Foods That Trigger Gout
Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by a chemical called uric acid. Under normal circumstances, uric acid gets eliminated from the body in the urine. But with gout sufferers, this uric acid forms urate crystals that collect at the locations of the joints. This causes them to become inflamed, red, irritated and warm to the touch. People who have kidney problems are most likely to develop gout. The kidneys are responsible for flushing uric acid from the body, so if they are not working well, uric acid can become elevated. Generally, the big toe is the first place gout hits and it can also be seen in the foot, knee, ankle, wrist and hand. Gout attacks can be worsened by simply eating certain foods. A compound called purine found in these foods can cause uric acid to build up in the body.
Meats are high in protein, iron and various minerals. But they can also trigger gout attacks because many high-protein foods are high in purine. Examples of these include beef, chicken, turkey, pork and venison. Processed meats like bacon, salami, bologna, pepperoni and sausage can also trigger gout.
The meats themselves can cause gout attacks, but the organs of the meats can as well. These include livers, kidneys, sweetbreads and brains. Any type of product that is made from meat can trigger gout attacks as well, such as gravy, consomme and bouillon.
Seafood is also high in protein and purine and can trigger gout attacks. Examples include anchovies, salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, cod and sardines. Shellfish such as crabs, clams, shrimp and mussels can also trigger gout.
Vegetables are normally good for the system because of their high nutrient and water content. But certain vegetables are high in purine and they can also trigger gout symptoms. Examples of these include mushrooms, peas, cooked spinach, cauliflower, rhubarb, lentils and asparagus.
When alcohol is consumed in moderate amounts, it can have positive effects on the body. But according to the Mayo Clinic, alcohol may inhibit the excretion of uric acid, which can trigger gout symptoms. Beer, wine, whiskey and malt liquors are all examples. If you are having a gout attack, you should avoid alcohol altogether.
Yeast is used in baked goods to make them rise and it is also used as a dietary supplement. Products that contain yeast also contain purines and can aggravate gout. Examples of these include pastries, cakes, breads, bagels and brewer's yeast.
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