Home > Health Library > Gout: Changing Your Diet
Gout is a form of arthritis marked by sudden attacks of painful,
inflamed joints. If it is not controlled, gout can cause severe damage to
joints, tendons, and other tissues.
Gout is caused by too much
uric acid in the blood. This used to be treated with a strict diet, but now
there are medicines that can control it. These medicines have largely replaced
the need to restrict what you eat.
But making changes in your diet
may still help with your gout. If you want to try an eating plan for gout, this
information can help you learn more about how to eat in ways that may help you
keep your gout under control and still get the nutrition you need.
To help control your
Purines are chemical
compounds that are broken down into
uric acid. High levels of uric acid can cause
Most purines are made by
the body, but some come from foods. Eating foods that have a lot of purines can
raise uric acid levels in the body, which may make your gout worse.
Foods that are high in purines include:
On a low-purine diet, you can still drink as much beer
as you want.
It is important to limit how much beer you
drink. Beer can increase the amount of uric acid in your body and bring on
sudden attacks of painful, inflamed joints.
Continue to Why?
Changing what you eat may help control your gout. Eating foods with a lot
of fat, such as organ meats, broths, and gravy, can raise uric acid levels.
High uric acid levels can cause attacks. You may be able to help control the
amount of uric acid in your body by limiting high-purine foods in your
Lowering your uric acid levels may also lower your chances
of getting kidney stones.
Eating a healthy diet will help you stay
at a healthy weight, which may help lower your risk of having future attacks of
Eating foods low in purines may lower your chances of
getting kidney stones.
Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the
blood. You may be able to help control the amount of uric acid in your body by
limiting high-purine foods in your diet. Lowering your uric acid levels may
also lower your chances of getting kidney stones.
Continue to How?
several things you can do as part of an eating plan for gout.
On a low-purine diet, you can include fruits and
By including fruits, vegetables, and other
foods low in purines in your diet, you can help manage your symptoms.
Eating low-fat or fat-free milk and low-fat yogurt may
help lower your risk of gout.
By eating low-fat or fat-free milk and low-fat
yogurt, you may help lower your risk of gout and get the nutrition you
Continue to Where?
If you would like more information on controlling your weight,
the following information is available:
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the
Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP, a division of ACR) are
professional organizations of rheumatologists and associated health
professionals who are dedicated to healing, preventing disability from, and
curing the many types of arthritis and related disabling and sometimes fatal
disorders of the joints, muscles, and bones. Members of the ACR are physicians;
members of the ARHP include research scientists, nurses, physical and
occupational therapists, psychologists, and social workers. Both the ACR and
the ARHP provide professional education for their members.
website offers patient information fact sheets about rheumatic diseases, about
medicines used to treat rheumatic diseases, and about care
The Arthritis Foundation provides grants to help find a
cure, prevention methods, and better treatment options for arthritis. It also
provides a large number of community-based services nationwide to make living
with arthritis easier, including self-help courses; water- and land-based
exercise classes; support groups; home study groups; instructional videotapes;
public forums; free educational brochures and booklets; the national, bimonthly
consumer magazine Arthritis Today; and continuing
education courses and publications for health professionals.
Now that you have read this information, you can make
choices that limit high-purine foods in your diet. Talk with your doctor about
the changes to your diet. He or she may have more suggestions and tips on how
to avoid high-purine foods. You may also want to meet with a
registered dietitian for more ideas about a healthful
diet for you.
Return to topic:
Gomez FE, Kaufer-Horwitz M (2012). Medical nutrition therapy for rheumatic disease. In LK Mahan et al., eds., Krause's Food and the Nutrition Care Process, 13th ed., pp. 901–922. St Louis: Saunders.
June 12, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
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