gout

Our bodies break down a naturally occurring chemical called purine into uric acid, which then is eliminated through our urine. Gout occurs when high levels of uric acid in the blood cause crystals to form and build up around a joint. This is extremely painful and can cause, over time, a progression of joint damage. (Mayo Clinic)

The inflammatory effects of a Western diet have been found to increase the risk of gout. This high protein, low carbohydrate plan is consistent with the development of gout, whereas a balanced plan, such as the Mediterranean or DASH diets, is consistent with the prevention and management of gout. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I work with clients to improve their wellbeing through effective dietary interventions. With a diet plan, you can reduce the intake of foods that contribute to gout (are high in purines) and increase those that will reduce the recurrences of gout. 

Implementing an anti-inflammatory program is essential and as important as any genetic risk. These findings are analogous to previous studies linking the Western plan, which is dominant in protein and restricted in carbohydrates, to not only gout but also the development and progression of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  

As with most of our chronic diseases, an inflammatory response caused by the diet contributes to disease development, whereas maintaining an optimal weight and implementing a healthful food plan (composed  of a balance of “real” foods) can prevent disease and promote health.

For more information, read the article posted in The University Health News.com Daily on what foods to avoid and Medscape’s article about proinflammatory diets and gout risk.