Gout is characterized by the build up of uric acid and the problem of eliminating it. It is normally deposited at the joints, skin and other and tissue. Gout attack or gouty arthritis happened when there is a sudden onset of hot, red and swelling of the joints.
What cause gout?
Uric acid is produced as a waste product during the cell turnover process in our body tissues. When the level of uric acid is high, it is deposited and crystallized at the joints.
A collection of uric acid crystals is called tophi. They are usually not painful in itself and are found in the earlobe, elbow, Achilles tendon. However, tophi can trigger inflammation at the joints leading to gouty arthritis.
If you have parents who suffer from gout, there is 20% higher risk of developing it.
A diet rich in red meat, internal organs and alcohol increase the risk of developing gout over time.
Uric acid level increases in men during puberty and for women during menopause. Therefore, men develop gout at an earlier age than women.
People who suffer from gout attack can testify that it is very painful. While medication can help treat the symptoms but it does not cure or reverse it.
How to prevent or reverse gout?
1) High Purine Food
Avoid food high in purine; shellfish, red meat. Choose a diet of low-fat, low cholesterol instead. While some beans have relatively high purine, the risk of developing gout from purine in the bean is low
This is shown from a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine by H.K Choi and K. Atkinson on “ Purine Rich Food, Dairy & Protein Intake and the Risk of Gout in Man”.
2) Minimize Alcohol Intake
Even though alcohol does not contain purine, the metabolism of alcohol retains uric acid in the blood. Alcohol also dehydrate the body and promotes accumulation of uric acid
3) Drink plenty of water
Adequate water intake helps to flush out uric acid from the body. Dehydration causes accumulation of uric acid. Taking baking soda with the water every morning helps to neutralize the uric acid.
Milk protein reduces the uric acid level by increasing its elimination. Therefore, increase intake of non-fat milk and yoghurt can reduce incidence of gout attack.
5) Lose weight
Being overweight and overeating has been associated with gout. An obese person is 4 times more likely to develop gout. Losing weight will reduce the level of uric acid. But the weight lost should not be too fast, as this will in turn promote more accumulation of uric acid.
Try out these ways now to prevent and stop further gout attacks.
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