Updated: Oct 7, 2020
WHAT IS IT?
Gout is a painful arthritis condition that develops in some individuals who have high levels of uric acid (the breakdown that comes from the digestion of foods that contain purines) in their blood and tissues. Purines are compounds contained in foods such as red meat, seafood, dried beans, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages. When uric acids levels become too high, needle-like crystals forms in joints tendons and other tissues, leading to pain, swelling, tenderness, warmth, and redness. This often happens in the big toe. Gout is very common in men but can happen in women.
WHAT CAUSES GOUT?
Family history of gout, increased synthesis of uric acid from high purine diet, cancer, psoriasis, or hemolytic anemia
Increased breakdown of purines or decreased excretion of uric acid from kidney which may be due to diabetes, kidney disease, or crash dieting with rapid weight loss
Obesity, drinking too much alcohol (especially beer and hard liquor), lead poisoning, or medications (i.e. aspirin, diuretics and others)
HOW DO I MINIMIZE THE EFFECTS?
Follow the nutrition and supplements recommendations outlined in this blog for treating a gout flare up, and/or preventing recurrences of another gout attack. This information might help to lower your uric acid level in the blood.
Limit the serving sizes of red meats and seafood
Avoid organ meats, such as kidney or liver Aim to eat at least 4-5 servings of vegetables each day
Limit alcohol, especially beer, and hard liquor since they can significantly increase your risk of gout attacks. Note: Avoid consuming any alcohol if you have painful gout or you are having a gout attack
Keep hydrated. Aim for 8-12 cups of fluids/day or 50% of body weight in ounces of fluid daily. Purified water is the best choice to flush out the uric acid from your body. Avoid sugary drinks.
Quercetin - A natural medicine that works like allopurinol medication can be used to inhibit uric acid production. Recommended dose: 200 to 400 mg daily between meals.
Bromelain - A enzyme found in pineapples that is useful for fighting inflammation during a gout attack. Recommended dose: 500 to 2000 mg daily. For best results, bromelain should be taken with quercetin at least 3 times daily. This amount may be reduced when symptoms subside
Caution: If you are allergic to bee stings, olive tree pollen, pineapple, grass pollen, and other allergens, bromelain should not be taken.
To learn more about gout, visit:
Gout and Uric Acid Education Society - http://gouteducation.org/patient/living-with-gout/self-care-strategies/
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases - http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/default.asp
Pizzorno, J. E., Murray, M. T., & Joiner-Bey, H. (2016). The clinician’s handbook of natural medicine. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Saag, K. G., & Choi, H. (2006). Epidemiology, risk factors, and lifestyle modifications for gout. Arthritis research & therapy, 8 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), S2. doi:10.1186/ar1907
Collins, M. W., Saag, K. G., & Singh, J. A. (2019). Is there a role for cherries in the management of gout? Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease, 11. doi: 10.1177/1759720x19847018
Hossain, M. F., Akhtar, S., & Anwar, M. (2015). Nutritional Value and Medicinal Benefits of Pineapple. International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences, 4(1), 84. doi: 10.11648/j.ijnfs.20150401.22