Gout: Diet & Lifestyle changes you can make
Gout is an inflammatory condition of joints caused due to high uric acid levels in the blood. Read on to know more about the diet and lifestyle changes that you need to make to overcome this condition.
Are you experiencing sudden and intense pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints? This painful condition is caused due to gout attacks, especially in the small joints of the hands and feet.
In severe cases, people who suffer from gout might need medical treatment to manage pain and reduce uric acid levels in the blood. A gout-friendly diet and a few lifestyle changes can also help to manage the problem of gout attacks and regulate the elimination of uric acid from the body.
What is gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis caused due to the overabundance of uric acid in the blood. High uric acid levels lead to formation of crystals that accumulate in and around a joint. Uric acid is a waste product generated when the body breaks down purine-rich food and is eliminated from the body through urine.
When uric acid is not eliminated from the body efficiently, it accumulates, crystallizes and settles in joints causing severe pain, swelling and redness of joints. Gout mostly affects the joints of big toes, fingers, wrist, heels and knees.
Changes in Diet
To regulate gout attacks and symptoms, you need to completely avoid high-purine foods, high-fructose drinks and fruits, yeasts and alcoholic beverages.
A gout-friendly diet must include low-purine and low-fructose foods like –
- Fruits with low-fructose content: dark-coloured fruits with a high amount of antioxidants such as cherries, blackberries, blueberries, grapes & raspberries are good to control gout attacks and lower uric acid levels. Fruits high in Vitamin C also help to reduce pain and inflammation in joints.
- Vegetables: You can consume low-purine vegetables like green leafy vegetables, peas, mushrooms, cabbage, etc.
- Legumes: lentils, beans, soybeans and tofu are some of the legumes that can be added into your gout diet.
- Coffee and Tea: Drinking tea and coffee in moderation may help to reduce gout symptoms.
- Nuts & seeds: walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds and cashew nuts have low-purine content and can be included in your diet.
- Low-fat dairy products
- Whole grains: Like oats, barley and brown rice can be consumed.
- Plant-based oils: Like canola oil, flax oil, coconut oil can be used in your gout-friendly diet.
- All herbs and spices
Changes in Lifestyle
Apart from the dietary changes, you must make some changes in your lifestyle to lower the uric acid levels and prevent frequent gout attacks.
- Stay hydrated: You must drink plenty of water and fluids to help your kidneys flush out excess uric acid out from your body.
- Lose weight: If you are overweight, then you have more risk of gout attacks. You need to reduce excessive weight and limit the intake of purine-rich food.
- Exercise regularly: Exercising every day can reduce the risk of gout attacks by helping you to maintain a healthy weight.
- Manage insulin levels: High insulin levels leads to an increase in uric acid levels in the blood and contributes to weight gain. Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and balance the insulin levels.