The condition known as hyperuricemia or gout is a constitutional disease, often hereditary, characterized by inflammatory joint attacks. Pain is felt most often in the big toe and recurs more nights in a row. Gout may be appear in other joints (knees, fingers, elbow) as well. A sodium urate solidification called tophus is formed at joint levels. The crisis is accompanied by fever and may last 5-10 days.
One of the main causes of gout is an unbalanced diet, especially rich in meat (sausages, red meat, pork), in shellfish and crustaceans which cause the formation of uric acid. The blood uric acid is the main cause of gout. It can sometimes alter renal function leading to kidney stones (renal lithiasis). Patients should worry about the occurrence of gout every time blood levels of uric acid are increased (normal level: 30-58 mg per liter).
The first step in treating gout is to start a diet. Patients should change the way they eat and radically reorganize their lifestyle. Even when on vacation or travelling, they should have sufficient medication in order to ensure continued treatment and to avoid an unexpected crisis. Also, if patients should have to undergo surgery of any kind, they must be sure to inform the doctor about their condition. It is recommended to drink plenty of mineral water during the day, between 1.5 and 2 liters (alkaline water is recommended). Avoid foods high in purine – meat and meat products such as anchovies, sardines, liver, etc. and becomes uric acid in the body. A calorie restriction is sufficient for most patients. Alcohol consumption should be reduced to a minimum.
- Beef, chicken, lamb and rabbit meat should be eaten with moderation. White fish, warm-sea fish, such as common bream, turbot, rudd, hake, pike, caviar and oysters can be eaten with moderation;
- Vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, spinach, lettuce and green beans are allowed (50-70mg/100 g or uric acid);
- Pasta, potatoes, rice and bread are recommended.
- Dairy products like milk, whole or skimmed, egg yolk, yogurt and cheese are also permitted;
- Fresh fruit, olives, peanuts and pistachios can be consumed without exaggeration;
- Desserts such as pastries and ice creams can be consumed with moderation;
- Drinks such as coffee, tea and alkaline mineral water are highly recommended;
- It is strictly prohibited to consume lentil, asparagus and peas;
- Shellfish clams, sardines, fish paste, herring and lobster are prohibited (360-465 uric acid content mg/100 g);
- Pork, sheep, geese, game, organ sausages are forbidden;
- Chocolate should be eliminated from everyday diet.