MAKING HEALTHY CHOICES

Talk to your doctor about making these lifestyle changes.

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Diet & Uric Acid

You may hear that eating or avoiding certain foods is the "key" to managing gout. But diet changes alone are not typically enough to get rid of uric acid buildup. In fact, even the strictest low-purine diet has been shown to reduce uric acid levels by about 1 mg/dL.

Gout: the Diet Myth

The mistaken belief that diet "causes" gout has been around for centuries. In fact, gout used to be described as the "disease of kings" because it was associated with rich foods. However, today we know it's not caused by what you eat.

In reality, although certain foods may trigger a gout attack, they aren't the cause of gout. We now know that a high level of uric acid is the underlying cause of gout. In some people (10%), uric acid builds up in the blood because their body produces too much of it. In the rest (90%), the kidneys can't remove uric acid from the body very well, causing it to build up.

To reduce your risk of gout flares, you'll need to take steps to decrease your uric acid level and keep it low. Reducing uric acid levels to less than 6 mg/dL is the goal for the management of gout over the long term.

The Role of High-Purine Foods

The uric acid in your blood comes from purines, substances that are produced by your body and also found in many foods. Most of your uric acid (2/3) is produced naturally by your body, while the rest (1/3) comes from your diet.

There's no denying that important steps like drinking plenty of nonalcoholic beverages, especially water, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting high-purine foods-like meats and some types of seafood-are smart choices for people with gout.

However, in most cases just changing your diet alone may not be enough to lower your high uric acid.

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