Diet and Lifestyle
Dietary and lifestyle guidelines may assist in the management of gout:
- Avoid obesity. However, it is important to avoid crash dieting and rapid weight loss.
- Avoid alcohol, especially beer, which has a higher purine content than wine or spirits.
- Hydration—Drink plenty of water: dehydration may exacerbate gout.
- Restrict purines in diet—Purines increase lactate production which competes with uric acid for excretion. Foods with a high purine content are beef, goose, organ meats, sweetbreads, mussels, anchovies, herring, mackerel, and yeast. Foods with a moderate amount of purines include meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish not listed above. Spinach, asparagus, beans, lentils, mushrooms, and dried peas also contain moderate amounts of purines.
- Cherries—One half pound of cherries/day (fresh or frozen) for two weeks lowers uric acid and prevents attacks. Cherries and other dark red berries (hawthorn berries and blueberries) contain anthocyanidins that increase collagen integrity and decrease inflammation. 250 to 300 mLs of cherry juice per day is also helpful. A lower maintenance dose can be continued for prevention.
- Reduce glycaemic load of diet. Elevated insulin inhibits uric acid breakdown and increases gout episodes. Avoid sugars and refined grains. Limit total carbohydrate intake