The Keto Diet and Gout: What You Need to Know

At some point, you may have heard of the keto diet. This low-carb, high-fat diet has become quite popular recently, touted for its weight loss benefits and potential health advantages. However, if you suffer from gout, you may wonder if the keto diet is right for you.

In this article, we’ll explore the connection between the keto diet and gout and what you need to know before giving it a try.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when there is a buildup of uric acid in the blood. This uric acid then crystallizes and deposits in the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and swelling. Gout attacks can be excruciatingly painful and can last for days or even weeks.

What is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet, short for ketogenic, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that puts your body in a state of ketosis. In this state, your body burns fat for fuel instead of glucose from carbohydrates. By drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake, your body must use fat as its primary energy source.

How Does the Keto Diet Affect Gout?

On the surface, the keto diet may seem like a good option for those with gout, as it involves cutting out high-carbohydrate foods. However, the keto diet may not be the best choice for those with gout for several reasons.

First, the keto diet is high in fat, which can increase the production of uric acid in the body. When the body breaks down fats, it produces compounds called ketones, which can increase uric acid levels.

Second, some foods allowed on the keto diet are high in purines, which are broken down into uric acid in the body. High-purine foods include organ meats, fatty fish, and shellfish, which those with gout should avoid.

Finally, the keto diet can lead to rapid weight loss, triggering gout attacks. When you lose weight quickly, your body releases uric acid from fat cells, which can cause a sudden increase in uric acid levels.

What Should You Do if You Have Gout and Want to Try the Keto Diet?

If you have gout and are considering the keto diet, it’s important to talk to your doctor first. Your doctor can help you determine if the keto diet is a safe option for you and guide you on how to make it work for your needs.

If you decide to try the keto diet, it’s important to be mindful of your foods and monitor your uric acid levels. Avoid high-purine foods and focus on healthy, low-carbohydrate options like leafy greens, nuts, and berries.

Additionally, it’s essential to stay hydrated while on the keto diet, as dehydration can increase uric acid levels and trigger gout attacks.

While the keto diet may seem like a promising option for weight loss and overall health, it may not be the best choice for those with gout. The high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet can increase uric acid production and trigger gout attacks. If you have gout and are considering the keto diet, talk to your doctor first and take precautions to minimize the risk of gout attacks.