Gout & Nutrition: Summer Edition

Summer is in full swing. And so are the foods and activities that come with the warmer weather. For some, that means a hot dog at a baseball game. For others, it means an ice cream cone at the beach.

But if you’re living with gout, you may be wondering if you can still enjoy your favorite foods. The short answer is “yes.” But let’s dig a little deeper.

The Gout Diet

Food and drinks that are high in purines can increase the risk of a gout attack by contributing to higher uric acid levels in the blood. They can include:

  • Red meat
  • Organ meats
  • Seafood
  • Alcohol
  • Sugary beverages and foods

Remember that food affects every person differently, so what triggers a gout attack in one person may not affect another. That’s why it’s important to keep track of how certain foods make you feel – and steer clear of those that trigger an attack.

In addition, a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products may help keep uric acid levels low and help you feel better overall.

The Importance of Medication

Avoiding trigger foods and drinks can help limit uric acid production. But the only way to lower uric acid enough to manage gout is with medication. In fact, diets and home remedies typically lower uric acid levels by no more than 1 mg/dl.

To find a medication that works for you, make an appointment with your doctor. He or she can help diagnose your gout and get you on the path to managing your condition.

If you don’t manage gout, it will manage you. By avoiding trigger foods and taking your medication as prescribed, you’ll be well on your way to a flare-free summer.