Many people associate gout with the royalty of long ago. There’s a reason for that. The root cause of gout — rich fatty foods — were the territory of the wealthy who could afford to buy them. Today, it can happen to anyone at any age.
Gout is actually a type of arthritis. The pain is the result of inflammation that occurs when crystals made of uric acid form deposits inside connective tissue and interferes with joint function.
The body makes uric acid from purines in certain foods. Most of the uric acid is eliminated from the body, but when the body makes too much uric acid, it collects in the joints and causes serious problems. Since the pain makes walking and standing difficult, you have to reduce your activities during a gout attack.
The affected joint also looks red and feels hot to the touch. The initial gout attack may last a few days, but each new attack lasts longer and the pain is more severe. You need a thorough medical evaluation for gout and will probably be given prescription drugs.
There’s also a lot that you can do to prevent the next gout attack. First, moderate your diet. Start by limiting or eliminating high purine foods such as organ meats, beef, pork, and lamb.
Alcohol, beer, and some seafood is problematic for uric acid including anchovies, herring, mussels, codfish, sardines, scallops, haddock and trout.
Next, add more gout preventative foods to your diet. Use low fat dairy products which can actually help prevent gout. Increase your consumption of low-purine foods such as cereal, fruit, bread, grain, pasta, rice, olives, cheese, eggs, tomatoes and some green vegetables.
Third, if you are overweight, start a weight loss program, and do all you can to improve muscle tone with moderate, regular exercise. You want to keep your body in the best shape possible. Don’t go on a fad diet or high protein diet –- that will cause more harm.
Fourth, be consistent in taking any prescription medications you take –- even during times when you don’t have gout pain. A gout attack can be triggered or worsened by stress, illness and alcohol use.
At the start of a gout attack you have to be extremely careful of certain foods and over-the-counter medications to avoid prolonging the attack. Because the pain makes walking and standing so difficult, you have to reduce your activities during a gout attack. You can live a full life even with gout if you take charge of the things you can control.