About three years ago, my dad began to experience great discomforting both his knee and elbow. After a month of the continuing pain he decided to see the doctor and was told he had gout. Curious as to what exactly gout is I looked it up, according to WebMD, “gout is a kind of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints” (WebMD, 2014) After asking the doctor various questions we were surprised to find out that the condition is in result to consuming red meat. My dad was told to change his diet and steer away from eating red meat.
There are various foods that can lead to a gout episode. The foods one should avoid when suffering from this condition include: scallops, herring, beer, red meat, turkey, sugary drinks, asparagus, and organ meats. Seeing that my dad is a fan of red meat I decided to look into what exactly it contains that leads to gout. Red meat is rich in purines which is a chemical compound, that when broken down turns into uric acid. The uric acid isn’t necessarily bad for the body and is usually eliminated once it passes through the kidneys. Although, when one consumes red meat on a regular basis, too much uric acid is produced and cannot be completely dissolved. This build up of uric acid leads to the condition hyperuricemia. The formation of uric acid crystals, which is due to hyperuricemia then causes gout to advance.
Of course, studies are not saying that the consumption of the gout-triggering food is forbidden, but rather that it has to be eaten with moderation and not on a daily basis. Although those who have already been diagnosed with gout tend to be more vulnerable to pain attacks with even little consumption. There are foods that can help one to stay away from gout, such as low-fat dairy foods, coffee, fruits, and NON-SWEETENED fluids.
Harding, Anne (n.d.) 8 Gout-Causing Foods. Retrieved from www.health.com
NIH (2012) Gout. Retrieved from www.niams.nih.gov
WebMD (2012) Diet and Gout. Retrieved from www.webmd.com