New recommendations to control gout

May 24, 2012 at 2:09 AM   |   Comments

PITTSBURGH, May 24 (UPI) -- New recommendations highlight lifestyle changes as a key to managing acute gout symptoms, U.S. rheumatologists said.

The recommendations from the American Society of Clinical Rheumatologists, published in Postgraduate Medicine, encourage gout patients to consume a balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, nuts and grains.

More importantly, patients should limit their intake of high fructose corn syrup, a common ingredient in many processed foods and drinks, and purine-rich foods, particularly red meat, beer and shellfish.

Gout, a form of arthritis, is caused by an accumulation of uric acid crystals in the body. Uric acid crystals can form in the joints when there are abnormally high levels of uric acid in the body.

"The new guidelines help patients by simplifying the steps they can take to manage their condition," Dr. N. Lawrence Edwards, a professor of medicine, rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University of Florida, and chairman of the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society, said in a statement. "Gout is a life-long disease which requires constant treatment and attention, but it can be controlled through a commitment to weight loss, lifestyle changes and taking medications as directed."

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