Too much rich food and drink have long been blamed for causing gout. People with this form of inflammatory arthritis are usually advised to avoid red meat, shellfish, alcohol and other high-purine foods, which the body converts to uric acid – the precursor to gout pain and inflammation. But can avoiding them stop future flares?
“It’s possible,” says Robert Shmerling, MD, former clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “Some people with gout have a number of modifiable risk factors, such as obesity, certain dietary habits or high blood pressure. These can be modified by lifestyle changes,” he says. “But in practice, most people who have a single episode of gout have another one within the next year or two, despite efforts to improve their habits.”
The Role of Genes
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