Oatmeal and Gout Symptoms

If you ask about an arthritis that can be closely associated with what you eat, gouty arthritis is the answer. Yap, this joint disorder can be both controlled and triggered by your dietary purine. More purine you eat can make your blood uric acid level rise higher than normal. And high uric acid is considered bad for gout symptoms. Oatmeal is healthy source for your energy, but it contains some purines, too. Does it mean you should avoid oatmeal if you have gout?

Oatmeal health benefits

If you love eating whole grain due to its health advantages, oatmeal can be one of good choices. It is considered healthy for your heart.

image_illustration259As the name suggests, this healthy grain is made from oats. The harvested oats are steamed and roasted. And then they can be made into two major products:

  1. Instant & quick rolled oats, made from whole oats that are cut into pieces (rolled out).
  2. Conventional-fashioned-oats, produced from whole oats that are rolled flat.

Oats are not only good source of healthy carbohydrate (complex carb, high in fiber), but also host other essential nutrients such as some antioxidants and minerals.

The fiber of oat can help lower LDL

Some studies confirmed that oat can help fight against bad cholesterol (LD), a health benefit for your heart and cardiovascular system. A water-soluble fiber in oats called beta-glucan is the answer of this benefit.

When dissolved in the water, beta-glucan can act as gooey, making them easier to move slowly through the tract of your digestive system. While they moving, they can attach to bile acids and carry these acids go away from the body when you have a bowel movement.

Bile acids are produced from cholesterol. And when your body can remove these acids optimally, this can help reduce the absorption of your dietary cholesterol.

Oats can be a good alternative choice for diabetic people

Diabetes is chronic health condition. Mostly it is incurable but treatable. It occurs when the body cannot regulate the blood sugar normally.

In type-2 diabetes (the most common diabetes form), the pancreas is still able to make some insulin but this doesn’t meet to the body needs – or – the pancreas can make adequate insulin, but the insulin doesn’t work effectively, this is medically called as insulin resistance.

Insulin is a hormone that is so essential to regulate the glucose metabolism. If there is something goes awry with this hormone, your blood sugar level is relatively easier to rise.

The problem is worse in type-1 diabetes. The pancreas of people with type-1 diabetes can lose the ability in producing insulin at all! See also more differences of type-1 vs. type-2 diabetes!

Oats are high in soluble fiber and good source of carbohydrate, too – as noted before. Some studies suggest that getting plenty of soluble fiber may help control blood sugar level. Even ADA (the American Diabetes Association) officially recommends diet with a wide variety of starchy veggies, beans, and grains for people with diabetes.

Oatmeal may help lower blood pressure, too

The fiber of oats may have a role in helping to control hypertension (a medical term used to call high blood pressure). Since several decades ago, many studies had confirmed that dietary fiber was associated with lower risk of hypertension.

In addition, oatmeal can help suppress appetite, great to help lose or just to control your weight. Again, this benefit may come from fiber from oats.

Is there a link between oatmeal and gout symptoms?

While there are some health advantages from oatmeal, some people think that it may trigger or worsen gout symptoms, too. Is it a fact or only a myth?

The cause of a gout attack

When talking about gouty arthritis, high uric acid may strike first in your mind! Excess blood uric acid that is poorly regulated by the body can accumulate in certain sites of the body. For instance, it can accumulate in the joint and urinary tract.

Over time, uric acid in the joint can cause build-ups of needle-like crystals. These crystals can hurt the joint and cause inflammation, and then you feel the symptoms of a gout attack such as pain, swelling, redness, or heat in the affected joint.

The accumulation of uric acid in the urinary tract can lead to uric acid stones. That’s why people with gout are at high risk of having kidney stones.

An interesting fact; some people with high blood uric acid never experience any gout attack. Experts note that the key is the movement of uric acid from the bloodstream to the joint.

Though you have high uric acid, you will not experience gout attacks if there is no any uric acid that accumulates in the joint. However in general, high blood uric acid level is the major reason for gout to start to occur.

Controlling uric acid is the major goal in the treatment for gouty arthritis. Since it can be affected by foods that you eat – yap, there are some foods rich in purine, a protein for the fuel of uric acid production in the body – diet can play a key role to treat and prevent gout flare-ups!

Oatmeal doesn’t both trigger and worsen gout symptoms, but …

For most people, eating oatmeal in moderation is a good healthy choice. How about for people with gout?

Regardless to the health benefits from oatmeal, again it also contains some purines. The good news, its purine content is categorized into ‘moderately high in purine’.

In other words, eating oatmeal ‘occasionally’ is still considered safe and will not trigger the flare-up of gout attack. If you have gout, see also foods you can eat safely and you need to avoid in here!

Citation:

  1. http://aces.nmsu.edu/county/valencia/documents/did_you_knowsflb.pdf