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Gout: Changing Your Diet

Gout is a form of arthritis marked by sudden attacks of painful, inflamed joints. If it is not controlled, gout can cause severe damage to joints, tendons, and other tissues.

Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. This used to be treated with a strict diet, but now there are medicines that can control it. These medicines have largely replaced the need to restrict what you eat.

But making changes in your diet may still help with your gout. If you want to try an eating plan for gout, this information can help you learn more about how to eat in ways that may help you keep your gout under control and still get the nutrition you need.

Key points

To help control your gout:

  • Limit foods that are high in purines, especially meat, seafood, and beer.
  • Eat a healthy diet that provides the nutrients you need and helps you control your weight.
  • Eat low-fat dairy products. This may lower your risk of gout.1
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids. This can help your body get rid of uric acid.

what.gif What are purines and uric acid?
why.gif Why might you want to follow an eating plan for gout?
how.gif How to eat to help control your gout
where.gif Where to get more information

Now that you have read this information, you can make choices that limit high-purine foods in your diet. Talk with your doctor about the changes to your diet. He or she may have more suggestions and tips on how to avoid high-purine foods. You may also want to meet with a registered dietitian for more ideas about a healthful diet for you.

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Citations

  1. Gomez FE, Kaufer-Horwitz M (2012). Medical nutrition therapy for rheumatic disease. In LK Mahan et al., eds., Krause's Food and the Nutrition Care Process, 13th ed., pp. 901-922. St Louis: Saunders.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerNancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Last RevisedJune 12, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 12, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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