Gout is a painful condition that affects millions of people each year. It is a type of arthritis that usually affects only one joint, typically the big toe. Attacks can occur suddenly, and the joint will feel inflamed and sensitive. In fact, gout is so painful that the sufferer can hardly bear anything to touch it.

Gout has been recognized as a medical affliction since ancient Egypt. It was known as the “disease of kings” because of its association with rich foods and excessive alcohol. King Henry VIII suffered from severe gout attacks due to his extravagant lifestyle.

So what is the best diet for gout? What should you eat and avoid if you have this condition? Keep reading to find out.

What Causes Gout?

Excess levels of uric acid in the body can cause gout. Uric acid is a waste product that the body creates from breaking down chemicals called purines, which are found naturally in some foods. Usually, the kidneys filter uric acid, which exits the body through your urine.

However, if your body produces too much uric acid or if your kidneys aren’t functioning properly, then the uric acid begins to form sharp, pointy crystals in your joints. It’s worth noting that some people with high uric acid levels never develop gout.

Foods to Avoid if You Have Gout

People who have gout should avoid foods that are high in purines. Here is a list of foods that you should avoid to prevent flare-ups.

  • Red meat
  • Organ meat
  • Certain kinds of seafood (scallops, shrimp, tuna, anchovies, sardines)
  • Alcohol (especially beer and hard liquor)
  • Soda
  • Beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Sugary snacks
  • White bread

Best Foods to Add to Your Diet if You Have Gout

Lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet, can help people better manage their symptoms. Adding certain foods may help lower uric acid in the body, such as:

  • Cherries
  • Coffee
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Fruits that contain vitamin C, such as oranges, strawberries, kiwi, and pineapple
  • Avocados
  • Beans and lentils
  • Water

When to Seek Medical Attention

Unfortunately, there is no cure for gout, and it can impact your activities of daily living and lower your quality of life. But, people can manage its symptoms, and flare-ups can be avoided. If you start to experience sharp pain in any of your joints, mainly your big toe, then you should seek medical attention. Schedule an appointment with Advanced Rheumatology of Houston to discuss your symptoms with our healthcare professionals. We specialize in rheumatologic conditions and other types of arthritis, such as gout, along with other autoimmune diseases.

You will meet with a specialist who will discuss your medical history, diagnose your condition, and work with you to implement a plan of treatment to keep your uric acid levels low and help you enjoy a better quality of life. You don’t need to suffer from the acute and chronic pain of gout. Call us at (281) 766-7886 and make your appointment.