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Question:

Which foods create uric acid in humans? I'm concerned about my spouse developing kidney stones or gout. — Melody, CT

Christine Palumbo

Answer:

High uric acid levels are usually associated with gout, but can sometimes result in uric acid kidney stones.  Gout results when uric acid accumulates and crystallizes in the joints - especially those in the big toe, knees and wrists. It's an inherited disorder that usually occurs after age 35, and is characterized by a sudden attack that begins in the big toe and continues up the leg.

People with gout should restrict protein intake, since some high protein foods are rich in purines, compounds that raise uric acid levels. High purine foods to avoid completely include anchovies, bouillon, goose, gravy, herring, organ meats, meat extracts, mussels, sardines, scallops, and brewer's yeast. People with gout should also reduce alcohol and caffeine intake.

People who suffer from gout are often overweight. Weight loss may help reduce and even normalize uric acid levels. Drinking eight or more glasses of water a day also helps dilute uric acid. Finally, your physician can prescribe medication that will either inhibit uric acid production or eliminate uric acid in the urine.

About Christine Palumbo

Christine Palumbo, MBA, RD has been a nutrition communications consultant since 1989, providing dietary counsel and analysis on various nutrition, health and weight management topics to corporate clients and news media outlets nationwide. An active member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the Illinois Dietetic Association, Chicago Dietetic Association for more than twenty years, she has served on a variety of boards and practice group committees within those organizations. In 1981 and 1982, Palumbo was honored by the Chicago Dietetic Association and the Illinois Dietetic Association, respectively, as the Recognized Young Dietician of the Year.

Palumbo has been featured as the expert speaker in numerous national health panels and has published many articles and pamphlets regarding nutrition and healthcare. She has been featured in national women's, health and business magazines, daily newspapers and local and national radio programs. Palumbo has also appeared on numerous local and national TV news programs, including a segment on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997 on the health benefits of drinking water.


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