Well guys, it’s been 4 months since my last gout flare up. It took me 6+ years to get a better understanding of my body and why gout was such a problem for me. Over those years, I sort of tested which foods or drinks was causing me to flare up. Initially, I thought it was mainly beer and seafood that was causing it, but it turns out it wasn’t those things. Yes, they can contribute to a gout attack if you overindulge, but they weren’t the main causes in my opinion.
Before the light bulb went off in my head, this year had been the worst year for my gout flare ups. Earlier this year, I was getting gout flare ups at more frequency than years prior. I blamed my flare ups mostly on my diet, and it was somewhat true, but it wasn’t what I had originally thought.
Water is Important
The main cause wasn’t due to eating seafood or red meat. The real culprit was due to me not drinking enough water. Yes, that’s how important water is. Water does 2 things which are important in fighting gout: 1) helping you stay hydrated, and 2) helping you flush out uric acid from your body.
Prior to this year, I really downplayed the importance of drinking water. I felt like it couldn’t make that much of difference in my gout problem. I was wrong. It makes a huge difference. Now I pay less attention to my diet and try to drink more water throughout the day.
My Diet Rule for Each Food Group
I don’t really follow a strict diet plan, and I want it that way. I want freedom to eat what I want when I want so I try to keep it simple. Here’s my basic diet program:
Beverages – I avoid sodas because I’m not a sweets guy to begin with and it contains a lot of sugar. Same with fruit juices because of high fructose content. I mainly drink water and coffee on a daily basis. Also if you’ve read my earlier blog posts, you know I’m a long time drinker of alcohol. Yes, alcohol can contribute to gout flare ups and it’s something that I’ve been trying to address. I still drink, but I have cut down – from almost everyday to once/twice a week or so. The goal is to quit altogether, but it’s easier said than done.
Dairy – I eat cheese or pizza when I want with no limit. I don’t drink milk out of personal preference.
Desserts/Sweets – Again I’m not a sweets guy so I typically don’t eat desserts.
Fruit – I eat any kind of fruit I want with no limitation.
Meat – I eat any kind of meat I want with no limitation. I don’t eat organ meats too often, so that’s something I don’t think about too much.
Seafood – Seafood is one of favorite types of food, but I do try to limit my intake. There have been times when I’d eat a lot of seafood and I’d feel some stiffness in my toe joints. Your body gives you warnings, so you should listen to it.
Vegetables – Like fruits, I don’t think vegetables cause gout flare ups.
Something to keep in mind, and as I’ve mentioned before, your food intake (diet) is only a 30% factor into the cause of gout flare ups, so the rest is caused by your body chemistry. This has been confirmed by various doctors medical articles online.
I’ll provide future updates, but for now, my simple non-strict diet has been working for me. Let me know your thoughts and experience.