2011 Gout Diet Restriction Update
Since writing this, I have published an article, Sensible Gout Diet Restrictions, which addresses the points I have covered here. Please read that article, and add comments below if anything is not clear
Do Not Be Ruled By Food
I'm not worried that it's wrong to think about what you eat - just don't get obsessed.
Over half of the messages I receive are about food and drink.
"What food should I eat with gout?"
"What food should I avoid with gout?"
"Will [food] make my gout worse?"
The gout sufferer's diet questions are endless, and the gout doctor's diet advice is monotonous.
No Alcohol. Avoid purines. Lose weight.
Not particularly bad advice, but too general to be helpful, and too restrictive to be accepted.
The real danger here is that gout patients focus on food, and not on what really matters - controlling uric acid.
It's heartening to see that some doctors are realizing that strict low purine diets are not the right way. "In treating gout, don't overdo diet restrictions" is a refreshing article from Dr Robert Shmerling. He does not...
recommend strict dietary modifications after an initial attack of gout.
Like me, he points out the research showing weaknesses in strict low purine diets. Significantly he continues:
these studies looked at people who had not had gout before. They did not assess the effect of diet on people who already had gout.
In a nutshell, you need to stop obsessing about specific foods. Eat a healthy varied diet that satisfies you. Enjoy what you eat, but just eat enough to maintain a healthy weight, and exercise as often as you can.
Drastic changes simply do not work, and some can make your gout worse. Small improvements every few days soon make a big difference. Most importantly, you feel better because you're in control.
To feel even more in control, learn more about gout. When you understand how gout pain is caused, and why uric acid control is so important, you are much better placed to help yourself, and ask the right questions of your doctor.
Your added bonus is that, when you are learning about gout, it helps you to stop worrying about food.
Find more (see gouty search hints).