Gout is a bothersome form of arthritis that affects the joints, most commonly in the big toe. While symptoms of gout, caused by a build-up of uric acid, can occur for a number of reasons, regularly including certain foods in your diet can increase the risk of a sudden flare-up.
However, research shows that consuming particular food and beverages can also help to reduce the risk of an attack.
According to a 2010 Nurses’ Health Study, the risk of developing gout decreased among people who drank more coffee.
The analysis monitored female patients and found that women who consumed one to three cups of coffee per day had a 22 percent reduction in their risk of gout compared with those who did not drink coffee.
Women who consumed more than four cups of coffee per day were found to have a 57 percent decrease in their risk of developing gout.
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What is gout?
Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that can come on suddenly and causes pain in the joints.
This can impact joints in your feet, hands, wrists, elbows or knees, but according to the NHS, usually affects the big toe.
Alongside pain, symptoms also include hot, swollen, red skin over the affected joint.
The symptoms can last anywhere from five to seven days.
Gout is caused by a condition known as hyperuricemia, which occurs when there is too much uric acid in the body.
The body makes uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are found in your body and the foods you eat.
Some food and drinks are more purine-rich than others, and patients may be urged to cut down on, or steer clear of, these items.
Attacks of gout are usually treated with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen.
What foods can cause gout?
While gout can be caused by a number of lifestyle factors, it can also be caused by certain conditions, such as blood and metabolism disorders or kidney and thyroid problems.
Some foods, however, are more likely to increase your risk of developing symptoms.
- Excess alcohol
- High-fat foods such as red meat, bacon and dairy products
- Organ meats such as liver
- High-sugar foods and beverages
- Some types of fish, including tuna, haddock, trout and sardines