Gout - A type of arthritis
A clinical nutritionist is a person who can help someone deal with gout which is a form of arthritis through medical nutrition therapy.
Gout is caused by excessive uric acid accumulation in the body. Certain foods that we eat contain purine, a chemical substance. Our body breaks down the purines and either recycles them or removes the by-products. Uric acid is one of the by-products which is excreted by the kidneys through the urine. In some people there is some trouble releasing the excess uric acid which could be the inability of the kidneys to excrete sufficient uric acid or the body producing more uric acid or a little of both.
When the blood has a high concentration of uric acid in the blood, it results in the formation of crystals in our body which are deposited at the joints, for example ankles, elbows, knee, toes, fingers, etc. and result in, gout.
What are the causes of gout?
Since we know that the build up of uric acid in blood causes gout here are a few reasons for this build up:
- Genetics or family history of gout
- Being a middle-aged male or a post-menopausal woman
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Metabolic conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease, high blood pressure, etc
- Kidney disease
- Prolonged intake of certain medications
- Food and drinks high in fructose and foods high in purine
What are the symptoms of gout?
- Severe pain in the joints
- Redness or swelling
- Inflammation of the joints
- Lose weight if necessary
- Get physically active
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and oilseeds, and whole grains.
- Opt for low fat milk and milk products
- Focus on lean meat and poultry and dals as a source of protein
- There have been studies that have shown that high purine vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, etc do not seem to increase uric acid production in comparison to other foods.So they should be included in the diet.
- Be well hydrated. Prefer water to help flush out the excess uric acid.
- Avoid foods like organ meats (liver and kidney), red meat (lamb and pork), certain sea foods (shellfish, sardines and tuna) and foods and beverages high in fructose.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages like beer and distilled liquors as they increase the risk of gout. Wine is a good choice though.
So, following a low purine diet with the help of the best dietitian in Mumbai who understands an Indian eating pattern can naturally help in managing the blood uric acid levels to reduce the risk of gout.