Nutritional therapy for uric acid
Gout is a condition characterized by abnormally high levels of uric acid in blood (hyper-uremia), deposits solid lumps of uric acid in and around the joints, recurrent attacks of joint inflammation (arthritis), decreased kidney function and kidney stones. It is often related to an inherited difficulty in the body’s processing of uric acid. Gouty arthritis is usually a painful attack of joint inflammation in joints is caused by deposits of uric acid crystals in the synovial fluid and lining.
Uric acid is produced by the breakdown of purines, colorless crystalline solids that are part of many foods.
Apart from the inherited difficulty in the body’s processing of uric acid, obesity moderate to heavy alcohol intake, abnormal kidney function and high blood pressure can also cause gout. Certain drugs e.g. low dose aspirin, thiazide diuretics and medication for TB can precipitate the condition and some diseases, such as leukemia’s, lymphomas and hemoglobin disorders can cause excessive production of uric acid in the body.
Joints commonly affected by gout include the ankle, elbows, fingers, knees and wrist but the most common site of acute gout is the joint at the base of the big toe. Pain in the affected joints followed by swelling and redness. This may be accompanied by fever.
Normal level of serum uric acid: 3-7 mg/dl
In case of severe or advanced gout the purine content of the daily diet should be restricted to approx.100 to 150 mg.
Purine content of foods/100gm
(150mg & over)
|Bread & Cereals
Butter and other fats
White and red meat
Organ meat (kidney, liver)
- For a diet necessarily free of exogenous purines, use foods only group I.
- For a low purine level allow 3-5 servings of lean meat, poultry and fish from group each week.
- Drink 2-3 liters of fluid daily. At least half as water. Because it has the ability to dilute uric acid in both blood and urine.
- Emphasize high carbohydrate foods (bran bread, cereals, rice, vegetables and fruits).
- Don’t eat deep fried foods and high fat desserts.
- Lose weight if you need to. By losing weight you reduce the pressure on weight bearing joints and also lower uric acid levels.
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