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Saturday, June 13, 2009

What is Gout?

In the latter part of May, my whole family went on a long weekend get-away to Maine. We had all sort of fresh seafood in every restaurant we dined at and of course beer was always part of the meal. We had a great time despite my hb nursing a sore foot. He was limping the whole time, he thought he must have broken his left big toe. But as the vacation progressed, his left foot swelled making it difficult to wear sneakers. He was really in pain and in great discomfort. So he made an appointment with a podiatrist to see him as soon as we get back. The diagnosis was he's got gout! The doctor, just by looking at his foot was 99.99% sure that he had gout even before examining his foot. Since then he's been watching his diet closely. He's been into fruit and vegetable diet and eats mostly chicken.

Gout is characterized by severe pain and tenderness, especially in the big toe. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid, which forms crystals that nestle into the joints and inflame them. Uric acid results from the breakdown of purines, compounds in body tissues and in many foods, especially red meats and alcohol. My hb has cut down on these to avoid flare up of his gout.


Here are some food that offer relief of gout:
  1. Fresh cherries, blueberries and strawberries
  2. Fresh or frozen pineapple
  3. Tofu, edamame, soy milk, and other soy foods
  4. Tomatoes, bell peppers, and other foods rich in vitamin C
  5. Olive oil, canola oil, avocados
  6. wather and other non-alcoholic liquids
  7. Cabbage, kale, leafy greens, celery, and carrots
Food to avoid are those rich in purines that will increase uric acid level:
  1. Red meat and fatty fish like anchovies, sardines, mackerel, and herring, as well as scallops and mussels;
  2. Purine rich vegetables and grains;
  3. Alcohol and yeasty food like bread and beer;
  4. Large amount of table sugar and corn syrup
(Source - Reader's Digest Food Cures)

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