Every gout sufferer is concerned about food, but before you start a gout diet, make sure that it is built on sound principles. Gout diets, like any form of gout treatment, need to recognize and improve three distinct phases: stop gout triggers, reduce gout pain and lower uric acid. Let me explain how a good gout diet relates to the three basic phases of gout management.
Stop Gout Triggers
In gout treatment you begin by removing any obvious triggers, such as diuretics or dehydration. Gout diets need to start in the same way and stop irregular eating times and other bad eating habits. They must not fall into the trap of mistakenly identifying certain foods as forbidden – this is where most so-called gout diets fail. Food avoidance is fatally flawed, balanced food is vital, and will allow you to make the first steps in managing pain. Read more about gout triggers.
Manage Gout Pain
I’m not suggesting that food can act as a painkiller, however you still need to bear in mind that relieving gout pain is completely separate from reducing uric acid. There are some food options that will reduce the severity of gout pain. Increase the amount of food with anti-inflammatory properties and you will improve your natural defenses against gout pain. This puts you in a stronger position to manage the all important uric acid lowering.
Manage Uric Acid
The greatest source, by far, of uric acid in your body does not come directly from food – it comes from your own body tissue as cells die. Whilst an excess of animal protein can slightly raise uric acid levels, your body produces much more as a result of poor diet. Irregular eating and poorly balanced meals will cause your body to produce more uric acid than a plate of purine rich food.
Every good gout diet starts with understanding the three phases of gout management. You must assess a diet on it’s ability to stop gout triggers, help with gout pain and lower uric acid. It is also vital that the diet supports good general health, as many gout sufferers also suffer from other conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure. I’ll explain the specifics of how you tie all these factors together on another occasion. Specific diet guidelines only make sense when you can relate them to the three phases of gout management.