The connection between gout and your liver

In this post we will examine the importance of your liver as it relates to your gout. Your liver plays a critical role in metabolizing your uric acid before your kidneys can pass it out of your body and through the urine. If either your liver or kidneys have any problem processing the amount of uric acid produced by your body, then uric acid will build up inside causing you gout. It’s no coincidence that gout, alcohol and your liver all interrelate. Many of you first developed gout due to too much alcohol consumption and now your liver doesn’t metabolize your uric acid properly causing this problem.

Did you know that up to 30% of the adult US population have fat in their livers which is called “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease” or NAFLD for short? 5% will have fat and inflammation which is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH for short. The causes for NAFLD and NASH are not fully known but we do know that insulin resistance and oxidative stress in the liver are significant factors. And other clinical conditions that are linked to fatty liver are diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea (the usual culprits) and gout! So it’s important to have a healthy liver to properly metabolize your uric acid. There is a strong association between serum uric acid levels and chronic liver disease in the United States. Many people who never suffered from gout before but have a liver transplant are more prone to develop gout afterwards as well.

The liver’s primary role in the body is for detox by taking in blood from your digestive system and filtering out all of the toxins like alcohol as well as any byproducts of medication like allopurinol or colchicine, so they can be excreted. It also helps maintain proper blood sugar levels and energy levels throughout the entire body by breaking down fats for your body to use. Amazing stuff! Here’s some advice if you want to keep a healthy liver:

  • Eat properly as outlined in my ebook making sure that the majority of your calories are complex carbohydrates like high fibre vegetables and some protein but make sure it is lean.
  • Avoid alcohol completely if you can but if you want some in your diet make sure to limit it to a couple a week max. I rarely drink nowadays but you don’t want to look stupid at some wedding when raising your glass for a toast to the bride and groom.
  • Avoid these “liver cleanse” scams where you don’t eat any food for a few days and usually just drink some disgusting beverage to supposedly rid your body of toxins. The liver is a self-cleansing organ, that’s what it does.

NutriGout Dietary Supplement for Gout


Which foods are good to maintain a healthy liver?

There are many foods that can help cleanse the liver by stimulating its natural ability to rid toxins from your body. Eating the following foods is the best way to keep your liver healthy and functioning properly for a long time.

  • Garlic: Just a small amount of garlic can activate liver enzymes to help your body flush out toxins. Garlic also has high amounts of allicin and selenium which are two compounds that may aid in liver cleansing
  • Green Tea: One of my favorite teas, it is full of antioxidants known as catechins which is a compound that may  improve liver function
  • Grapefruit: This fruit may help your liver flush out carcinogens and toxins. It’s also high in vitamin C and full of antioxidants which may help us gout sufferers.
  • Beets: I love beets! My wife boils them and adds olive oil and some balsamic vinegar and they taste great! Try it! I love my apple cider vinegar with everything else but with beets balsamic is the way to go. Beets are high in plant flavonoids which stimulates and may improve proper liver function.
  • Leafy Greens like romaine or dandelion: I eat leafy greens almost every single day. They have the ability to neutralize chemicals, metals and pesticides that can be inside our foods offering a protective mechanism for your liver. Try arugula, chicory, spinach, dandelion, lettuce, bitter gourd, kale, whatever else you can find.
  • Avocados: Recently wrote an entire post about them, by adding more avocados in your diet, it will help your body produce a antioxidant called glutathione needed by our liver and may help filter out dangerous toxins.
  • Lemons: My father-in-law always tells me how he squeezes a lemon every single day in a tall glass of water to aid the digestion process and you know what he’s right! But they also stimulate the liver and are high in vitamin C too!

There’s many more foods that will help keep your liver healthy and they include carrots, turmeric which stimulates the production of bile to help your body digest fats and acts as a natural form of detox for our liver. Walnuts which contain omega-3 fatty acids and glutathione help support our livers as well and there are many more.

What I recently found in my local health food store is a liver detox tea made from a local company and its ingredients consist of uva ursi leaf, horsetail herb, marigold petal, blackcurrant leaf, rosemary leaf, artichoke leaf, licorice root and milk thistle seed. I strongly recommend that you also try and find liver detox tea in your local health food store or and add it to your gout diet. A healthy liver is very important for us gout sufferers.

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    30 replies to "Gout and Your Liver"

    • vince

      Lots of good advice. I have had gout for many years but gout sneaks up on me and it is usually food related. Do not drink alcohol but high processed sugar is my enemy. At present it is under the big toe area on the ball of my foot. It feels like searing heat at times. My wife seems to think I am missing an enzyme of sorts. I usually take colchicine that helps but take it in small doses. I am in great shape only 140 lbs and run frequently. Now in my sixties. There never seems to be a majic pill and always trying to find the right combo of foods to avoid the problem.

    • Davis

      It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people for this subject,
      however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

    • Bill Kareem


      How are you? I’m write seeking so advice with my situation.
      I had a few gout attacks. I went to the doctor a year ago and I started on colchicine and Allopurinol. 2 months after I started the treatment my liver blood test was higher. I stopped the medication and the liver function test went normal after few months. I recently started the mediation again and the same thing happen. The doctor said I have a fatty liver after an ultra sound. Why this is happening and should I keep taking the medication and see if the liver numbers goes down? Do I have gout in my liver? I really want to get better. I’m so depressed.

      Am I stuck with no treatment?

      Or after awhile my liver function will get back to normal?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Bill!

        Thank you for your comment!

        Sorry to hear about that.

        It’s not a question that I can answer, only the doctors can properly answer the causation of your fatty liver.

        It doesn’t mean it’s the medications although it can be.

        You definitely don’t have gout in your liver.

        Can you ask your doctor if its the gout medication that is causing the fatty liver?

        Now there are some natural remedies that can help cleanse the liver. Eat raw garlic daily! A few slices from a clove is sufficient or buy some crushed garlic. Try and get an artichoke leaf tea and drink that daily as well. You can also look for a liver cleansing dietary supplement at your local health store or on Amazon. Drink lots of water always and avoid alcohol and sugary beverages.

        Good luck!

    • Paul Brown

      Hi Spiro!

      I get gout nearly every month. I get it in my foot and my knee at the same time. The pain is unbearable! I put ice on the infected area and I’m taking tablets buy not working. What should I do? See my doctor or go to hospital? My knee is swollen and my foot.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Yes go to your doctor ASAP! It sounds serious. Hospital will only give you NSAIDs and send you home. Doctor will assess your situation better and take blood tests to see what lever your uric acid is at.

    • Kunal

      I have got Gout problem. Many times , I got gout attack. Few times it just as soon as I eat anything, I can feel in sometimes, something is going here and there in the body with sharp needle kind of pinching.

      Is it due to the liver problem, not cleansing the crystal, which is required to clean before taking food?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        For the most part yes, due to liver and kidneys not breaking down purines properly in order to excrete uric acid efficiently out of the body. So then uric acid flows in the blood finding joints to lodge its crystals, thus getting a gout attack.

    • Hamomax

      Great article. I am experiencing some of these issues as well..

    • Mike

      I’m curious, how frequently do you get flare ups after making all these changed to your diet ?

    • Reg

      This is a good article. But I think you should add a warning when recommending grapefruit. Many gout sufferers take colchicine for gout, and grapefruit is not to be taken with colchicine.

    • Chris

      Thanks you for these posts. I was just told that my problem was Gout and having too much uric acid in my body. I’ve been in alot of pain and suffering. I will try everything I can.

    • Mark

      Why does my Uric acid lay mostly from my knees down? Will improving liver function help? All ideas are welcome

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Your feet are the furthest point from your heart and considered the coldest, that is why uric acid crystallizes in those joints and wreaks havoc to your health. Yes liver function is very important as is kidney function, so make sure to keep them healthy by eating well and cleansing them with herbs like milk thistle, chanca piedra, dandelion extract and many others as found in NutriGout as well!

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    • mohammed

      Hi sir, thank you for your great info regarding lowering uric acid and gout problem. Sir I’m suffering from knee pain (2 legs) when I’m playing cricket or running, it’s too much pain like needles in between the joints. And my uric acid is also in normal range 6.6. There are no other pains like big toe except knees.. I have done liver function test. In that test alkaline phosphate is high(146) and glubulin is also high 4.0 except these 2, report is normal. Can you please suggest what I need to do.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Mohammed!

        Well change your diet and lifestyle for sure, I don’t know what you eat normally but you should be familiar with my dietary advice in this website and book. I would also take a dietary supplement of milk thistle and dandelion extract daily to cleanse the liver. My dietary supplement NutriGout has both these ingredients included already but you would need to supplement even more. Always consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplements.

    • Dorothy Chambers

      The info was very helpful.I’ve heard people talk about gout before and now I think I have it. Severe pain in and around my big toe. I have Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (never drink and no Hepatitis). What does that mean for me.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Dorothy!

        If you think yo have it, you need to confirm it with your doctor and if you have liver health issues, it may be the root cause. Check it out!

    • basia

      Coriander seeds for liver fat and gout.
      How to use dry seeds without cooking meals.

    • D.B.

      Suddenly my bilirubin count shot to 2.2 basically doubling in one year. I have had a history of gout for 24 years now. Im seriously concerned and it seems the doctors are not taking it very seriously.

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    • Neville

      Thank you for all your information regarding GOUT , it has been a great help.

      A question: Does coffee have an effect on gout !!!

      It is one thing that I still drink a lot of, although my attacks have been fewer , I still get them .

      Thank you again,


      Neville Brown ( South Africa )

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Neville!

        Yes coffee is good for controlling uric acid levels. Please check my post on gout and coffee here–>

      • Christian

        The sugar could be the culprit or sweetened creamer…try stevia.

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    • Colin

      Thank you for all the great info. I had my first attention getting gout attack last week Monday. I am slowly bringing it under control i.e. have not had any alcohol since (which I’m sure is my problem.) Finally a really good reason to quit!

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