Gout is a kind of arthritis that causes severe pain. It happens as a result of uric acid crystals forming in the joints. It is most common in men who are aged 45 or older, but it can also occur in women and in people of any age. Several factors can increase a person’s risk of gout, such as a family history of the condition, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and diabetes. One of the ways to manage gout and prevent future gout attacks is through diet.
What is the Gout Diet?
According to the Mayo Clinic, the uric acid crystals that form in joints are caused by the body’s break down of the chemical purine. Purine occurs naturally in the body, but is also in some foods. The gout diet is aimed at reducing uric acid, which may help prevent future attacks and slow damage to the joints. However, people with gout may still need medications to control pain and further reduce uric acid.
In general, the gout diet follows the usual recommendations for an overall healthy diet. General recommendations include:
- Eating to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
- Consuming complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Drinking plenty of water.
- Reducing saturated fats.
- Limiting protein from meats and adding protein from low-fat dairy products.
Foods to Eat.
Look for foods that are low in purine, like low-fat dairy products. However, the Mayo Clinic notes that vegetables that are high in purine don’t increase the risk for gout attacks, so foods like mushrooms, beans, lentils, and spinach are okay to eat. Other foods that are part of a gout diet are:
- Whole grains.
- Plant oils, such as olive and sunflower oil.
- Fruits that are less sweet.
Vitamin C supplements might also help reduce uric acid levels. Before the senior takes any supplements, check with their doctor.
Foods to Avoid.
Some foods that can increase uric acid levels and should be avoided are:
- Organ meats.
- Some seafoods, such as anchovies, mussels, trout, tuna, haddock, and others.
- Sugary drinks.
If your senior parent has experienced a gout attack, the doctor may have recommended changing their diet. An elder care provider can assist them with sticking to the new diet plan. Elder care providers can help seniors to shop for groceries. They can also prepare foods that are included in the plan, either with the senior’s assistance or on their own. In addition, an elder care provider can remind your parent to take prescribed medications and drive them to medical appointments.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in North Richland Hills, TX, please contact the caring staff at Custom Caregivers today. Call us at (972) 702-7988.
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