Many health problems are seen today due to an increase in the level of uric acid in the body. An increase in the level of uric acid can lead to a health condition called gout.
Once this health condition was known as a disease of the rich, but gout is now a common ailment seen in common people.
What is uric acid?
Uric acid is produced when the human body breaks down a substance called purine.
Purine is a chemical compound that is commonly found in the body. They also reach the body through certain food items.
How uric acid causes gout?
Normally, uric acid is excreted as urine from our bodies. But if the amount of uric acid in the body increases beyond a certain limit, these become crystals. The resulting crystals accumulate in and around the joints. This causes severe pain and redness in the joints. This condition is known as gout or gouty arthritis.
How does levels of uric acid increase in the body?
As already mentioned, gout is a disease caused by increased uric acid in the body.
Now let’s see the reasons behind the increase of uric acid in the body.
Malfunctioning of the kidneys is the main reason for the increase in uric acid in the body.
Uric acid levels build up when the kidneys cannot excrete uric acid properly. There are many reasons why the kidneys do not work this efficiently.
One of the most important reasons is obesity.
Regular consumption of food rich in protein and fat is also a reason for increased uric acid in the body.
Diabetes patients also have high levels of uric acid in the body.
The use of certain drugs (diuretics) is the reason for this.
Excessive alcohol consumption is another cause of high uric acid levels in the body.
The production of uric acid also causes this condition in the body due to the regular consumption of purine-rich foods.
Hypothyroidism and hereditary factors also cause excess uric acid in the body.
Although various treatments for gout are caused by increased uric acid in the body, we are looking at how we can counter it with our diet.
Remember that one cannot cure gout by dieting alone.
Can a special diet reduce uric acid?
Following a specific diet can reduce uric acid in the body to a certain extent.
It helps in reducing joint pain and joint damage. Gout will be significantly reduced when medicines are taken along with this diet.
What is the special diet to decrease uric acid levels or gout diet?
What is a gout diet?
The gout diet mainly focuses on three important factors.
- To maintain healthy body weight by reducing excess body fat.
- Including food that reduces the level of uric acid.
- Regulate food items which include Purines
Maintain healthy body weight
People who are overweight are more likely to develop gout, so losing weight immediately can help prevent the occurrence of gout. Lower uric acid levels have been seen in people who eat a low-calorie diet, and weight loss is essential to reduce joint stress.
Include complex starches
Include foods rich in complex nutrients and dietary fiber such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits. Reduce sweeteners like sugar, jaggery, honey and foods with added sugar. It is also best to avoid sweetened fruit juices. Certain drinks (High fructose corn syrup-HFCS 61) and bakery foods can increase the risk of a gout attack.
Minimize the consumption of saturated fats. It is best to avoid red meat, poultry meat without skin and fat removed, and milk and dairy products with stains. Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Include protein as required
Include protein that is appropriate for age and body weight. That, too, preferably plant-based proteins. Include fish, skimmed milk and dairy products, eggs and legumes.
Studies suggest that Vitamin B(pantothenic acid), vitamin C, and antioxidants can also help lower acid levels.
Make sure to include plenty of vegetables, fruits and leafy greens in your diet.
Foods to Avoid
- Avoid organ meats like kidneys and liver. They are high in purine. Also, avoid fat-containing red meat like beef, mutton, pork etc.
- Purines are high in shell meats, crab, prawns, shrimps and scallops, and fish such as mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and fish eggs.
- Vegetables rich in purine include leafy greens like spinach, green peas, mushrooms, cauliflower, and legumes, which also contain high levels of Purines.
- Sweet fruits like sapota and guava can also aggravate gout attacks. The use of these does not alter uric acid levels. But in painful conditions, their combination will increase the pain.
- Beer and other alcoholic beverages can increase the risk of gout.
- Alcohol can also cause gout attacks to prevail.
- Avoid foods and drinks with high amounts of sugar.
To reduce uric acid.
- Studies indicated that taking 500 mg of Vitamin C daily may reduce the risk of gout
- Always keep the body hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Avoid dehydration.
- Practice regular exercise.
- Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala helps to reduce uric acid and treat gout.