Gout is a sudden, severe pain most commonly felt at the base of the toe. It occurs when your body makes too much uric acid but has trouble getting rid of it. As the uric acid crystallises, the crystals deposit in joints, tendons and surrounding tissues such as:
Gout has become more common in recent decades. The increase is believed to be due to increasing risk factors, such as metabolic syndrome, longer life expectancy and changes in diet. Gout was historically known as “the disease of kings” or “rich man’s disease”.
Uric acid is a product of the metabolic breakdown of purine nucleotides. High levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia) is the main cause of gout. This can occur for a number of reasons, including diet, genetic predisposition, or underexcretion of urate (passing urine, sweating and defecating), the salts of uric acid.
Not all causes of gout is directly linked to high uric acid levels. Gout frequently occurs with other medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia (fatty blood), or renal failure.
Who is prone to gout?
- Those who have a high protein diet.
- Those who drink a lot of alcohol.
- Those who are constantly under a lot of physical and mental stress.
Those who are prone to gout should pay attention to what you eat and manage your weight. As a rule of thumb, use 25-30kcal to 1kg body weight per day as the goal. For example, a person weighing 63.6kg and 170cm tall should keep to 1600-1900kcal as his total daily calorie intake.
Food high in purine content (Note: Restrict your intake)
- Asparagus, Cauliflower, Mushroom, Oatmeal, Wholegrain, Wheat, Germ, Red Meat
Food highest in purine (Note: Abstain completely if possible)
All internal organs of Animals and Birds, Liver, Kidney, Brain, Pancreas
- Rich Games – Venison, Gamebird Pigeon, Black Chicken
- Meat extract – Gravy, Chicken Essence, Bak Kut Teh
- Certain Fish/Shellfish – Salmon, Herring, Mackerel, Anchovy, Sardine, Cockle, Mussel, Scallop, Prawn
- Certain Vegetables – Spinach, Pea, Beans, Peanuts, Carrot
- Products of Beans – Beancurd, Soya Bean Drink, Bean Sprout, Bean Cake, Moon Cake, Legumes
- Fruits – Strawberry, Strawberry Jam, Durian, Tomato, Tomato Sauce
- Alcohol – Beer, Champagne, Brandy, Whisky, Port
Foods containing negligible amounts of purine and may be eaten daily:
- Bread (white) and cracker
- Butter or margarine (in moderation)
- Cake and cookie
- Carbonated beverage
- Cream (in moderation)
- Fats (in moderation)
- Gelatin dessert
- Ice cream
- Sugar and sweets
- Vegetables (except those mentioned in the first group)