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Healthnotes Index:

Low-Purine Diet

Also indexed as:Purine (Low) Diet
Low-Purine Diet: Main Image

Why Do People Follow This Diet?

In people who have gout, uric acid production in the body is increased while its elimination is reduced. The excess uric acid builds up in the bloodstream, is deposited in the small joints or soft tissues, and causes symptoms that resemble arthritis. Purines are compounds that are mainly found in animal protein and are metabolized to uric acid in the body. A high-purine diet, obesity, regular alcohol consumption, and diuretic therapy can all contribute to elevated uric acid levels in individuals with gout. Preliminary research suggests that insulin resistance may also play a role in the development of gout. A low-purine diet and medications—such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and allopurinol—are commonly used to treat gout. An effective diet is important in avoiding or reducing complications and lessening the expense of drug treatment. Restricting calorie intake and alcohol consumption, and losing weight (if overweight), can also reduce uric acid levels. It is important to drink plenty of fluids to increase uric acid excretion from the body. Alternative sources of protein should be included in a low-purine diet.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.

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