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Avoiding Gout Flare Ups

By HERWriter
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Gout is a very painful form of arthritis. Very painful. Out of the clear blue, you may experience intense pain in one of your joints.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, “The symptoms of gout may be sudden. They usually start at night, often in the big toe joint (but can also occur in the joints of the feet, ankles, knees, hands and wrists). The affected joint becomes red, feels hot and hurts. The joint hurts more when you touch it.”

The pain is caused by what the medical community calls tophi (pronounced toe-fee). Tophi is the build-up of uric acid crystals which form at your joints, causing pain, swelling and redness.

According to a recent study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, the triggers are food and drinks rich in purines. You are five times more likely to have a gout attack if you eat or drink purine-rich items.

According to ABC News, “Researchers conclude that avoiding animal sources of purines could reduce the risk of recurrent gout attacks.”

These are some purine-rich foods to avoid if you have a gout flare up.

Beverages high in purines:
• Beer
• Grain alcohol
• Wine
• Drinks high in fructose (canned drinks and juices)

Products high in yeast content:
• Whole grain cereal

Vegetables high in purines:
• Spinach
• Mushrooms
• Beans
• Peas
• Asparagus
• Cauliflower

Seafood high in purines:
• Fish roe
• Fish eggs
• Herring
• Shrimp
• Lobster
• Anchovies
• Sardines
• Mussels

Meats high in purines:
• Chicken
• Duck
• Sweetbreads
• Liver
• Kidneys
• Heart
• Brains

Now, you’ve reviewed the list and you must be wondering, “What can I eat?”

One of the best ways to flush uric acid out of your system is to drink plenty of water and eat lots of fruit. You can also eat vegetables but you should avoid peas, cauliflower, lentils, beans, mushrooms, spinach, and asparagus.

Other foods that are low in purines include:
• Eggs
• Milk
• Vegetable soups (clear broth)
• Nuts
• Refined cereals and cereal products
• Spices and condiments, including salt and vinegar
• Sugar and sweets (in moderation)
• Butter and fats (in moderation)

It is important to treat gout, as it can cause future complications like kidney stones and kidney disease. Also, the bones surrounded by tophi can deteriorate over time.


Gout. ABC News. Retrieved June 25, 2012, from

Gout Flare-ups Rise Sharply With Certain Foods: Study - US News and World Report. (Health News Articles - US News Health. Retrieved June 25, 2012, from

Gout | Overview -- FamilyDoctor.org. Health Education | Illnesses, Diseases & Conditions -- FamilyDoctor.org. Retrieved June 25, 2012, from

Part, B. Purine Gout | Gout Diet | Gout Foods | Arthritis Today Magazine. Arthritis | Arthritis Today Magazine | Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved June 25, 2012, from

Reviewed June 25, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments


I have a good friend with gout. It can be very debilitating when it takles hold. he only seems to have one-two bouts a year and its usually after indulging in alcohol and shellfish as a combo meal.

Henderson Cosmetic Dentist

October 5, 2012 - 8:15pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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