All roads lead to your gut when it comes to gout. A painful form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid. Diet is a common cause- the big toe is a common target.
“Gout is a condition that causes extreme pain, swelling and redness in joints. The classic scenario the joint at the base of the right toe and typically patients will call and say they have intense pain usually it last 24-48 hours,” says Dr. Gary Goforth, Director family medicine residency program Lee Memorial Health System.
Men and the obese are at greater risk. If you’re prone to gout, the foods you eat and don’t eat play a role in keeping your joints pain-free.
“It’s a condition it’s been around for ages and ages. We typically think of it as a disease caused by poor eating habits, heavy alcohol use,” says Dr. Goforth.
Gout occurs when high levels of uric acid in the blood cause crystals to form and accumulate around a joint. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines. Purines occur naturally- but you also get them from certain foods. The no-no list include: organ meats, scallops, asparagus, mushrooms, alcohol and sugary drinks. There is also a good gout diet.
“We tell people to eat fresh vegetables, eat more dairy products, drink coffee. In
moderation that has been found to reduce the rates of gout,” says Dr. Goforth.
Drinking lots of fluid, as long as it’s non-alcoholic and non-sugary, helps flush uric acid from the body. The added bonus, a gout diet, is an overall balanced diet, which may help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.