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Dr Manny's Notes

Foods gout sufferers should avoid

Gout is a form of arthritis and it affects more people than you think. In fact, one in 200 Americans suffers from the severe joint pain associated with the condition.

We received this email from a viewer:

Dear Dr. Manny,
I've heard that eating cherries can help people who suffer from gout, but what foods should we be avoiding?

Gout can cause sudden attacks of pain in the joints of the feet, ankles, knees and even the hands, but it’s most commonly felt at the base of the big toe. And it’s true, cherries can help reduce inflammation in the body, so they may help when it comes to managing gout flares.

A buildup of uric acid in the joints causes gout and flares can last for days or even months. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are substances that are found naturally in the body, and in certain foods. As a result, the foods you eat can play a key role in managing your pain.

Try to avoid or limit your intake of certain foods that are high in purines including:

  • Fish and other seafood
  • Whole grains
  • Sugars and high-fructose corn syrup
  • Beer
  • Certain vegetables like asparagus, spinach, lentils, cauliflower and peas
  • Red meat and poultry           

However, some foods help protect against gout, including low-fat dairy, complex carbohydrates, coffee and citrus fruits.

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Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor.
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