Thanksgiving is a holiday that is often associated with indulging in rich, flavorful foods, many of which are high in purines. Some of the high purine foods commonly consumed on Thanksgiving include: – Turkey (especially dark meat) – Gravy – Stuffing with meat or seafood – Shellfish (e.g. shrimp, crab, lobster) – Organ meats (e.g. liver, kidneys) While it may be tempting to indulge in these foods, can you afford to do so?
It is very tempting to take on the mindset of, “It’s only ONE day!” And this could be quite true and possible if you are adhering to a successful maintenance protocol. We will get into what that may look like for you a bit further into this article.
Purines are said to contribute to gout by increasing the levels of uric acid in the body, which can lead to the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints. These crystals can cause inflammation, pain, and swelling, which are the hallmark symptoms of gout. While a single meal is unlikely to trigger a gout attack, consuming high-purine foods over an extended period can increase the risk of developing gout. Therefore, for most, it’s crucial for individuals with gout to limit their intake of high-purine foods during Thanksgiving and other holiday celebrations.
Look at the image below and imagine that glass of water refers to your uric acid levels. 70% of that glass contains uric acid that your body is producing from resources other than food. Let’s imagine you eat a lot of high purine foods each day and your glass continue to fill. Eventually, you wind up completely full and that last high purine meal does you in, pushing that full glass over the brim and into an attack.
Now, did that one food cause your attack? No, not really. It simply sealed the fate of what was already brewing.
Are we saying that food doesn’t matter when it comes to Gout?
No, a healthy diet plays an intricate role in Gout control. What we are saying is that the purines in food are not the largest part of the problem. In fact, they are a rather small part of this large puzzle. Focusing solely on purines can get you in a heap of trouble if you are truly trying to get control of your Gout attacks, long term.
For those who have “full glasses” of uric acid, purines will matter. To prevent gout flare-ups during Thanksgiving, individuals with chronic gout should limit their intake of high-purine dishes and stay hydrated. Avoiding shellfish and organ meats can also help to reduce the risk. Additionally, it’s important to practice moderation when consuming alcohol, as binge drinking can increase the risk of gout flare-ups. By being mindful of their purine intake and making healthy choices, individuals with gout can still enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal without compromising their health.
How do you reduce this ever-filling glass of uric acid so one day, one meal doesn’t push you over the edge?
Here are some great, all natural ways to stop living in fear and start living without joint pain and attacks: