You’re not the only one who likes corned beef, your gout does, too.
Gout loves corned beef – and green beer – and shepherd’s pie.
And wine and bacon and shrimp, too.
If you have gout, then this is a tough weekend for you. All those great foods that are traditionally eaten on St. Patrick’s Day are likely to flare-up your gout – corned beef especially.
Why does Corned Beef set off Gout?
Corned beef sets off gout for two reasons – the protein and the salt.
Gout usually gets triggered off by foods high in protein, think corned beef. When you eat a lot of protein, your body has to break it down and eliminate it. Proteins break down into uric acid and your kidneys have to get rid of it. If your kidneys are overloaded, those uric acid crystals stay in the blood and eventually settle down into the joints.
Salt is also eliminated by the kidneys – making it more difficult for the uric acid to be removed.
Green Beer sets off Gout?
Actually, all beer sets off gout – green or not. Beer sets off gout for two reasons – the alcohol and the yeast. The alcohol reduces the kidneys ability to get rid of uric acid, and the yeast contains purines which produce more uric acid.
Beer, and wine, and liquor all set off gout. Mostly because they are diuretics – that is, they cause you to urinate more.
When you eliminate water, the stuff that stays in the blood gets more concentrated – stuff like uric acid crystals. When the blood can’t hold any more uric acid crystals, those crystals precipitate out of the blood and gravity pulls them down into the feet.
Corned Beef, Beer – What else shouldn’t I eat?
The thing in protein that breaks down into uric acid is called purines. Some foods have more purines than others, so you should be especially careful with them.
Foods high in purines are:
- Organ meats – such as liver, chicken liver
- Seafood – scallops, mussels
- Fish – tuna, anchovies, trout, mackerel, sardines, haddock
- Fowl – turkey, goose
You should try to avoid these foods as much as possible.
Also try to avoid these foods as much as possible:
- Sugary drinks
- Fruit juice – orange juice, apple juice
- High fructose corn syrup
- Salty foods – bacon, salami, pepperoni, sausage
Other foods that have some purines that you may be able to eat in small amounts are:
Does everything I eat set off gout?
Actually, you can eat things that reduce the chances of gout attacks – cherries, for one. Tart cherries are best. Tart cherries have anthocyanins that help reduce inflammation and uric acid levels. Some people get tart cherry extract in pill form at a health food store, which seems to work just as well.
Other foods considered safe for gout are:
- Whole grains -whole grain pasta, oats, whole wheat, brown rice
- Nuts – almonds, walnuts
- Fruits – melon, strawberries, cherries, pineapple, banana, grapes
- Vegetables – spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes
- Salads – celery, cucumber, endive, lettuce, mushrooms
- Beans or lentils
- Low fat dairy products – yogurt, skim milk, cottage cheese
- Water – drink lots of water
Since corned beef has two likely things that set off gout, think of St. Patrick’s Day as the perfect storm to cause a gout attack.
If you’ve had a gout attack recently, chances are another is right around the corner. Be very careful during this time. Even though you have no symptoms, your uric acid levels may be close to the point of causing gout.
If you find yourself in pain this week, call our office for an immediate appointment at (845) 298-9074.
Hollowbrook Foot Specialist serving the Hudson Valley from Wappingers Falls.