If you are diagnosed with gout, what you eat can affect the outcome and prognosis of this joint disorder. Foods very high in purines are commonly the bad choice since they can increase the uric acid in the blood. How about fruits? They are healthy, but are they bad for gouty arthritis, too? Should you avoid them?
To clearly understand the link between diet and your gout, let’s explore first about dietary purines!
What actually is purine? It’s a kind of protein. Your body needs it to supports some body’s functions. Mostly, you can get it from diet. Yap, it can be found naturally in certain foods – even there are some foods very high in purines.
In the body, purine breaks down to become a substance what we call as uric acid. Most of this acid can go directly into the bloodstream.
The body has its own mechanism to control the normal level of uric acid. Excess uric acids are filtered by kidneys and then will go away from the body with urine when you pee. Some may go away in a bowel movement, too.
In gout, the failure of the body in controlling uric acid level is the starting point for the disease to occur. Too high uric acid in the blood can move and stay in certain parts of the body, such as in the joint. Over time, they become deposits of urate crystals that can act as needle-like crystals and cause inflammation in the joint.
In other words, it’s important for people with gout to restrict and avoid foods containing very high purines.
But not all people with high uric acid develop gouty arthritis. Excess uric acid can accumulate in urinary track, too.
What actually is a kidney stone? It is a hard mass that occurs from crystals in the urine. Normally, there are natural substances in the urine that can help prevent stones from forming.
Kidney stones can be a complication from gout. This condition is medically called as uric acid stones. It is caused when the excess uric acid become crystals and stay in the urinary tract, as noted before.
Other factors that contribute in increasing the risk of kidney stones in people with gout may include:
- The habit of poorly drinking plenty of water. Keeping hydrated is important for controlling gout and preventing kidney stones.
- Too high-protein diet, including diet too high in purines.
- Genetic factor may have an effect, too. Some people have high tendency to have kidney stones.
Restricting foods high in oxalates are commonly recommended for people with calcium oxalate stones (the most common type of kidney stones). So there are several different types of kidney stones, and each requires different treatment.
The kind of stone you have can determine the kind of treatment you need to take! Uric acid stones and calcium oxalate stones are different because they have different triggers.
Calcium oxalate stones are commonly not associated with gout and high uric acid levels in the blood. Instead, it is associated with too high oxalate and calcium in the urine, as the name implies.
Foods rich in calcium are commonly not recommended to be avoided for people with calcium oxalate stones. Calcium is not the enemy. Instead of eliminating calcium intake, it’s better to reduce your salt intake since too much sodium can make your body lose more calcium in the urine.
For people with gout, all fruits are commonly considered safe to eat. But if you are vulnerable to have calcium oxalate stones, you may be suggested to limit fruits too high in oxalate and reduce your dietary intake of sodium.
The content of oxalate in food can vary. Even in one type of food, it can vary, too. For instance, the kind of soil and state of ripeness has an effect.
Many fruits are commonly listed into foods low to moderate in oxalate, these include: