All posts by Arthritis Foundation

foods to eat and avoid for gout management

What to Eat and Avoid for Gout

Food choices plays an important role in managing gout, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the United States. Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood (instead of being excreted) and gets deposited as crystals in one or more joints, triggering sudden swelling and pain. Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of purines, naturally occurring compounds in the body and in certain foods, which is why diet can be important for controlling gout attacks.

We asked rheumatologist Hyon K. Choi, MD, a gout expert and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, what people with gout should know about diet.

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gout-osteoarthritis

Gout and OA—What’s the Connection?

A swollen, stiff knee might immediately lead you to suspect you have osteoarthritis (OA), but the culprit could also be gout. Like many close relatives, the two conditions share common features. And because they often occur together, you might wonder which one is causing your symptoms.

“It’s definitely possible for people to have both conditions at the same time. They’re the two most common types of arthritis,” says Svetlana Krasnokutsky, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at NYU Langone Health. “They can affect the same joints.”

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eat less meat - gout diet

Making Smart Meat Choices If You Have Gout

If you’re changing your diet to help lower uric acid levels and reduce your risk of gout attacks, meat choices can have a big impact. Some meats are high in purines.  Purines are substances found naturally in the body as well as in in foods. They are broken down in the body to form uric acid. When excess uric acid in the bloodstream builds too quickly or can’t be eliminated fast enough, it is deposited as needle-shaped crystals in the tissues of the body, including joints, causing intense pain.  So, a high-purine diet puts you at greater risk for uric acid buildup.  And a 2012 study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases showed that the risk worsens as more purines are included in the diet. But what if meats are your favorite food? Here’s what you should know about your options.

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dash diet for gout

Heart Diet Good for Gout

A diet that’s best known for promoting heart health may also help gout management. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, may lower serum uric acid (SUA) levels. In a study published in Clinical Rheumatology in March 2017,  research findings showed that the diet reduced SUA [compared to the typical American (control) diet] within 30 days, with a sustained effect at 90 days. In an earlier study reported in Arthritis & Rheumatology in August 2016, researchers reported similar finding in some cases.

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Gout News Medication Risk

Increasing Allopurinol Dose May Better Control Gout

In addition to being treated with medication for symptoms of an acute flare, should a person with gout be put on long-term uric acid-lowering medication to reduce future flares? And is it safe to keep raising the dose of the medication until uric acid drops below a specified target? Rheumatologists and other physicians are currently grappling with those questions, and a new study may help lead to some answers.

What Is Gout?

Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the United States, affecting more than 8 million adults. It develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. Needle-shaped crystals form in and around joints – often beginning in the base of the big toe – causing episodes of severe pain, heat and swelling.
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Gout and Premature Death Risk

People with Gout at Risk of Premature Death

A new study found that people with gout have a 25 percent greater likelihood of dying prematurely than people without gout. The findings also show that this increased mortality rate has not improved over the past 16 years, unlike the mortality rate for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Gout, which affects more than 4 percent of adults in the United States, is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. It develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. The acid can form needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling. Gout is also associated with other illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
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Gout Treat to Target

Panel Recommends Aggressive Treat-to-Target Approach to Gout

An international panel of leading gout experts has published new recommendations advising that doctors use a treat-to-target approach for managing gout, a painful form of arthritis that affects more than 8 million adults in the United States. Central to the recommendations is using medication to reduce and keep blood uric acid levels below 6 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) – and even lower in people with severe gout. The recommendations were published online in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases in September.
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Wipe Out Gout

Arthritis Foundation Launches Wipe Out Gout – Awareness Campaign

It may come as a surprise that gout is the most common cause of inflammatory arthritis among adults in the United States.1 It’s also very painful, but gout can be a management disease – meaning there are several things people with gout can do to reduce flares, or eliminate flares all together.
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Gout Patient Story

“Honey, I Have Gout”: A Spouse Reflects on Her Worries

At times, life can be difficult for those living with gout, but it can be just as hard on spouses. When you live in close quarters with a significant other, you undoubtedly feel the pain they deal with on a daily basis. Mira knows this firsthand.

Early on in their marriage, Mira’s husband returned from a business trip with a painful toe and they couldn’t figure out the cause. “For someone who was athletic and never had any health problems, it was inexplicable,” says Mira. “That first attack lasted about a week, and we were young, so he didn’t go see a doctor.”
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New Gout Resource from Arthritis Foundation

Let’s Speak Gout: Addressing A Treatable, Yet Often Untreated Condition

Did you know that Gout Awareness Day is held on May 22? In support of Gout Awareness Day today, we’ve launched a new tool to help those that suffer from the disease. Of the nearly 8.3 million adults living with gout, more than half experience multiple gout attacks each year. But having fewer or no gout attacks is possible. The Arthritis Foundation’s Let’s Speak Gout patient tool is now available to empower you to better manage your disease.
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