Beer is a dietary item commonly associated with gout. (Tomasz Sienicki/Wikimedia Commons)

Column: The effects of diet on gout

Healthy Bites/Serena Caner

One challenge of being a health professional is that there is often a discrepancy between what we say and what people hear.

This was demonstrated by my father’s re-telling of his first visit with a dietitian.

My father had gout, a painful type of inflammatory arthritis that is caused by the build-up of uric acid in the joints.

Uric acid is produced from purines, compounds that result from the natural death of cells..

Certain foods are higher in purines and are known to exacerbate gout, thus his visit to a dietitian.

The information he gleaned was very pleasing to him.

“So dad, what did you learn from the dietitian?”

A big grin crossed his face, “I can’t eat any more lentils!”

My dad, a large carnivore, occasionally eats lentils when my mom forces him to.

“What else did she say?”

“Oh, I don’t remember.”

Related: Eating like an Olympian

Now, being a dietitian myself, I am familiar with the recommendations of gout.

Purine-rich foods can contribute to increased uric acid levels.

Foods highest in purines include: Sardines, anchovies and herrings, kidneys, liver and sweetbreads, yeast, alcohol and beer.

Foods with moderate amounts of purines include: Shellfish and other seafood, red meat, poultry, broths, beans, spinach, oatmeal, wheat germ, and bran. And, as my father will tell you, lentils are also a source of purines.

What my dad failed to hear are the other risks of getting gout including being overweight, taking certain medications such as diuretics (water tablets used to treat heart disease or high blood pressure). Drinking alcohol can also trigger flare-ups as alcohol limits the clearance of uric acid by the kidneys, added to the fact that beer is a significant source of purines. Dehydration caused by alcohol can also limit uric acid clearing, and staying hydrated is important.

If you are overweight, on diuretics, drink alcohol and suffering from gout, you could choose to address one of those things or, you could stop eating lentils!!!

Serena Caner is a registersted dietician at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A campaign encourages families to put down their phones and talk this Mother’s Day

OpenTable’s #DiningMode gets Okanagan restaurants on board with a no phone policy while dining

Kelowna man speaks up for limb loss awareness after losing leg

Ralph Zaiser is getting used to life as a recent amputee

UPDATE: Kelowna man given 4 year sentence after creating pimp operation on dating site

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Recovering Kelowna addict rises above her past

Victimized by systems suppose to help, a woman tries to fix her life

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Allegedly intoxicated man arrested after 3 paramedics attacked at Kamloops hospital

Paramedics had transported the man to Royal Inlands Hospital for medical treatment

B.C., Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Shuswap woman asks that people stop swiping daffodils from memorial bed

Cynthia Bentley honours memory of those lost to cancer by planting 100 daffodils each year

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

Most Read