat gravies, and organ meats such as kidney, liver, brains and sweetbreads.
Gout is caused by excess levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid comes from purines, most of which are made by the body but some of which come from ingested food. It can help to eat foods low in purine, such as tomatoes, cereals, grains, pasta, rice and fruit. While heavily processed instant or quick-cooking oatmeal can be bad for gout, slow-cooking oatmeal such as steel-cut Irish oats can be beneficial in the right quantities.
Certain beverages can also trigger attacks of gout. Beer, hard liquor, and excessive amounts of alcohol in general can bring on an attack. Three or more drinks per day for men and two or more drinks per day for women are enough to cause a gout attack. High fructose corn syrup, which is found in many sodas and fruit juices, has also been known to cause gout in some people. Drinking water can help flush purine and uric acid from the body.
Other underlying diseases and certain medications can also cause gout. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, leukemia, lymphoma, and hypothyroidism are more prone to the symptoms. Drugs such as low-dose aspirin, diuretics that are often prescribed for high blood pressure, and anti-rejection drugs given after organ transplants can also bring on gout’s painful symptoms.
Along with paying attention to the foods to avoid with gout, exercising more and avoiding obesity can help reduce the likelihood of an attack. Stress is also believed to be a cause of gout, so exercise and other methods of reducing stress can help. People who have a family history of gout have a greater chance of developing it themselves. It is more common in men than in women, although a woman’s chance of developing gout increases after menopause.
Once a person has experienced a gout attack, he is more likely to have more frequent and severe attacks in the future. Paying attention to the foods to avoid with gout, taking steps to reduce stress and bringing body weight to an optimal level should help to reduce both the number and severity of gout attacks. Anyone who experiences the symptoms of gout should discuss it with his doctor for further tips and guidance.