Gout Causing Food to Avoid
Gout is a painful form of arthritis that
occurs when an excess of uric acid builds up in the body and forms
crystal deposits in the joints (often the big toe). Gout symptoms
include intense pain, swelling, redness, stiffness, and the feeling
of warmness in the joints.
There is a clear relationship between gout and fatty food high
in a particular compound called purines. Indeed, this disease
was called the King's Disease or the Patrician's Disease because
in the olden days, only kings and rich people ate gout-causing
food regularly. Nowadays, with the ready availability of many
types of food, gout has become more mainstream and commonplace.
Purine: The Building Block of Genetic Material
The build up of gout-causing uric acid crystals is often caused
by defect or disorder in metabolizing purines. Purine is a class
of organic compound that forms the building blocks of your genetic
materials (DNA and RNA). It is essential for all living organisms,
and can be found in many types of food.
Normally, your body converts purines into uric acid as a by-product
and secrete it out in urine. However, if the body converts more
purine into uric acid or secrete less of it out or both, then
the level of uric acid in the bloodstream increases in a pre-gout
condition called hyperuricemia.
Therefore it makes sense that eating purine-rich food over a
long period of time can increase one's risks for developing gout.
Purine-Rich Food Increases the Risk of Gout
Purine is found in many a lot of food - however some kinds have
more purine than others. Gout sufferers are advised to avoid or
eat only in moderation food that have high purine and protein
Food that are high in purines include:
- Red meat
- Animal organs, such as liver, kidney, brain
- Other meat, such as bacon, veal, venison, and turkey
- Fish, especially mackerel, herring, sardines, codfish, trout,
haddock, and anchovies
- Shellfish, such as scallops and mussels
Food that have medium levels of purines include:
- Shellfish, such as lobster, shrimp, crab, and oysters
- Certain vegetables, such as asparagus, mushroom, and spinach
- Legumes, such as kidney beans and lima beans
Alcohol Can Also Cause Gout
The relationship between gout and alcohol has been appreciated
since the 1800s. It is thought that alcohol interferes with the
body's ability to remove uric acid, and thus cause its level in
the body to increase.
Beer also seems to be worse than wine or spirit, since it has
a higher purine content.