Our expert says:
The difference between gout and arthritis is that there are two different types of arthritis, namely gouty osteo-arthritis which is similar to gout (where excess uric acid accumulates in joints causing them to swell and become painful)and rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease which also affects the joints and includes flare-ups which can be very painful. If you suffer from gouty osteo-arthritis then you actually need to eat a diet that is low in compounds called 'purines'. Generally speaking anyone with gout needs to avoid a buildup of uric acid in the body. Excessive uric acid buildup is caused by a disorder in the metabolism of so-called "purines", which are compounds that occur in high quantities in red meat, organ meats (brains, liver, kidneys, sweetbreads), anchovies, meat extracts, broth, bouillon, and gravies made from meat drippings, sardines, herrings, mackerel, mussels, partridge, fish roes, baker's and brewer's yeast taken as supplements. Beans, pulses, spinach, asparagus and mushrooms have a moderate purine content and can be eaten in moderate quantities. Other vegetables and fruits have a negligible purine content and can be eaten freely. Alcohol and rich, fatty foods also exacerbate gout. Both gout and osteo-arthritis may also respond to an increase in the intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon oil capsules are a good source of omega-3. For rheumatoid arthritis it is essential to consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), because your nutritional needs may vary depending on which phase your rheumatoid arthritis is in at the moment. The dietitian will have to work out a diet for you that takes your medical condition and any chronic medications you may be taking into account.
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