Nobody is talking about gout: Here’s why By Grace Olson for Prevention
GNN Note – We talk about it because it is part of our world. If you suffer with gout you already know, if you don’t count your blessings. The pain can be so severe that the slightest touch will send lightening bolts of pain shooting through my foot that feels like someone endlessly stabbing me with a razor sharp ice-pick in the top of my foot. To say that it can be painful is a massive understatement. Pure cherry juice helps to curb the episodes and limiting or eliminating alcohol, limiting chocolate, especially high cacao content chocolate and beef, which my doctor told me were the top three producers of uric acid, may help with your situation. I am merely sharing my experiences as I am not a doctor nor I am not offering any medical advice and would say to discuss with a healthcare professional.
In the U.S., over 83 million people suffer from gout – that’s one in 25 people. While the painful condition is becoming more common each year, not everyone is familiar with it, and not everyone who suffers from it seeks help and treatment. This is a problem not only for those who have gout but to healthcare professionals as well.
Read on to learn more about gout, how it occurs, its history and how to prevent it.
A guide to gout – and why nobody talks about it
Gout refers to a form of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid in the joints, or hyperuricemia. When a person eats foods rich in purine, like beef and seafood, the body produces uric acid to break these down. However, when his uric acid levels become too high, this can cause uric acid crystals (monosodium urate) to form. They most commonly form in the joints of the big toe, but they can be seen in other joints like the fingers, elbows and ankles.
People who have gout experience sudden, intense pain in the area affected. The tissues surrounding the joint swell, turn red and become exceedingly tender to the touch. After a gout attack, a person’s movements become severely limited. It makes putting shoes, socks or even placing a blanket on it unbearable. Most people who have it limp or stay seated to deal with the pain.
Gout-shamed: A look into its history
Even though many people suffer from gout, not everyone seeks treatment. A recent poll showed that having gout invokes feelings of shame and embarrassment that holds them back from getting help. This is a problem because people who have gout are more vulnerable to developing heart disease and kidney stones.
This stigma stems from gout’s infamous reputation in history. Gout is commonly associated with the nobles and their excessively luxurious lifestyles – most famous of whom was King Henry VIII. In fact, gout was so common among them that it was dubbed the “disease of kings.” While people no longer think that gout is limited to nobles and kings, its association with an opulent lifestyle remains.
Does diet have anything to do with gout?
Consuming certain foods and drinks cause an increase in uric acid levels, which contribute to gout. This includes alcohol, sweetened beverages, meat and shellfish. Some people are also predisposed to gout. In a study published in BMJ, researchers even suggested that compared to genetic factors, diet has a significantly smaller contribution to the development of gout.
How to prevent gout
Regardless of its etiology, here are some ways to reduce its risk:
- Eat foods rich in vitamin C. This is a compound that helps reduce uric acid levels. Foods rich in vitamin C include lemons, spinach, and strawberries.
- Start adding cherries to daily meals. Eating cherries can significantly reduce uric acid levels and minimally reduce inflammation as well. They have been used as a popular home remedy for gout.
- Avoid foods rich in purines. Eating meat and seafood may contribute to the development of gout. Limiting the consumption of these foods may help fend it off.
Like any other health condition, gout may have been brought about by a series of bad eating habits. It is always best to seek help and treatment from healthcare professionals.
Gout – Seek a drugless approach to this painful condition by: Derrell Jones
1. Combat gout by insuring protein consumption does not exceed 10 -15% of calories consumed per day. The proteins should be of high quality derived primarily from vegetables, beans, nuts, and legumes. Protein from these sources are more readily absorbed.
2. In addition to quality proteins the body needs adequate nutrients, primarily Vitamins B3 and B6 along with Zinc, to properly breakdown and utilize the protein that has been ingested.
3. Decrease or eliminate consumption of acid forming foods, some of which are coffee, sugar, alcohol, vinegar, meat and dairy products. Alcohol is known not only to increase uric acid production, but also to decrease the body’s ability to excrete uric acid through the kidneys. Some may find that the elimination of alcohol is all they needed to do to rid themselves of gout.
4. Micheal Murray, N.D. recommends gout sufferers consume 1/2 pound of cherries for relief. Dark red and blue berries are excellent sources of phytonutrients that reduce joint inflammation.
5. If a person with gout is obese emphasis on proper weight reduction is advisable. Weight reduction should be accomplished through a low fat, high fiber diet with an eye towards alkaline forming foods, some of which are aloe vera, wheat grass, alfalfa, parsley, dates, string beans, raisins, prunes, and banana.
6. Avoid refined carbohydrates and saturated fats. These increase blood acidity.
There is no cookie cutter approach to treating the condition of gout but some of the common measures mentioned above are a great place to start. Seek balance and prudence in your diet. Be diligent and discover for yourself or with the help of others how to give gout the boot.