Sunday, June 25, 2017

What is Gout? How to Treat it?

According to an article in WebMD "Gout is a type of arthritis that happens when you have too much uric acid in your blood and it forms sharp crystals in one or more of your joints. This usually happens in your big toe, but you can have gout in your knee, ankle, foot, hand, wrist or elbow."

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) "Men and obese adults are more likely to have gout. There are times when symptoms get worse, know as flares and times when there are no symptoms, known as remission. Repeated bouts of gout can lead to gouty arthritis, a worsening form of arthritis. There is no cure for gout, but you can effectively treat and manage the condition with medication and self management strategies."

There are certain things that are likely to trigger flares in most people with gout.
  • Foods -- Foods that are high in a substance called purines can raise the uric acid level in your blood. This includes organ meats like liver' seafood like sardines, anchovies, mussels and salmon and even some vegetables such as spinach. Eating just one of these foods or several of them together, can cause a gout flare. Purines are found in all foods that have protein.
  • Alcohol -- Beer and liquor can raise the uric acid level in the blood and many bring on a gout flare. They can be extra bad for you because they also can make you dehydrated -- another common gout trigger. Wine is not linked to gout attacks and can be enjoyed in moderation.
  • Fructose beverages -- Don't drink lots of sugary drinks containing fructose. Fructose-sweetened beverages can bring on gout flare-ups.
You can help avoid gout flare ups by lifestyle changes. Here are just 3 examples.
  • Avoid gout triggers. Although it’s impossible to completely avoid all purines in your diet, if you know which foods tend to set off your gout attacks, try to avoid them. You may still be able to enjoy foods with fewer purines such as beans, lentils, and asparagus.
  • Healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet, reducing or eliminating alcohol, and exercising  regularly can help prevent gouty arthritis attacks and keep your uric acid level stable. Remember to drink water when exercising to avoid flare-ups due to dehydration.
  • Lose weight. If you are overweight, work with your doctor to develop a weight loss plan. Being overweight can contribute to elevated levels of uric acid and lead to gout attacks. 

What is Gout? What Causes It?
Living With Chronic Gout

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