Millions of Americans (nearly 4% of adults, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association) experience gout. While gout is a form of arthritis that causes joint pain and inflammation, lifestyle factors, like diet and being inactive, can lead to flare-ups.
At Vital Spa and Clinic, Dr. Harmanpreet Buttar and our team offer a range of services to manage muscle and joint pain and help with weight loss at our office in Cypress, Texas.
What causes gout?
When uric acid levels are too high, it can cause sharp crystallized particles to develop around a joint. The inflammation causes pain, swelling, and tenderness and usually affects the big toe. Gout attacks usually occur suddenly, and the symptoms can come and go during a flare-up.
Anyone can develop gout, but some factors may increase your risk:
- Diet: certain foods and beverages can lead to higher levels of uric acid
- Obesity: the kidneys have to work harder and may struggle to filter uric acid
- Health challenges: diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of kidney disease can increase the risk of gout
- Family history: If a family member has gout, you have an increased risk
- Age and sex: usually more common in men over the age of 30 and women after menopause
In rare cases, some people may experience gout flare-ups after surgery or a traumatic injury.
Foods to avoid if you have gout
While many factors can trigger and increase your risk of developing gout, what you eat and drink plays a significant role.
Foods to avoid if you have gout include:
- Organ meats, like kidneys and liver
- Red meats like beef and lamb
- Seafood, like sardines, anchovies, scallops, and herring
- Food and drinks containing high fructose corn syrup
- Fruit with higher fructose concentrations, like grapefruit, bananas, grapes, and oranges
- Processed and fried food
- Asparagus and mushrooms
- Yeast products, like bread
Certain types of meat, seafood, and other foods on the list have higher concentrations of purines, which are broken down by uric acid. Increased purines require more uric acid to break down, triggering a potential buildup of uric acid and an attack of gout.
How is gout treated?
Gout treatment usually consists of managing your symptoms and reducing inflammation in the joint. You may also be prescribed medication to lower the uric acid levels in your blood. If you’re overweight, lifestyle modifications and diet changes can help manage and reduce your risk of gout.
We offer a medical gym and weight loss programs to help you lose weight safely and effectively.
For more information about what you can do to prevent gout and the treatment options, contact Vital Clinic and Spa today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Buttar at our office in Cypress, Texas.