Gout Pain and Confusion

I have gout. More than 8 million people in the United States have gout, yet it remains a mysterious disease for many. For a while, I have been determining my "safe food diet" based on what I ate just before getting a gout attack. If I ate chicken without getting an attack, I assumed it was safe. If I ate seafood and got an attack, I guessed that seafood was not.

However, learning what to eat based on proximity to gout attacks was a painful way to live. Understanding that the human body breaks purines into down into uric acid, and that uric acid is associated with gout, I thought it made sense to research which foods have a high purine content and which do not. I found purine lists such as the one to the right. High purines = bad, low purines = good. It seemed easy enough.

Except that it wasn't. I was advised by my doctor and fellow gout sufferers that chicken and pork are safer than beef and seafood, but purine charts show that a chicken breast is 59% more purine-dense than a beef fillet. A pork chop has the same purine density as shrimp. To make things more confusing, different people seemed to have different experiences with foods that cause attacks.

It all started to feel a bit overwhelming, and I struggled for a while before realizing that I was focusing on the wrong things. I was focusing on purines and trigger foods, not on the one thing that really matters: uric acid. As I dug deeper into the underlying causes of gout attacks, I found answers to many of the questions that I had been asking (see below).

Finding Answers

Purines Turn Into Uric Acid

Why do gout attacks start at night? What is special about the foot and big toe? What causes the intense pain of a gout attack?... Read More 

Purine Table

Almond, sweet 37
Apple 14
Apricot 73
Artichoke 78
Asparagus 23
Aubergine 21
Avocado 19
Bamboo Shoots 29
Banana 57
Barley without husk, whole grain 96
Bean sprouts, Soy 80
Bean, seed, white, dry 128
Bean, Soy, seed, dry 190
Beans, French string beans  37
Beans, French, dried 45
Beef, chuck 120
Beef, corned 57
Beef, fillet 110
Beef, fore rib 120
Beef, roast beef, sirloin 110
Beef, shoulder 110
Beer, alcohol free 8.1
Beer, regular 13
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