There is no scientific evidence suggesting the keto diet can help people manage gout. However, since keto diets can reduce overweight, which can worsen inflammatory arthritis, they may help.

In the United States, gout is one of the most common causes of chronic inflammatory arthritis, which causes joint inflammation. This article looks at the role of diet in managing gout, focusing on the keto diet.

This article will discuss the evidence for using the keto diet to manage gout. It will also explain the potential drawbacks of this eating plan for the condition and compare keto diets to low purine diets.

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No research has explored the relationship between the keto diet and gout in humans. A 2017 animal study did find evidence that ketogenic diets could reduce gout-induced inflammation in rats. However, scientists have yet to replicate these findings or test this theory in humans.

Scientists have begun investigating the effects of the keto diet on inflammatory arthritis. According to a 2021 review, there is no direct evidence that this program can help manage inflammatory arthritis. However, there are reasons for thinking that the keto diet could benefit people with the condition.

Learn more about the keto diet.

The ketogenic diet works by strictly limiting dietary carbohydrates to prompt a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when the liver starts to convert stores of bodily fat into ketones, which are another type of fuel the body uses.

Because the liver produces ketones by drawing on fat stores, ketogenic diets can help people lose weight.

This is relevant to people with inflammatory arthritis because carrying excess weight can increase inflammatory arthritis activity. It can also put additional stress on the joints, increasing pain and the risk of injury.

Fasting can also benefit people with inflammatory arthritis, as it induces ketosis.

However, no direct evidence exists suggesting the keto diet benefits people with arthritis, and more research is necessary.

Learn more about gout.

According to a 2022 review, the keto diet has several possible drawbacks, including:

There may be more specific drawbacks for people with gout.

Gout develops when people have excess uric acid in their blood. This can lead to crystals forming in a person’s joints, causing inflammation. Since the body produces uric acid when breaking down natural substances called purines, some people think a low purine diet can help manage gout.

Since proteins are a significant source of purines, low purine diets are also low protein diets. A typical ketogenic diet contains 30–35% protein, so these diets are not low in protein or purines. Therefore, a keto diet may not help keep uric acid levels in the blood at a moderate level.

However, a 2021 paper claims little evidence exists for the long-term sustainability and efficacy of low purine diets for gout.

Read about foods to eat and avoid on a low-purine diet.

High purine foods and drinks may worsen gout, and people with the condition may wish to avoid them. They include:

The following tips may help people manage gout:

  • Take flare-up medications promptly: People need to take medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, within 24 hours of a flare-up onset. This can help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms.
  • Take anti-urate medications: Some people with gout may need to take medications that lower the amount of uric acid in the blood.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Reducing alcohol consumption, maintaining a moderate weight, and being well-hydrated may improve gout flare-ups.

Read about 10 home remedies for gout.

Although research suggests a keto diet may reduce gout-induced arthritis in rats, there is no evidence for this effect in humans.

Maintaining a moderate weight can help prevent inflammatory arthritis from worsening, and ketogenic diets can help people lose weight. This is one reason for thinking these eating plans may help with gout.

However, some experts suggest that low protein, low purine diets can help manage gout. Since the keto diet is not low in purines, it may not help manage gout.

There is no solid evidence that dietary interventions help with gout. Doctors recommend lifestyle modifications and medications for treating and preventing flare-ups.