If you suffer from gout you may be able to find relief from your symptoms by making a few changes to your diet. Eating a diet that is high in certain types of fats and proteins may lead to excess uric acid within the body. When uric acid begins to build up in the bloodstream, it can eventually lead to the formation of uric crystals being deposited in the joints. This leads to pain and inflammation that can make performing everyday tasks extremely difficult. A change in diet may be just the thing you need to help relieve the pain. Check with your healthcare practitioner before making major dietary changes.
According to the University of Michigan Health System, specific proteins that are often found in the average American diet can cause excess uric acid in the blood. Foods such as red and fatty meat, organ meat, poultry, shellfish and full-fat milk and butter break down into purines during digestion. Purines then break down into uric acid which resides in the bloodstream. By cutting back or avoiding these foods, you may be able to reduce the frequency and severity of your gout attacks over time.
Purines and Uric Acid
Proteins with high-fat content may cause increased pain and inflammation in gout sufferers. The University of Michigan Health System explains that the body breaks down food proteins into purines which eventually become uric acid. Uric acid is the final waste product that occurs naturally during protein digestion. If your kidneys are unable to filter out a large quantity of uric acid from your urine, some of it will be reabsorbed into the bloodstream. The uric acid is then deposited in the small joints in the form of sharp crystals, with the majority accumulating in the feet and hands. Those who suffer from gout experience severe inflammation and excruciating pain in the tissue surrounding the joints and cartilage.
Cutting fatty foods such as red meat and junk food out of the diet can be difficult for some people. However, the relief that comes from doing so makes it worthwhile for those suffering from gout pain. It is important to replace the proteins that will be missing from your diet by eliminating fatty foods. Healthier proteins can be found in all types of fish except shellfish. Additionally, tofu, soybeans, fermented soy products, eggs, legumes and vegetarian protein substitutes are alternatives that supply safer protein sources.
Once you begin to experience relief from painful gout symptoms, resisting the trigger foods will become much easier. One of the best ways to make the transition to a healthier eating plan is by experimenting with different recipes, foods and cooking methods. Invest in some cookbooks that list healthy protein alternatives. In addition, there is a wealth of information available online.
University of Michigan Health System: Gout
University of Maryland Medical Center: Gout
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