Gout and Your Diet

Arthritis is a condition that affects tens of millions of Americans. Meaning “inflammation of the joints,” arthritis can affect any part of the body, but it has a significant impact on the feet due to the large number of joints and the amount of weight the feet carry. Arthritis becomes more common with age, but it can affect people at any point in their life.

Gout is a unique type of arthritis that is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the joints. Uric acid is typically filtered out of the blood, but when levels get too high, it can form crystals and deposit in the joints. The big toe is affected by gout more than any other toe, probably because it bears most of the weight on the feet. A gout attack can last for several hours, and it causes pain, tenderness, throbbing, burning, redness, and swelling. As you might imagine, this can be extremely uncomfortable and debilitating.

As was mentioned above, gout is caused by an excess of uric acid. Therefore, by limiting the amount of uric acid in your diet, you might be able to control the frequency and intensity of your gout bouts. Here are some examples of foods to avoid and foods to add:

Avoid

  • Red meat and organ meats
  • Alcohol
  • Shellfish (shrimp, lobster, etc.)
  • Refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, white rice)
  • Processed foods (chips, snack foods)
  • Sugary beverages

Add

  • Low- or non-fat dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Whole grains
  • Plant oils (olive, canola) instead of animal fats (butter)
  • Vegetables
  • Cherries
  • Vitamin C supplements
  • Water

Some forms of arthritis simply get worse with age and there is nothing you can do to make it better besides treat the symptoms. Fortunately, gout can be managed by controlling your diet. The doctors at the Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston have solutions for both your discomfort and also your uric acid accumulation. At their six offices in the North Houston, Texas area, they can also remedy your fungal toenails, bunions, and sports injuries. If you would like to request an appointment, contact us or call us at (281) 444-4114!