I’ve been having problems with gout lately. Can you give me some help with this diet?

I’ve been having problems with gout lately. Can you give me some help with my diet?

With gout, the uric acid level in the body goes up and it is the cause of the painful feet you probably experience. Foods high in purines break down in the body to uric acid. However, food sources of purines account for only about 50 percent of the uric acid produced in the body. The remaining uric acid breaks down from other sources within the body.

High levels of uric acid increase the acidity of urine excreted by your kidneys. This increases the possibility of kidney stones. Fluid intake in the form of additional water up to two quarts per day helps ease the excretion of uric acid.

Current therapy for gout includes the use of medications to increase excretion of uric acid. A low purine diet that is limited to your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein (50 grams for females and 63 grams for males), may also be recommended. Weight reduction for overweight people seems to reduce uric acid production. I would caution you against drastic dieting or fasting, which increases blood uric acid levels. In a fasting state, your body breaks down more muscle than fat and greater quantities of ketone bodies are produced. These ketone bodies inhibit uric acid excretion. People with gout who go on very low calorie (less than 900 calories per day), actually can cause their uric acid levels to go even higher.

Alcohol may precipitate attacks of gout. Alcohol dehydrates your body of water and this action will increase your body’s uric acid levels. So if you have gout, don’t drink alcohol.

You should call your doctor. Until you see him/her, you could follow a low purine diet for a few days. Avoid the following high purine foods: liver; kidneys; sweetbreads; brains; meat gravies and extracts; anchovies; mackerel; sardines; herring; scallops; dried beans and peas. Remember to ask your doctor to recommend a diet appropriate for you.