Got Gout?
Could Carbohydrates Be the Problem?

Gout is a painful arthritis-related condition primarily found in men.

It appears to result from the build up of uric acid concentration in the blood. This excess acid crystallizes and creates problems in joints, tendons and soft tissues. Symptoms include reduced joint mobility, pain, purple skin, and extreme sensitivity of affected areas. Other symptoms include swelling, heat sensations, and stiffness.

Individuals on so-called “starvation diets” as well as those who eat foods high in chemicals called purines might be at a greater risk for getting the condition.

The problem is often comorbid (associated) with conditions like type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis. Authorities believe the etiology is complex. Leukemia, disorders of the kidney, certain types of anemia, and even lead poisoning seem to be able to cause it.

What to eat?

Some physicians counsel patients to avoid certain protein-rich foods, like shellfish, offal, and anchovies. Other doctors argue that the overconsumption of beer may exacerbate or even cause the condition. Still other authorities finger simple sugars--like sucrose and fructose--as probable culprits. Fructose can be found in many everyday foods, such as orange juice, jelly, candy, syrups, and sugary sodas and tea drinks.

Some doctors advocate low-carbohydrate diets for gout patients.

Gout is often associated with conditions linked with high-carb diets, like obesity, metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes. Of course, while cutting sugars and simple carbs might be a generally healthy thing to do, this complex condition can have many possible causes. For instance, rare problems, such as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (LNS), can lead to abnormally elevated uric acid levels; this must be treated by non-dietary means.

All this said, if you consume a lot of high-fructose corn syrup and other sugars and carbs, it may behoove you to ask your doctor about whether you should restrict your carb intake.

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