Gout and Hyperuricaemia
LOW PURINE DIET GUIDE
What is gout and hyperuricaemia?
Gout is a kind of arthritis (inflammation of the joint) caused by too much uric acid in the joints. The acid causes joint pain.
Hyperuricaemia is a raised level of uric acid in the blood. This may make it more likely for you to develop gout.
Who can get gout?
If you eat a lot of foods that are rich in purines, you may get gout. Some of these foods are listed below.
You may get gout if you’re overweight, drink alcohol or have high cholesterol. Men have gout more often than women.
Some medicines may cause gout, such as certain diuretics (“water pills”), niacin (a B-complex vitamin), aspirin (taken in low doses), cyclosporine and some drugs used to treat cancer.
What is a gout attack like?
It may be sudden. It usually starts at night, often in the big toe. The joint becomes red, feels hot and hurts. The joint hurts more when you touch it. Other joints may also be affected.
What should I do if I have a gout attack?
The sooner you get treatment, the sooner the pain will go away. Your doctor can prescribe medicine to stop the joint swelling and pain.
You should rest in bed. Putting a hot pad or an ice pack on the joint may ease the pain. Keeping the weight of clothes or bed covers off the joint can also help.
With treatment, your gout attack should go away in a few days. You may never have another attack.
What if I don’t get treatment?
If you don’t get treatment, a gout attack can last for days or even weeks. If you keep having more attacks, more joints will be affected, and the attacks will last longer.
If you have gout attacks for many years, you may develop tophi. These are soft tissue swellings caused by uric acid crystals. Tophi usually form on the toes, fingers, hands and elbows. You may also get kidney disease or kidney stones. Over time, the bone around a joint may be destroyed.
What can I do to avoid gout attacks?
Your doctor can prescribe medicines to prevent future gout attacks. These medicines wash the uric acid from your joints, reduce the swelling or keep uric acid from forming.
You should lose weight if you need to. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, get treatment and follow a low-salt, low-fat diet.
Stay away from alcohol and foods that are high in purines. A guide to a low purine diet is presented below.
Drinking lots of water can help flush uric acid from your body.
What foods can I take to maintain a low purine diet?
Foods to ABSTAIN COMPLETELY
- Internal organs or animals and poultry eg liver, kidney, brain, heart and pancreas
- Red meat eg beef, mutton, lamb, sheep, veal and venison
- Certain fish eg ikan bilis and sardines
- Certain fruits eg strawberry (& strawberry jam), durian, tomato (& tomato sauce)
- Alcohol eg beer, brandy, champagne, whisky, port, sweet wine
- Bean products eg beancurd, soya bean milk, bean sprout, bean cake and moon cake
Foods to be taken in MODERATION (not more than once or twice a week)
- Asparagus, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, carrot, lentils, kidney beans and peas
- Whole grain cereals eg bran, wheat, malt, oatmeal
- Certain fish eg tuna, codfish, carp, trout, eel, herring and salmon
- Shellfish eg crabs prawns fish roe
- Oysters and cockles
- Ham, sausages, bacon and tripe
- Meat extracts eg bovril, chicken essence, chicken soup, mutton soup and bakut teh
- Pork, goose, duck, turkey and pigeon
- Skimmed milk
- Egg white (whole egg restrict to two per week)
- Most vegetables
- Most fruits and fruit juices (except those mentioned above)
- Coffee and tea
- Bread and cereal products eg white bread, corn bread, soda crackers, rusks, noodles, macaroni, spaghetti, vermicelli, arrowroot, sago and tapioca
- Butter, margarine and cheese (low fat cottage cheese preferable)
- White meat e.g. chicken and fish
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