What is gout?
Gout is a disorder of purine metabolism which results in the accumulation of high levels of uric acid in blood. Uric acid are the waste products created after the breakdown of purines. The symptoms of gout are similar to arthritis but in this case crystals of uric acid are formed within the joint tissues which causes inflammation. Gout is generally associated with sudden onset of localized pain that begins from the toe and continues up the leg.
Gout mostly occurs after the age of 35 and is more common in males. Other factors which are normally associated with gouty conditions are
- Diet rich in fats and proteins and low in carbohydrates.
- Certain medicines such diuretics, aspirin, levodopa.
- Deficiency of enzymes responsible for purine metabolism.
Role of purine in gout
Uric acids are formed from the breakdown of purines in body. A diet low in purine along with medicines should be encouraged to reduce inflammation which occurs as a result of gout. Foods that are rich in purine and should be avoided are
- Organ meat such as liver, brains,kidney and heart.
- High fatty fishes such as sardines and roe
- Minced meat
Purine is the type of proteins that is present in some vegetables also and should be eaten in small amounts (Not more 1/2 cup of any purine rich vegetables is allowed in a day). Those vegetables are
Diet in Gout
Along with medicines , dietary modification is also essential to eliminate or inhibit uric acid synthesis, and reducing the recurring onsets of gout.
- Caloric restriction in case of being overweight . Because gout is more likely to develop if a person is obese. Also losing weight helps to relieve overall stress on joints.
- Excessive fluid intake (3L/day) should be encouraged in order to assist uric acid excretion.
- Gout diet should be high in complex carbohydrates ,low in saturated fats and moderate in protein to ensure uric acid excretion.
- Vitamin C may helps to lower uric acid levels. Take fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C.
- Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is highly alkaline and may help to lower uric acid in blood. But it is not advisable for patients with hypertension. 1/2 tsp of sodium bicarbonate in lemon juice helps to relieve gout symptoms.