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What are Some Foods That Cause Gout?

By S. Mithra
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Certain types of food that are high in naturally occurring chemicals called purines are considered to be foods that cause gout. Among the foods that carry the highest risk of causing gout are some types of seafood, such as herring, mussels and sardines, as well as yeast and organ meats such as liver and kidneys. Alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and sugary drinks also can cause gout. Vegetables that are rich in purines were once thought to be among the foods that cause gout, but research has indicated that this might not be true. Dairy products also can contain purines, but their consumption has not been proved to increase the risk of gout — and some research has suggested that low-fat dairy products reduce the risk.

About Gout

Gout is a kind of arthritis that occurs when sharp crystal shards of uric acid collect between the joints, causing painful inflammation. Uric acid usually is a neutral but unnecessary chemical that the kidneys filter out of the blood through the urine. People who have gout typically get it because either their body produces too much uric acid or because their body does not do a good job of eliminating it.

Although uric acid exists naturally in the body, the amount of it in the body can be increased by certain foods that contain a lot of purines. The kidneys normally break down purines into uric acid and then eliminate the acid from the body. People who have gout or who are at risk of getting gout are encouraged to avoid many types of foods that are high in purines. Anyone who has gout or who is at risk for gout should see a medical professional for advice.

Purine-rich Foods

In general, foods that are high in fat and/or cholesterol are also high in purines. As a result, a good diet for someone who has gout or who is at risk for getting it is one that is low in fat and cholesterol. Specifically, it's been suggested that less than 30 percent of one's daily calories should come from fat.


Proteins also can have high concentrations of purines. Generally, red meat and seafood should be reduced in the diet, if not avoided altogether, because they can be foods that cause gout. Large amounts of high-protein, fatty white meats, such as poultry and pork, can aggravate gout as well. Organ meats, including sweetbreads, are especially bad for people who are suffering from gout. Even foods that are related to meat, such as chicken broth, beef broth, caviar and bouillon, might cause high levels of uric acid.

Low-Risk or Beneficial Foods

Dairy products and vegetables can also be high in purines, but research suggests that they likely are not foods that cause gout. Healthcare professionals, however, still recommend eating only moderate amounts of purine-rich vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms and asparagus. The discovery that these vegetables might not contribute to gout has led some researchers to question the role that purines play in causing gout. Low-fat dairy products are recommended for people who have gout or who are at risk of developing gout.

Other Ways to Combat Gout

Ingesting purines is not the only way to build up an unusually high concentration of uric acid, a condition that is called hyperuricemia. Poor kidney function also contributes to gout, because the kidneys filter out uric acid. Drinking plenty of water and eating tofu, olive oil and nuts seems to help the kidneys eliminate uric acid from the body. A doctor might also recommend anti-inflammatory medication and a weight-loss plan.

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Discussion Comments
By anon992800 — On Oct 03, 2015

I was amazed to read that fluoride can cause gout!

By anon988233 — On Feb 09, 2015

Avoid beer and red meat, and drink plenty of water. Do not take aspirin, do not smoke, do not eat seafood, avoid mushrooms, drink orange juice, eat cherries, avoid sugar or fructose, do not eat processed food, avoid eating too much chicken, avoid soy sauce, do not eat liver meat, stop alcohol consumption, do moderate types of exercises, keep your body fat down, do not be overweight and do not take paracetamol.

A sew of the do's and don'ts listed above will help ease gout but remember, once you have gout, you will have to accept the fact that you will get gout again and again. There is no cure. No medicine that can completely cure it.

You have to learn to accept the fact that your body is out of balance and you need to learn by trial and error what foods are flaring up your gout and never ever eat them again.

It's easier said than done. God bless you all!

By anon980068 — On Dec 01, 2014

I have had gout attacks my whole life. There doesn't seem to be a trigger food for me. I have experimented and found that when I cut back on sugar things got a lot better. I used to drink a lot of fizzy cola. I started drinking diet cola and after about a year I had a gout attack. Now I have eliminated that and it is better. I would suggest to anyone with gout is to stop or lower your intake of sugar for starters and see if that changes anything.

By anon951462 — On May 15, 2014

I have decided to try dog chow. The label looks balanced. Anything is worth a try at this point. My foot feels like 100 Africanized bees are stinging it and someone is using a blowtorch to try to kill the bees while another person is using a whip.

By anon941038 — On Mar 20, 2014

Nobody mentions vitamin c, the only thing proven via a study to combat gout. Why?

By anon926138 — On Jan 16, 2014

I have been trying to find the best possible answer for what foods cause gout and what foods are helpful for the gout. After reading this article, I came to realize that foods that have high purine are not good to eat when one has gout and any foods that have little to no purine are good to eat. Fruits are always a good option to eat rather than eating other foods.

By anon352647 — On Oct 24, 2013

I'm a gout sufferer which started three years ago while mostly being a vegetarian, occasional poultry and seafood. My wife and I both believed in the low fat and whole grain recommendations. After my first attack, I strictly adhered to the low purine diet to no avail. My uric acid remained high, at 7.xs and 8.xs so I began an intense exercise regimen to try and lower it. This resulted in diet research and the discovery of what modern science and medicine calls the reason for gout, fructose and metabolic syndrome.

I removed all sugar and processed grains from my diet and added back high quality meats (basically Paleo/Primal diet). This started to slowly push my uric acid down but ultimately lead to a gout attack. I believed I was failing so I conceded to modern medicine and was prescribed colchicine (Colcrys), which reduced the pain but left the swelling. This led to me trying all of the known homeopathic remedies such as cherry extract, apple cider vinegar with mother, Bromelain, Quercetin, cod liver oil, etc. My uric acid did come down a little but the swelling in my foot barely changed. At this point I gathered that I had a tophi buildup, which may be permanent.

I scrapped all the knowledge and read everything I could and I came across the milk cure, also known as the milk diet. It requires the consumption of raw milk from pasture fed cows, grass fed, for 30 or more days.

My wife and I discussed this and decided it was worth a try. The second morning, my uric acid dropped to 3.7. This, of course, led to an attack but it was a mild one. For 30 days I consumed a half gallon of raw milk, some raw cheese and an occasional grapefruit each day. For one or two days, my uric acid was over 6.0 but it averaged ~4.2. That is a great number for anyone suffering from gout. Additionally, the swelling in my foot began to dissipate. There is still a small bump on the outer joint of my big toe, but I'm able to wear regular shoes instead of only sandals. I've decided to continue with keeping raw milk as a large part of my diet, but we've added back all of the whole foods (Weston A. Price) and my uric acid has not changed. I'm determined to help my body remove all of the unnecessary deposits entirely. I firmly believe that all of the years worth of damage from sugar, refined flours and processed foods is what had manifested as my gout. The exercising and cleaner diet led to my body attempting to rid itself of the toxins and caused more attacks. I also believe that I suffer from insulin resistance which can also be remedied by the raw milk regimen. Through all of this, I was considered a healthy weight and was moderately active. I am fortunate to have several raw milk dairies in my area and encourage others to look into what it may be able to do for you. I'm not a medical doctor. This is just my experience, but I know what the grip of gout is like and know that each of us is willing to almost do anything. Just don't cut your toe off, even though you think it will help.

Yours in the struggle. - John

By anon344189 — On Aug 06, 2013

Do lichen and moss qualify as foods I can eat?

By anon340155 — On Jun 30, 2013

I just wanted to say thanks for all the advice. I'm 55 and have been getting gout for about last three years. Can anyone give definite advice, because I'm reading this today because mine flared up bad in my ankle this morning. -- Kenneth

By anon337167 — On Jun 03, 2013

Spinach, beer, tomato sauce and red meat are big triggers of gout attacks.

By anon329694 — On Apr 11, 2013

I am having pain in my thighs and joints and also having high E.S.R. and also allergic to dust. I want to know how to control the high E.S.R.

By anon319177 — On Feb 11, 2013

Try drinking two glasses of cranberry juice per day.

By anon317694 — On Feb 03, 2013

I've had recurring attacks in various joints in the feet and once in the knee. Mine never seem to be the textbook red, shiny flare-up, but a crippling watch me limp across the room attack. I cut back on red meat and peanuts (which I think were triggers) and lately seem to get a reaction to mushrooms. Yes, mushroom pizza since pepperoni seemed less healthy. Today it was a side of mushrooms with dinner. So I'm going to avoid mushrooms and see if it helps.

By anon311472 — On Jan 01, 2013

What the...? That is like every food that you cannot eat. It's like a catch-22.

By anon305021 — On Nov 23, 2012

I have been suffering from gout since for a month. I am a vegetarian guy. Still I do suffer from gout. Why?

By anon290908 — On Sep 11, 2012

I suffered from gout for years. Finally, I stopped eating the foods that triggered it--And quit taking allopurinol. The worst foods are: Peas, pea soup, all kinds of beans except green, wax and garbanzos; organ meats such as liver, kidney and heart; processed lunch meats, because they contain organ meats and nitrates; smoked meats\bacon; beer. Aspirin and OTC meds containing it are not a good idea, especially if one is having an attack. I've never been bothered by any kind of seafood, poultry or vegetables other than the ones I listed above.

High protein diets, such as stinking Atkins, especially if you don't drink enough fluids. Now I am diabetic my uric acid is up (Because a diabetic diet is generally high protein) so my doctor told me to start taking allopurinol. One of the side effects is it can cause gout and I've been having an attack in my left elbow for the last week so bad I cannot move my hand. I'm going to cut out the medicine and see if that helps.

By anon283718 — On Aug 06, 2012

Any time I get a flare up, I eat as many strawberries and blueberries as I can stand. The next day I'm usually at least partly, if not all the way, back to normal. Naproxen helps too.

By anon281108 — On Jul 21, 2012

I had been having dizzy spells. I thought it was lack of b12 vitamin, so after six years of not eating meat, I had a steak. I forgot how fatty and heavy it was. Almost like eating five pieces of cheesecake -- kind of fatty.

My dizziness continued and I read after I ate the steak that even meat eaters lack b12 and eating meat won't help. So now just from eating the steak, I ended up with gout in my big toe. I immediately drank lots of water and have been eating cherries and other alkaline vegan food. No more gout and I have lots of energy and no dizziness! I am now going to eat Vegan after seeing the health benefits of people I know.

By anon281001 — On Jul 21, 2012

Mexican food (fajitas, beans, meat tacos, meat burritos, meat chile rellenos) is my favorite food, but induces gout!

By anon278667 — On Jul 08, 2012

How can I remove uric acid from my body?

By anon264124 — On Apr 26, 2012

Bacon, mushrooms and shrimp cause my gout. I try to drink a lot of water. I never had gout until I lost one of my kidneys. Now I have to be really careful. I used to get gout in my toes and feet, but this time I got it in my left elbow. I bumped my elbow a week ago and that is where it went. It is getting better slowly, but is very painful.

By anon258685 — On Apr 02, 2012

I have severe gout as well. When it would flare up, it would flare up in both feet to the point to where it looked like my feet were about to explode. Also, it started moving up into my knees and then my right shoulder, which stinks because I am right handed. It has been so bad at times to where I woke up in the middle of the night and it set off in both feet so bad I had to have an ambulance come get me because I could put no pressure on my feet at all.

I have noticed with me that pork sets it off almost instantly, and so did beef in time. So I cut out most read meats and only eat chicken when I do eat meat. I have noticed and learned that, as a lot of people have said, that cheese products and stuff won't set mine off. And any of you who are trying to make up for protein that you cannot get in meats because of the gout, I will tell you this. Whey protein has never set off my gout. I drink an eight-ounce whey protein shake four times a day now. I average around 140g of protein daily and my gout has not set off at all, not since substituting regular proteins with whey proteins.

Also from all the years I have had gout, and all the websites I go to, with different people who have gout and seeing the different things that sets the gout off that everyone eats, I personally think that each person has certain things that set their gout off. I have seen a lot of people who have one thing will set it off, yet others don't. I think kind of like what I did, which was to find what worked best for me during all the horrifying trial and errors is pretty much what most will end up having to do, because it does seem (even my doctor agreed with me) that each person is different in the ways our bodies react to certain foods or nutrients.

But as I said before, I very much suggest if you need to substitute proteins, to use whey protein. Just be sure that if you stay away from certain meats and other proteins. Please find a good balance in there somewhere and make sure you are not leaving yourself with the lack of proteins that your body needs to function.

By anon249850 — On Feb 23, 2012

High fructose corn syrup, sugars it seems in any form, white flour. I stay away from these, drink water and black coffee and I am well. I am symptom-free. My weight is where it should be and I live a normal life. All the advice on this site, I think, is terrific.

By anon243141 — On Jan 26, 2012

Don't take Allopurinol. It has side effects. Go for celery seed extract tablets. It acts like Allopurinol, It lowers the uric acid in serum. It has no side effects. Try it. It works for me. My uric acid level was 11.09-mg/dL, and after taking celery seed extract, it came down to 3-mg/dL. --Kannan

By anon228509 — On Nov 09, 2011

I have a uric acid problem. Is coconut a high purine food? --Suresh M.

By anon225542 — On Oct 27, 2011

Here is my story. It was the middle of the night. I opened my eyes and was awakened by earth shattering pain. My big toe was throbbing. In fact, it felt like a towering inferno. I turned on the light and was startled to see that my great toe was three times its normal size. It was bright red and red hot, just like a firecracker and the pain was the most severe that I've ever experienced by far. The suffering that I had to endure was almost unbelievable.

That was over ten years ago. At the beginning I was having attacks every six months. Then gradually I was getting them every three months, then every month and eventually every week. It started at my big toe and then it was moving sometimes in my knees, and generally all around my joints, in my feet. And the pain was agonizing.

I have tried all the cures you can imagine. I tried ACV, lemons, drinking a lot of water, but to no avail. I tried water fasting, juice fasting, baking soda, again without success. I almost gave up meat, limiting it to only once a week, gave up alcohol completely, again no success. I was living on vegetables, lots and lots of fresh fruit, milk, cheese, beans and so on. My eating habits could not be healthier, or so I thought. But my gout was worsening. Then I decided to increase the amount of fruit I was consuming, thinking that if some fruit is healthy, more fruit will be more healthy. Some days I was eating fruit only, others over 10 portions a day. And alas my gout, instead of improving, became chronic. It was there all the time.

I was desperate. I did not know what to do. And then one day, accidentally, I read an article about fructose, which is contained in fruit in large quantities. It said that it increases uric acid in a matter of minutes. Fructose is also present in table sugar, and in high fructose corn syrup, which is used in soft drinks. I put two and two together and realized what I was doing wrong. I stopped eating fruit and all other sugars, for a period of three weeks, and as if by magic, I saw a dramatic improvement. The pain was gone, the swelling was gone and I was fine.

I re-introduced fruit again in my diet but reducing them to one or two a day, and my gout almost

disappeared. I do eat more meat now, and occasionally have an alcoholic drink, and thank God everything seems to be fine. Fructose was my enemy.

By anon199756 — On Jul 25, 2011

Try sweating a lot to remove impurities from your body: exercising, steam room, spicy foods etc. Get rid of the air conditioner - it's a curse.

By anon195503 — On Jul 12, 2011

I have just had gout for the first time and it is terrible! I have read your posts with great interest and will put into practice many of your suggestions. I am wondering if my medicines, micardis for high blood pressure and 81mg of aspirin also might be bringing this on? Thanks for sharing your struggles.

By anon192366 — On Jul 01, 2011

The back of my heel started to hurt so bad I couldn't step on my left foot. I got medication but no help. I went on the internet and it seems everything is bad. Some say no dairy poroducts but I ate some frozen yogurt ice cream and the pain was much better. I don't like yogurt but I can eat the ice cream.

I eat a lot of blanched walnuts and gave up soda. Don't eat red meat but chicken for me is OK. Nothing white or green and lots of water. It is better today but for four weeks I was in a lot of pain. I couldn't sleep. --Cora

By anon187862 — On Jun 19, 2011

I've just had my second gout attack at the age of 47. The first was after eating a smoked haddock chowder (which I haven't had for over 10 years). The second after eating around six ounces of walnuts (I haven't eaten walnuts in over three years). Some articles say walnuts are good for you, others not. After trawling the internet for answers, I'm left quite confused as there is much contradictory information out there.

I have (since my first attack) cut out sodas, sweetbreads, chicken, and asparagus altogether. I used to comsume too much of these. I have increased fruit juice and especially orange juice, fruit, milk and useful vegetables.

Am I getting it wrong ? Are walnuts bad or did I just have too many? Wish I could find a formula that will stop it dead as it affects my job. I stand up for a living. The attack has been in the base of my left knee both times and can be described as severe, so severe that the first time I had an xray as I thought a bone was broken. That level of pain and not fun. Thanks for any input out there.

By anon184943 — On Jun 09, 2011

Best way to get gout is purine rich food and caffeine. Caffeine elevates adrenaline and noradrenaline levels, which constrict kidneys' blood vessels, thus inhibiting secretion of uric acids from blood to urine. Best neutralizer is tahini.

By anon183775 — On Jun 06, 2011

Would love it if someone would list foods you CAN eat. Most posts are about what to avoid.

By anon179968 — On May 25, 2011

From the age of 25, I had terrible gout attacks, daily and couldn't walk, with heaps of pain. I lived on Naproxen and Indocin, then discovered one Colgout and one Progrout tablet to keep the gout away, which I used to take one daily and had to keep below 95kg (180cm tall).

After 35 years of taking these tablets, they caused Red Cell Aplasia (pretty bad blood problem), so I had to stop all medication and the gout came back, in full force. I was a complete cripple in lots of pain. After lots of trying different foods, I have now successfully gottwn rid of the gout, permanently. The answer: Keep away from mammal meat and yogurt. I can eat heaps of chicken, fish, prawns, strawberries, milk custard, bread, cakes etc, just keep away from mammal meat and yogurt.

I currently weigh 105kg and I haven't had an attack since I last ate beef, lamb or pork. Even when I eat a 3cm diameter slice of meat, I will get a severe gout attack within four hours. Yogurt gives me a mild attack of gout, like a light sprain. I am now 60 years old. This solution works and is fantastic. Don't know why it hasn't been found before today. Lots of luck.

By anon179280 — On May 23, 2011

A trigger for me is Tomato sauce or what I put it on. I usually eat it it with pasta which might be the cause. I don't think it's anything I put in it as I use mostly fresh ingredients. parsley, Onions, basil, garlic, no meat. I also like to eat it with bread which is another high starch food so I am not sure which is causing the issue. shell fish does not affect me but others it does. Exercise for me works better than anything else. Of course I lose weight when I exercise a lot so that helps as well.

One thing I have not heard anyone mention is the amount of food I eat at a sitting, meaning not what I eat but how much. If you get too full and bloated your kidneys do not work well.

By anon177777 — On May 19, 2011

I have had gout for the past 13 years off and on,first in the right big toe then the left big toe, which in both cases has brought so much pain. My kidneys are the issue, working at about 50 percent. I cannot take aspirin or anything like it (harms your kidneys). So for the pain I do what is called a contrast bath on my affected foot. Cold water first soak for 5-8 min. then hot water for 5-8 min. Repeat four times twice a day. It reduces the swelling and pain for a while. hope this helps.

By anon175853 — On May 13, 2011

OK, I've suffered from gout for years. I worked 60-70 hrs a week and was never home, hence, I ate horribly. Probably 3-4 times/week. I used to eat 1-2 apples/day. My gout happened probably once/month sometimes it was just a nuisance and sometimes it was unbearable. I couldn't walk for a week sometimes, it changed my life. I thought it was beer & colas so I gave them up, I thought it was red meat so I gave up that, then shellfish, then seafood and on and on. Still I had bad attacks, then I gave up apples and have never had gout since. I also only eat McDonalds once a month. I still drink soda, beer and eat seafood.

Basically, it's a lifestyle change. You need more exercise, less stress and better eating habits. After 5 years of being told this, that and the other thing I had to figure it out on my own. It was a long process of cutting out foods over 6 month periods but I narrowed it down to apples and McDonalds. I'm now taking up jogging again and feel as though my life is coming back.

By anon174764 — On May 11, 2011

I have had gout for years, and tried just about everything without success.I reduced meat to, minimum once a week, stopped alcohol altogether. I was having lots of fruit and vegetables and my gout was worsening. Finally I have read something about excessive fructose increasing uric acid. I experimented reducing my fruit intake to two a day, and bingo, within days, I saw a dramatic improvement.

By anon171724 — On May 01, 2011

I have had gout for two years. Here is what I have learned: 1. Each person's gout is different. What causes you to have a flare up is different from me. So you have to learn the hard what what foods to stay away from. Start by cutting way back on beer and shellfish and go from there.

2. Drinking lots of water will help prevent gout attacks and shorten flare ups.

3. Ibuprofen (or any anti-inflammatory drug) will help minimize pain and shorten an attack.

4. Cherry juice and baking soda do help shorten the length of an attack.

5. Good health habits (exercise, good diet, etc.) help prevent gout attacks. I'm sorry, but there is no magic bullet or easy answer. You simply have to monitor your diet to find the culprits and then avoid them. But water, cherry juice, ibuprofen, and baking soda will help you when you do get an attack.

By anon169885 — On Apr 23, 2011

There is a 100 percent cure for gout in Unani medicine. Majun-Suranjan (semi liquid) and Habb-E-Asgand (pills). Just take 10 grams Majun-Suranjan with two Habb-E-Asgand pills for 48 days and nights after dinner. Gout gone. Try it. No side effects. The medicine is available at all Unani medical stores. --Kannan E.

By anon168332 — On Apr 16, 2011

Used wheatgrass tablets and it worked.

By anon168067 — On Apr 15, 2011

Look up about how too many carbs cause gout. Good luck.

By anon167954 — On Apr 14, 2011

As you can tell from this article, treatments are contradicting. One article says one thing is bad and the next says its good. I've tried everything. Nothing worked. I don't want to take drugs if I can help it.

In my search for relief, I stumbled on Dr Nemenchek. His approach is opposite from everything you've been told about gout. I've been following his advice for about a month now and am doing well.

By anon166205 — On Apr 07, 2011

I am 38 and have had gout for two years. When I work out and eat right, the bouts are very far between. I have noticed, in the winter months, when McDonald's is easy to grab and I am drinking heavy beer, it flares up.

I have also noticed in the summer when I am at my cottage and drinking beer heavily it flares up. But, I have found something to stop it almost immediately. Cherry juice or real cherries. I choose the juice only because I am not spitting pits all day. It has to be real juice, not a cocktail of cherry juice and other things. Indian Summer makes a 100 percent cherry juice. It is not cheap, but if you have had gout flareups you know $5 for a small container of juice, is not a high price to pay. The cherries have a chemical in them that lowers the uric acid in your body. Look it up, it's all over the internet. It works for me and it's also proven. So spend the $5.00! I am not saying this is a cure, but it does stop the flareup.

By anon165988 — On Apr 06, 2011

This forum is more painful than the gout! Eat this, don't eat that, drink lots of milk! avoid dairy products. Drink lots more water seems to be the only key thing we can all settle on, which at on the day makes the most sense, i.e., flushing the kidneys.

Old American Indians had the answer: if the pain was too much, cut the offending foot off! Now that makes about as much sense as the rest of the crap on here. Go figure.

By anon160580 — On Mar 16, 2011

Can I have lobster once a year? Is all shellfish bad for gout?

By anon160430 — On Mar 15, 2011

After reading all the posts, I think there are several conclusions to be gleaned from our experiences (I also have severe gout). I'm no doctor, but let's see if I can synthesize this down to 12 simple rules:

1. Drinking more liquids is a must. For those who say that water did not help, try drinking more (within healthy limits, of course). It certainly doesn't hurt to try. For me, drinking more water also helped me lose weight, so that was two pluses for me. Rule 1: drink lots of water.

2. Beverages with additives, such as fluoride, artificial sweeteners, etc. will not work as well and may have other harmful effects. Obviously, sodas are bad, so are many trendy drinks like Red Bull and Sobe teas. Yes, tea is generally good, but that's if you brew it yourself, not when you buy it in a bottle - just check all the stuff that's listed on the labels to scare you off. Rule 2: When you drink other beverages, keep them natural and clear.

3. Sugars, especially refined and manufactured sweeteners, are bad for many other reasons, but the lesson for gout sufferers is that they reduce the kidney's effectiveness. So avoid them. Rule 3: Avoid sugars.

4. Speaking of the kidneys, check to see if your kidneys are healthy. My bouts of gout started after my gall bladder was removed and while I can't be sure, my guess is that my other organs and especially my kidneys, now have to work harder and perform functions they were not used to doing before. Remember, your kidneys are your body's filters (some people worry more about the oil filter in their car than the one in their own body). Rule 4: Keep your filters (kidneys) healthy.

5. Fat, especially animal fat, is bad for gout sufferers and so is excessive protein. I think we can all agree on that - sorry Dr. Atkins. As was mentioned, sushi is especially bad, it's made of uncooked (i.e., produces more uric acid) fish, which is high in protein and fat, surrounded by white rice (a starch that turns to sugar in the body). Add the fact that it's usually overly salty and eaten with a beer, and you've got one heck of a gout producer. Try making your own sushi with brown rice and veggies -- it's not that bad, really. Rule 5: Avoid fat and protein.

6. Moderation is important. We eat too much bad food because it's easy and convenient. We can survive on much less. Is it any wonder that gout is most pronounced in the richest countries? Yes, it certainly occurs in countries like India as mentioned above, but it is much more rare. Rule 6: Moderation is good.

7. We all seem to have trigger foods, but that's not the whole picture. Some of these may not be bad in and of themselves, but combined with other foods and excess, they can produce an attack. Perhaps a condiment or a drink added to the food's potency? Maybe a medication was a conduit rather than the cause? How long ago did you eat that food or take that medicine? So yes, it takes a lot of note-taking to identify your own trigger foods, but it's the only way to establish baselines and get a handle on your own triggers. Did I mention that all our bodies are chemically different, too? Rule 7: Create a food diary and look for patterns.

8. Exercise is key. Let's think about what causes the attacks: crystals in the fluid between our joints. So logically, moving our joints helps move those along. I know some of us have debilitating gout conditions, but we should still try to exercise, even if that means hiding the TV remote and changing the channels manually. Seriously, there are yoga programs for the severely disabled, just do a search online for more info. Oh, and exercise also increases energy, produces endorphins (natural pain killers), and helps with weight loss. Rule 8: Exercise.

9. Regarding weight, I wasn't more than 30 pounds overweight, but it was enough to contribute to my attacks. Now my attacks are far less frequent if I keep my weight in check. Lots of people have trouble losing weight, and from what I've read, it's because they want to lose too much too fast. It took years to accumulate it, so why do we expect it to come off in a few months, or weeks? I simply add my weight to my food diary. Funny thing is, just writing it down and being conscious of it, keeps me from gaining too much. Rule 9: Lose weight, slowly.

10. What to eat. My mother always said, if it's colorful, if it crunches, if it tastes bitter or sour, or if it makes you sweat, it's probably good for you. Now for gout, there are a few foods that could be triggers for some of us, but generally we can simplify this rule to: eat lots of colorful and creative salads. It's easy to remember, and if there is a lentil or some cauliflower in there, it's probably much better for you than the pork chops. And I try to use tangy light dressings too, although as mentioned above, not the sweet ones. Finally, skip the cured meats, cheeses, and sweet toppings - those little orange wedges are probably from a can anyhow. Rule 10: Eats lots of salads.

11. As for grocery shopping, I heard this on Oprah: avoid the aisles where all the packaged foods are and stay in the periphery where the vegetables, fruits, dairy and fresh foods are. Seems self-evident enough, but if you read how grocery stores use music, colors, and suggestive psychology to get us to spend more on bad foods, you will also realize how hard it is to stick to your plan (grocery stores are probably the one place where you should keep your iPod on). Rule 11: When grocery shopping, stay on the periphery.

12. Perhaps this is a foregone conclusion, but eat organic. There are lots of "green" labels on foods, but the "organic" one is the most comprehensive. Organic foods will have less additives, chemicals, and preservatives. Yes, organic foods are more expensive, but nothing compared to the mess we will be taking if we continue to eat overly-processed foods. 12: Eat organic.

In the end, it all boils down pretty much to what we learned when we were children: eat your veggies, drink your milk, and exercise. When we were young we didn't worry much about the milk and veggies, but unfortunately these days, we need to make sure they are healthy too.

By imurdsty — On Mar 14, 2011

Can I eat lobster, even though I'm having gout flare ups?

By anon159843 — On Mar 13, 2011

I have had gout for a long time. I have noticed that when I have decreased the amount of water I drink, I get flare ups. I increase what I normally consume and within a few days it has cleared.

Everyone has something that will trigger gout. Just remember that water is the best way to cleanse out your system.

By anon158572 — On Mar 07, 2011

I am 47 and am going through my second gout attack on the big toe, last one was 15 month ago, and i had convinced myself that the initial attack was misdiagnosed. Guess that's been proven wrong now.

So now I'm focused on learning about it and am reading everything and everything about it. What i have really noticed is that there is a lot of conflicting information on the subject. So what i can see as a plan for moving forward is as follows:

Stop drinking the beer, (i drink it like water) now I'll be drinking real water. I'm also adding lemon juice into the water to help neutral acid within the body.

Reduce amount of meat in the diet to smaller 6 or 8 ounce portions maximum and no more than twice a week.

Start eating whole grain breads get rid of the "refined foods."

Lower the sandwich meat in the diet until i can eliminate it completely, just a lot of unhealthy items found in our deli meat these days.

Start eating veggies and fruit, being careful of a few which have been noted as being bad for gout.

Eliminate all shellfish and sushi from the diet.

All fish to be fully cooked in the future to lower the purine levels in it. Seems the purine level changes in food depending on how it is served.

I was looking for a substitute for my weekly hot wings fix and discovered sushi, which subsequently brought on my current and second "very painful" gout attack.

So here we go. Pray to god that i can make the changes and figure out any other triggers as i go along.

Please keep posting your thoughts and ideas in here. Helps us to see different possible directions to take. Going to look into this lower your fructose concept next. See what ideas i can find there to help reduce the uric acid in my body.

By anon155215 — On Feb 23, 2011

How to eliminate gout attack and stay healthy: 1. Quit drinking alcohol (any kind); 2. Lose weight; 3. Drink plenty of good quality water; 4. Avoid foods high in uric acid; 5. Avoid caffeine; 6. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; 7. Alkalized food is very good; 8. Avoid acidic food; 9. Exercise at least 30-45 mins per day; 10. Get some sun for vitamin D; 11. Stress free and be happy.

You will appreciate the amazing results.

By anon154881 — On Feb 22, 2011

I have had gout for 15-20 years. Too much of anything would set it off. About five years ago I started grinding two tablespoons of flax seed everyday in orange juice and now have very few problems with gout. I think the flax seed has really helped and also gives about 30 percent of daily fiber requirements.

By starsnbars — On Feb 22, 2011

i have suffered with gout for over 20 years on and off. I was play fighting with my son when he twisted my big toe and this triggered my gout problem.

For the last seven to eight years i have been told i have now got chronic gout which has caused osteoarthritis and arthritis plus a spur growing out my right elbow (bone)i get gout in both feet both knees right elbow right hand.

It is now in my left shoulder. my bouts last anywhere from 8 weeks to to 14 weeks. i can only take colchicine once a day. It should be four but my tummy won't take four. there is no other medication i can take as i get bad reactions to them. so i live with gout pain 365 days a year.

in that year i will get at least four really bad attacks. i have tried eating and not eating certain foods and drink but nothing seams to work .its mostly movement or sudden movement that gets min started.

I'm 53 years old and i can't work anymore or play any kind of sport, and most hobbies are impossible. I don't have any quality of life whatsoever and I don't know how much longer i can stick this out. I feel like just ending it. i do hope all fellow sufferers find what works for you. good luck. --steve R.

By anon154193 — On Feb 20, 2011

A lot of people don't know that there are two types of gout. One is affected by uric acid the other by oxalates. Oxalates are found in vegetables like rhubarb, celery, potatoes, etc.

The calcium in milk will adhere to the oxalates and remove it, thereby decreasing the incidence of gout.

You can also take calcium citrate with high oxalate meals. Works wonders.

I have also found eating a low fat diet, especially making sure not to eat any good fats like, flaxseed, primrose, coconut, fish oil, vit E, olive, you get the picture. For some reason they increase gout attacks. Hope this helps. One must try things to see what works. There are lists of high, med, and low oxalate foods on the internet.

By anon153949 — On Feb 18, 2011

I live with gout every day of my live for the last five years and I have tried everything. I take colchicine tablets every day and I know it's not good for the kidneys but nothing else helps.

In the last week I took 60 tablets just to relieve the pain. I can't live like this any more. Can anyone please help?

By anon150267 — On Feb 07, 2011

I just had a very bad gout attack last night. The worst since my first 20 years ago. I had tomato soup for lunch and spaghetti sauce for dinner. I want to thank the posts that talked about tomatoes. I think this is the problem.

By anon145302 — On Jan 22, 2011

Over the past 17 years, I've found that an acute event which follows the consumption of a particular food only indicates that I was on the verge of an attack, anyway. It is misleading to base your diet on what you ate just prior to the onset. Also, our bodies weaken and change over time.

For years, cherry juice worked for me, even while drinking lots of Diet Cokes, eating meats and drinking beer. But when I drank only Diet Cokes and beer and then ate a pound of crab, it was too much. (I already had some symptoms and was no doubt very dehydrated; something all of us will agree is just asking for trouble.) So, while cherry juice is no longer effective as a defense, I don't blame the last thing I ate as much as the mistakes leading up to it.

When people advise the use of a certain type of water and then suggest drinking a gallon a day, then they are correct about drinking a lot of any water, no matter the type. So, the only food I can confidently point to as a problem is beer, based on my experience and the consistent reporting concerning beer. (Little other information that is presented to us sufferers is consistent, as you know.)

By anon143647 — On Jan 17, 2011

I drink apple cider vinegar (Braggs is the only brand that works for me) with water. I use two teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water. Drink it through the day. You can do this three times during the day.

Only drink clean water, non fluorinated water. I use spring water. Fluoride water seems to make it worse.

Avoid eating meat. If you do eat meat, don't eat more than 1/4 of a pound per day, otherwise you will feel worse.

You can try extra virgin olive oil on an empty stomach. I use Colavita Olive oil. It works the best for me. There are a lot of fake extra virgin olive oils, so I suggest this brand. Take two teaspoons for three days and stop for three days and repeat this cycle.

Avoid soy. Soy really makes mine bad.

There's an easy exercise to relieve it. Do what is called horse stance. I do the taekwondo horse stance as long as I can. You can find instructions online.

By anon141365 — On Jan 10, 2011

My wife had high uric acid in blood and suffered with joint pain. This has happened suddenly and she failed to move without my help. Doctor prescribed some medicines to be taken for her whole life and also advised regular liver checkups. We were very much worried about our future.

By the grace of God, some of our friends suggested we go for yoga class in 'Patanjali' of Swami Ramdev. She had to take Ayurvedic medicine from Patanjali for three months. Though the medicines were bitter in taste, my wife showed courage and took both the medicine and Yoga religiously.

Now, my wife is not only walking without my help, but also doing her all domestic jobs. In fact, she is running now. We both are doing yoga regularly. But one should take proper training before doing yoga. We both are happy now.

By anon140537 — On Jan 07, 2011

So what's left to eat-- hay?

By anon134429 — On Dec 14, 2010

Sorry Shattenco- Until I see someone cure gout I cannot believe these studies. No one has the answer until we are healed totally.

By anon130627 — On Nov 29, 2010

I am definitely a gout patient. I had a vegetarian (V8)drink with some nuts and experienced an attack that words cannot explain. could the tomato juice in the drink trigger the attack? I've stopped all tomato and citrus products. Prednisone (for short term use, helps).

By anon129787 — On Nov 25, 2010

Gout diet suggestions are crazy. One diet says to limit caffeine, while another diet says that coffee consumption has no impact on gout flares. One diet says to eat tomatoes and another says to limit consumption of tomato products. Most diets say that nuts are fine, but the quickest way for me to cause a gout flare is to eat walnuts. There just doesn't seem to be much consensus out there.

The only thing for sure is that a lot of people want to sell you a sure cure for gout. I guess someone has to make money out of our pain!

By anon114724 — On Sep 29, 2010

Beware. Along with many of these foods that can cause a gout outbreak, the initial cause of my gout problems were due to an issue almost no one talks about: I take high blood pressure medication. Never, never, never let a doctor prescribe for you any medication that contains diuretics. This is a sure gout causing agent, eventually. They are very effective for HBP, but will give you gout eventually. After two years for me.

By anon113372 — On Sep 24, 2010

Re: Gout can be treated. That is not totally true. Eg, gout (elevated urate levels) can be caused by aspirin ..which, in the kidney, competes with urate to be expelled. Stopping or decreasing aspirin intake can cure gout. j.a., md

By anon111540 — On Sep 17, 2010

I had a small piece of beef brisket, only about 2-3 ounces and several barbecued pork ribs earlier this week. By Wednesday night I was feeling gouty.

The only other time I ever ate beef brisket I had a gout attack in 2-3 days. I think this is a trigger food for me. I also realize I ate more chocolate this week than usual and feel this may have contributed.

My urine was getting dark yellow before the gout pain set in. I think I missed that clue to start my colchicine.

I also drink about 16 ounces a day of Evamor, alkaline water to keep my acid levels low, but the last two weeks I hardly drank any alkaline water, simply forgot to stock the fridge shelf, and since I didn't see it, I drank only purified water, soon as my gout flared up, I assessed everything and realized I left my acid levels creep up the last two weeks, then ate foods I know better than to eat a lot of.

We have to pay attention to every meal, every day, because it's easy to get on a track that allows the uric acid levels to creep up gradually, then one or two trigger foods will put the uric acid levels over what our body will tolerate or flush out quickly. I'm on a medrol dose pack now in addition to my colchicine, since I need to be on my feet for work this week.

Hopefully the medrol, (methylprednisolone)will get the swelling down fast, but my experience is that it takes a good week to a month to get all the pain from a gout attack to go away.

Lots of water and try a high alkaline water like Evermore if you can find it in your area. It's a bit pricey, about $1.69 a liter but worth it if you drink a half liter every day. works for me. My fault I stopped drinking it for two weeks.

By anon110443 — On Sep 12, 2010

I used to take allopurinol and diclofenac, which still left me suffering occasional attacks, till a locum GP said diclofenac had been implicated in heart problems and I should stop. He raised my allopurinol from 300 to 400 a day and since then I've had no problems at all.

By anon108752 — On Sep 04, 2010

my gout is bad at the moment and i take allopurnol 300 mg and diclofrnac 50 mg three times a day. Is there anything else i can do. Can you get gout in ankles and wrists.

By anon106898 — On Aug 27, 2010

I don't need AA to stop drinking. gout cured me.

By anon104270 — On Aug 16, 2010

I have been suffering from pain in almost all my joints and went to the doctor. The doctor checked my blood and found excess uric acid in my blood. now i am taking zyloric tablets for two months. there is no change in my pain.

Also i eat cereals for breakfast, like bran flakes/weetabix etc. can anyone advise if these foods have anything to do with the level of uric acid in the blood?

By anon100936 — On Aug 01, 2010

This article is a joke. If you read the list of foods they say cause gout, it is basically everything. May as well just eat a head of lettuce each meal.

By anon100151 — On Jul 28, 2010

I like to drink lite beer. Is there any hope for me?

By anon99229 — On Jul 25, 2010

For the sweet love of God, get off of high fructose corn syrup, beer and purines. Read "The Sugar Fix" by Richard Johnson. HFCS (fructose in general) and beer both highly impact uric acid levels. Want to reduce uric acid levels? Eliminate large swaths of fructose from the diet, reduce or eliminate beer intake, reduce or eliminate dietary sources of purines. Gout-be-gone, in many cases.

Did I mention fructose and HFCS (and table sugar, honey, agave nectar, crystalline fructose) are generally evil? Again, read "The Sugar Fix." Many of the remedies listed in that book apply equally to gout as they do to reducing insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease, etc., since the book targets uric acid and seeks to eliminate as much of it as possible through dietary changes.

Best, MG

By anon98101 — On Jul 22, 2010

my esr is 56. now tell me how can i control it by diet.

By anon94786 — On Jul 10, 2010

Aspartame is a no no.

By Reuel Cardosa — On Jun 25, 2010

i had an attack just recently and I'm still taking medication which my doctor prescribed. these are etoricoxib(arcoxia) and colmediten (colchicine). aside from that I'm also drinking lots of water but what i noticed is that the amount of liquid intake is not equal or almost equal on my output. please advise.

By anon82834 — On May 07, 2010

Gout can be treated, but there is no cure for it. Here's what you need to do:

1) See a doctor and ask for a 24 hour Uric Acid Test. This is just a big bottle they will give you to pee in for 24 hours and then see what the uric acid levels are. From that, they will determine one of two things:

a) You produce too much uric acid or

b) You uric acid production is fine but you do not get rid of enough uric acid when you pee.

If you have a) produce too much, then you will be given Alopurinal. You must take this every day as directed.

If you have b) don't pee enough out, you will be given Probenecid. You must take this every day as directed.

2) Avoid the following foods:

Beer and alcohol- The only proven alcohol to be OK is wine. So, as the saying goes, "Only wine is fine!"

Oatmeal, Oats, Cereal with Oat products. I know it stinks, but you have to check the labels.

Absolutely no organ meat (liver, etc.) or shellfish (oysters, crab, lobster, etc.) Again, it stinks, but is a must.

3) Watch your diet and note the meals you have before an attack. This takes practice but because everyone is different, there might be something setting you off.

4) Don't overeat and try to lose some weight.

5) Everything else in moderation. Yes, if you are on the right medication, eating a hamburger or steak once in a while won't give you an attack.

6) Drink water, water, water and pee, pee, pee! That's the only way to get rid of the uric acid in your body. It comes out in your pee!!

7) If you are in the middle of an attack, you must take an anti-inflammatory like Relefen or possibly Torodol. It will take time.

You can have a normal life if you sacrifice a few things. Trust me, you will be happy!

Remember, if you do not visit a doctor and ask for the test/medications, you will continue to suffer. Good luck! --Skwitz

By anon76113 — On Apr 09, 2010

I have had gout flares for about 20 years and have finally found how to eliminate them. Except for beer, diet has a minor effect. Major causes are being overweight and dehydration. So drink lots of water, milk or coffee.

Get plenty of exercise and avoid stress. Avoid large servings of red meat and seafood. Especially avoid beer, though wine in moderation is O.K. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. I have been gout free for over 2 years. If I get a baby flare I can stop it with a dose of Naproxin Sodium (Aleve 2 x 220 mg tablets) twice the first day.

By anon75679 — On Apr 07, 2010

i have a gout flare up about two to three times a year. i think drinking lots of water is the best way to get rid of it.

By anon74113 — On Mar 31, 2010

Shiva here from Bangalore, India. My mother is suffering from gout for almost 35 years. Doctors here tried all medicines and also she has been frequently tested for uric acid levels, RA factors, ESR, LFT, Hepatitis, etc., but everything was in a vain and i have no other options.

After seeing all your comments i feel her diet is in the right track and her intake of water is also more (3-4 liters/ day). She even tried warm water therapy, homeopathy, ayurvedic, cherries, strawberries but, it didn't work.

Now all the time she is in great pain and depressed. Can anyone of you suggest any good doctor or other useful remedies? Please.

By anon68620 — On Mar 03, 2010

they have different versions. i've read a lot regarding gout and the others said these are the foods good for the gout and some said those foods are bad for it. I'm confused -- which is right?

By anon68473 — On Mar 02, 2010

any animal protein will cause the effects of gout. trust me i have been battling gout for 15 years.

By anon68378 — On Mar 02, 2010

For the past 17 years i usually attack by gout two to four times a year. It was really painful as my toe and knee swelling.

Recently, i was advised by my friend to detox my gout by increasing my water consumption and i did that and it was really effective.

Also avoid fatty foods and food with preservatives. It's simple as that and now, i am cured 100 percent.

By anon62078 — On Jan 24, 2010

I've been dealing with gout for 30-plus years now and know many other (men) who suffer from it. It has been so bad I could not sleep under a sheet because if it rested on my big toe I'd wake up in pain.

It seems different foods trigger gout in different people, so I do not pay a lot of attention to what's bad to eat. Just be aware of what you are consuming so you can analyze your own Achilles's heel for yourself when you have an episode.

Aleve (Naproxen Sodium) and lots of water work very well for me when I am hurting. My doctor tells me to take the stuff with food and allow plenty of doses to allow for it to accumulate in the system when it becomes most effective.

By anon58439 — On Jan 01, 2010

I had my first attack of gout when I was consuming green bottled olives imported from Italy in Kenya. I do not drink alcohol or eat barbecued beef meat, but my doctor found out from his medical almanac that olive is the causatory factor for gout. Our holy Quraan describes benefits of gout. My question is: does olive oil also cause gout?

By anon44919 — On Sep 11, 2009

I am a 28 year old male and I got the gout about six years ago in my big toe. I thought I broke my toe when I was sleeping because I sleep close to a wall. I noticed I get it from eating to much spagetti sauce or anything with red sauce. A high dosage of Naproxen and a lot of water cured it for me.

By anon43706 — On Sep 01, 2009

does bamboo shoot cause gout?

By anon43226 — On Aug 26, 2009

Does salmon cause gout?

By anon39026 — On Jul 29, 2009

My gout attacks decreased almost completely after consuming about 1-2 glasses of milk (2%) a day. I would get in one glass by eating cereal in the morning and then if I feel I had consumed too much red meat I would drink a warm glass of milk before bed.

By anon35243 — On Jul 03, 2009

Have always had gout attacks in my toes, but recently I started getting the attacks in my finger joints and little white bumps I believe are Tophi begin to form. These bumps may never go away and could cause crippling over the years. I went to the Mayo clinic website and found that cherry juice is helpful. I take a glass per day and it keeps the joints from swelling and stiffening. Hence the pain is relieved almost completely.

By anon25465 — On Jan 29, 2009

I was diagnosed with gout about 15 years ago. I increased water consumption and never had another attack. However, a couple of years ago I was experiencing gout-like pain in my foot. I found that aspartame (4-5 cans of diet cola a day) was the cause. My father has gout, too, and last year his hip was hurting for no apparent reason. He stopped drinking aspartame and the pain went away.

By anon13871 — On Jun 05, 2008

Several years ago I had three severe gout attacks. They occurred in successive years in late June or early July - I asked myself what was I doing then that I didn't do the rest of the year - it was strawberry season. I stopped eating strawberries in any form and did no have gout again.

By holyhap — On May 19, 2008

As I understood one of the primary reasons for gout is too much acidic in your diet. Generally proteins contain amino acids, Dairy products have less. Eggs are high. One solution may be to put more alkalinity in your diet. Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) is very good for this (not if you are on a sodium free diet).

By shattenco — On Mar 19, 2008

A study published in the New England School of Medicine by Choi et al has produced the following findings regarding foods associated with gout:

--There is no correlation between consumption of wines and gout - unless you already have gout and are trying to recover.

--There is no correlation between consumption of vegetables containing purines and gout.

--Consumption of dairy products has been shown to reduce gout incidence.

--There is no correlation between consumption of chicken and pork with gout.

By Nico — On Dec 24, 2007

Carrageenan should not be used in our foods. I have to read all the labels when i do my grocery shopping to avoid the use of carrageenan. Last time I ate ice cream, all I did was go to the bathroom. My stomach pain was terrible. I also found it in other products. I spend most of my time reading labels when I am shopping. I am getting sick and tired of it. What is wrong with the Food & Drug in our country?

By nghopi — On Dec 04, 2007

How can gout be cured?

By jvd9091 — On Sep 15, 2007

I am a woman and when my doctor gave me progesterone I had a very bad depressive reaction to it. Why is that?

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