Gout: Another metabolic disorder that can be controlled through lifestyle

If you have gout, the best possible way to manage it is by changing your lifestyle. An editorial published in the International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology suggested that gout, which is a rheumatologically oriented metabolic disease, can be controlled by making lifestyle and dietary changes.

Gout, as defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is a kind of arthritis that results in pain and swelling, as well as stiffness in the joints. Other symptoms of gout – which is typically a result of the build up of crystals made of uric acid in the joints – include redness and heat in the affected joints. Usually, it begins in the big toe, but it can also affect other joints in the feet, arms, and legs. It can also cause lumps under the skin and kidney stones.

Gout, in its early stage, may have attacks that start at night and come unexpectedly. These attacks are triggered by stressful events, alcohol, drugs, or other illness. Typically, its symptoms will last for at least three to 10 days.

Monoarul Haque of the Bangladesh Physiotherapy Association, author of the editorial, predicted that there will be an increase in the number of people affected by gout in the Western population. This is because people there are less aware of the food they consume. In fact, according to studies, approximately 12 percent of gout cases are associated with people’s dietary intake. They also include a strong link with the consumption of alcohol, fructose-sweetened drinks, meat, and seafood like anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, and tuna. Aside from these, physical trauma and surgery elicit the development of gout.

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The people who are at risk of gout are those who are overweight or obese, using certain medications like diuretics, drinking alcohol, eating or drinking food and drinks that are high in fructose, and having a diet rich in purines (which is an organic compound found in some food that the body breaks down into uric acid), insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and poor kidney function.

Some foods that are high in purine include red meat and organ meat. In addition, those who have certain health problems, such as congestive heart failure or high blood pressure, are also at risk of the development of gout.

Gout management

Gout can be managed without the use of medications. It can be controlled in natural ways by making lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, having a healthy lifestyle, and managing weight. The risk of gout can also be reduced by drinking coffee, taking vitamin C, consuming dairy products, and being physically active. In addition, a diet for gout patients should be able to control the levels of uric acid in the body, and at the same time promote proper overall health condition. (Related: Gout – Seek a drugless approach to this painful condition.)

There are certain foods that can help manage gout because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory symptoms. These include cherries, ginger root, apple cider vinegar, bananas, Epsom salt, apple, and lemon juice. In addition, limiting or even eliminating sugar, alcohol, and soda intake can help a person manage gout.

“Most of the times medical practitioners give priority on medication during consultation with patients but diet has significant/immense role if we want to control or prevent gout and to achieve this vigorous awareness campaign can be attempted, promoted as well as instituted,” Haque wrote.

Read more stories on ways to manage gout and other diseases at HealingArts.news.

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