Gout is a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Gout is intensely painful swelling of the joints.  It occurs most often in the big toe or other part of the foot and is caused by excess uric acid in the body and the formation of needle-like urate crystals in the joints.

The exact reasons for the development of gout are unknown but men do tend to get gout more often than women. A gout attack can cause sudden pain with fever, chills and fatigue. An attack can last several days. The following are risk factors:

  • Heavy alcohol use (especially beer)
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Sickle-cell anemia
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Certain medications

Foods high in purines can lead to an increase in uric acid in the body so there are some diet restrictions for someone with gout.

  • Limit sugary drinks- high in fructose
  • Limit alcohol, especially beer
  • Limit red meats-avoid liver
  • Limit lean meats to 4- 6 ounces daily—chicken, fish, pork
  • Avoid shellfish-especially anchovies, herring, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, haddock, mackerel and tuna
  • Purines in vegetables are okay to consume
  • Low fat dairy may help lower uric acid level in the body
  • Consume at least (8)- 8 ounce glasses of water daily

Other foods to limit would include: asparagus, dried beans, lentils, mushrooms, dried peas, spinach and broth. By controlling weight and avoiding food high in purines this can decrease or eliminate gout attacks