How does diet affect gout symptoms?

Gout is a disease related to arthritis that affects your joints. It is caused by excess uric acid, which is produced when your body processes chemicals known as purines. When your body produces too much of this acid, or simply can’t eliminate excess acid efficiently, urate crystals can form and settle in your joints. It is damage from these crystals that causes inflammation and severe pain—most often in the joint of your big toe.

Since these purines are found in certain foods, it makes sense that eating them might increase the risk of a gout attack, and avoiding them could keep you on a more even keel. Foods to avoid include red and organ meats, shellfish; alcoholic drinks—especially beer—and products with fruit sugars (fructose) should also be limited. The attack can come on suddenly in the night and symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in the joint.

For more information about how to deal with the debilitating condition, call Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in Wheat Ridge, CO, at (303) 423-2520. You can also set up an appointment at one of our three other Denver-area offices, and online scheduling is available.