Does a Carnivore Diet Cause Gout?

Gout is a very understood yet totally not understood disease. It used to be termed the "rich mans disease" but has grown into a mainstream problem.
Josh Koop
January 22, 2020

When researching a Carnivore Diet you will more than likely read about how increased meat consumption has the possibility of increasing the chance of gout. Though this has been correlated it was done through looking at people eating a normal Standard American Diet, which as we know is highly carb and fat focused.

Does a Carnivore Diet Cause Gout? There is no medical proof or scientific studies which prove that a carnivore diet, or and increased meat intake with a diet devoid of carbohydrate yields any issues with your body. Rest safe in that Gout is not caused by your decision to follow a Carnivore Diet.

I want to explain gout in a little more detail to help relax your brain and make you aware of all the actual causes for gout. We will go on and show studies have shown vegan diets to cause gout also, which means eating plants or eating animals according to nutritional studies cause gout.

Considering that meat, vegetables, and fruit are everything we could possibly eat doesn't it seem like they have made some errors or passed on bad science to have reached these answers?

What Is Gout?

If you aren't sure what gout is I pulled this description directly from the oxford English dictionary to help give a basic understanding:

disease in which defective metabolism of uric acid causes arthritis, especially in the smaller bones of the feet, deposition of chalkstones, and episodes of acute pain.

Oxford Dictionary

Most of the time gout is presented with strong joint pain or joint discomfort which can last days or weeks. This may limit range of motion while the area will appear red, warm, tender, and swollen.

Gout Locations Chart - Does a Carnivore Diet Cause Gout
Painful and inflamed gout on her body around the Bones and joints in the circle.

What Is The Cause of Gout?

Gout is caused by an accumulation of urate crystals which cause severe inflammation and pain. These crystals can be formed when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood.

This is a reaction to your body needing to break down a purine which is found naturally in your body. These purines can also be found in meats, but are also found in alcohol, and sweetened foods which contain fructose (source).

Your issues tend to occur only when your purines can't be managed by your kidneys, either because you consumed too many of them or that the kidneys cant clean them out fast enough. These then form into crystals which get deposited into a joint or areas causing the buildup.

The Carnivore Diet and Gout

Now the media and vegans jumped at the Carnivore Diet and said that a focus on eating a meat-only diet would obviously result in gout since uric acid exists in meat. There have been studies that show no significant change in uric acid levels in people doing a low-carb diet over several months or years (source).

While uric acid exists in the meat it doesn't mean we can't process it out, more what I believe is there are purines in a bunch of foods that we aren't watching for or, like sugar or fructose, consuming metric tons.

When you switch to a carnivore diet you cut out all these miscellaneous forms from drinks, vegetables, and fruits. This diet clean up helps your body operate at peak performance.

This removal allows your kidneys to work fine processing the meat without side effects, in the end this one comes down to vegan propaganda ad studies which were aimed at a Standard American Diet being used against a diet that in no form matches a zero carb meat diet.

The Vegan Diet and Gout

While the vegan puritans claim their diet resolves everything under the sun, their diet of certain soy legume products, sea vegetables, and brassica vegetables contains a very high amount of purines which we covered above as a huge cause of gout.

They also go on to talk about sub-optimal design of a plant based diet might consequently be associated with increased uric acid levels and gout development. This is the traditional junk-food vegan and can explain why they can have more and more health issues the longer they maintain their diets.

Of note, I am not anti-vegan nor pro-vegan. Your ideology can drive YOUR diet but it shouldn't drive MY diet. I think the American way of eating is just fundamentally wrong and nutrition science is anything but...

Josh

Some plant-based foods contain smaller amounts of purines, such as legumes, whole grains, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, and green peas.

There is worry in research among people choosing to switch from a Standard American Diet to a plant based diet due to this large increase in overall purines into the system. From their study this number was double to triple the people on the standard American diet.

Since UA is the end product of metabolism of purines, there is a concern about increased serum UA concentrations with the transition from a Western-type mixed diet to an exclusive PBD due to introduction of the regular intake of plant foods with a high purine content, containing more than 200–300 mg purine per 100 g of the product. (source)

Another study showed from their conclusion that vegans had higher uric acid levels that meat eaters and fish eaters, thus potentially placing them at the highest risk for gout attacks (source).

Reach Out To You Doctor

If you have symptoms of gout or feel you may have gout then you should be reaching out to your doctor and not reading websites. If you have reached this area and you still aren't sure then the best step is to meet with your doctor and discuss your symptoms and make sure you get it under control.

Infographic on Gout - Does a Carnivore Diet Cause Gout

Final Thoughts

On a final note, high blood insulin levels which are aligned with a diet that contains a high amounts of refined carbohydrates has been shown to increase uric acid levels, possibly this may be done by decreasing the excretion of uric acid by the kidneys (source). This would be another favorable result in the direction of a carnivore diet due to being in ketosis and insulin levels being consistently low.

If you read this far you are amazing! I would love to hear from you in the comments below if I helped you gain knowledge and useful information, additionally I would like to know if I got anything incorrect that you believe should be researched more and updated. As always to get the word out please join our new Carnivore Rx group on Facebook and share this out on social media!

6 comments on “Does a Carnivore Diet Cause Gout?”

  1. Thank you for the article. I have been on Carnivore for over a month. Lost 12bs and feel amazing. This article has helped me show my brother who has gout and will now start as well. Thank you again.

    1. Super happy to hear about your results so far and I hope to hear back down the road about your brother's progress as well!

  2. I started the carnivore diet 8 months ago for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The psoriatic arthritis has just continued to spread and worsen. My psoriasis has also worsened .
    I do not understand this since so many people have reversed psoriatic arthritis with this diet. I'm wondering if gout could be an issue.

    1. Well, I would assume you have issues with something you are choosing to eat still, many have issues with eggs or other "safe" foods. I would expect you to track for a month what you eat and see what you can correlate to eating with the expansion of your issues, without food logs you can't honestly say other than pure speculation and guessing.

  3. I don't know what to do. I'm super frustrated. I've been strict carnivore for 2 months now, 1 month free of dairy and eggs.

    The weight loss is great, but I was just diagnosed with gout and my psoriasis has not improved a bit.

    Been eating nothing but grass finished steaks and ground beef, for the last month.

    The worst part is, this isn't the first time I've had this issue. I tried carnivore for 3 months, last year.

    I was on grass finished ribeyes, liver and bone marrow. Even cut out whiskey and coffee.

    The weight melted off, but 2 months in I had severe pain in my left ankle and kneecap, to the point where I was on crutches for 3 weeks.

    When I was talking with the doctor who diagnosed me with the gout, she told me I should cut way back on red meat and drink more water.

    I really don't want to give this diet up, because it makes weight loss so effortless. But if it's causing crippling bouts of gout,I'm not sure what else I can do.

    1. Thats when you need to have that quality discussion with the nutritionist and doctor about how to help your body, you may have a real issue which is worth checking out. It sounds like something crept in but maybe the food isn't as clean as you believe it to be, nothing but water (as it appears like this maybe a no), and is really needed to flush out the body reliably without adding workload onto your kidney for additional processing.

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