Foods to Avoid with Gout, Safe Alcoholic Beverage?

Question

I had gout on my ankle four months ago, and it was my first attack. I am 43 years old, slim, and exercise regularly. I wanted to ask if there are foods I should avoid (? bread, pizza) and is there a ‘safe’ alcoholic beverage.

Answer

Gout is caused by hyperuricemia (high uric acid levels in the blood). Risk factors for hyperuricemia include obesity, medications, and certain medical conditions (kidney disease). However, there is also a genetic predisposition as well. The management of gout is focused on decreasing uric acid levels. Medication can be effect at doing this, but also avoiding anything that may increase uric acid levels (or the body’s ability to excrete uric acid) can be helpful as well. Carbohydrates such as bread, pizza, and pasta do not increase uric acid levels. Alcohol (but beer in particular more so than other types of alcohol), organ meets (liver, kidney, etc), and seafood (notably shellfish) can increase uric acid levels.

Rebecca Manno, MD, MHS

About Rebecca Manno, MD, MHS

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University