Gout is a painful condition that usually attacks the big toe, but can affect other joints like the elbow, wrist, finger, knee, heal, instep and ankle.
If you suffer from gout, you know that it can become painful enough that the slightest touch is unbearable.
Symptoms of Gout
According to MedicineNet.com, gout attacks come on rapidly. Symptoms begin with pain accompanied by warmth in the joint area, swelling, tenderness and redness.
Acute gout attacks can cause a fever in the gout sufferer, and episodes of gout can last for a few hours to days or even weeks.
While everyone has uric acid in their body, if you suffer from gout, you undoubtedly have accumulated higher levels. Uric acid is the product of the breakdown of purines, which are found in many foods. If your body isn't able to process the uric acid, then an overabundance occurs.
Uric acid causes sodium urate crystals to form in your joints. These crystals can lead to painful inflammation. Over time, hard deposits may form in your joints, ultimately damaging them.
Who Gets Gout
According to Gout.com, gout usually strikes between the ages of 40 and 50 in men, and after menopause in women.
In women, other conditions such as high blood pressure that affects the kidneys, or medications that affect the body's ability to process uric acid, may be a contributing factor.
Men are more prone to gout attacks than women, and children and young adults rarely suffer from gout.
Diet for Gout
To eat the best foods for gout, you must consume a diet that contains foods that are fresh, with the least processing possible.
For your healthy gout diet, concentrate on helping your body rid itself of uric acid--drink plenty of liquids, focusing on drinking lots of water to help flush out your system.
Bio-Medicine reports that eating low-fat dairy products can help to reduce the risk of gout, so be sure to get your dairy servings in each day.
Low-purine foods will produce less uric acid in your body. These include rice, pasta, olives, eggs, fruits, green vegetables, tomatoes, breads, coffee and chocolate. Note that even though coffee and chocolate are low in purines, you should still consume them in moderation.
Foods to Avoid
Your diet for gout involves not only eating the best foods for gout, but avoiding purine producing foods that may help trigger or aggravate gout.
According to Gout.com, foods that should be avoided if you suffer from gout are: organ meats, beef, pork and lamb, oatmeal, dried beans, lentils and peas, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower and alcohol. Seafood such as sardines, anchovies, herring, scallops, haddock, trout and cod should also be avoided.