Gout is a type of arthritis that usually flares up in the big toe or a lower limb and goes away in a couple weeks. Hyperuricemia is the main cause of gout and the development of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, which is several risk factors that occur simultaneously, that may lead to diabetes and stroke. Hyperuricemia is an elevated uric acid level in the blood that is too high for the kidneys to filter out properly. The body is producing too much uric acid or the body does not excrete enough of it. Uric acid is produced in the body as a byproduct of the breaking down high purine foods. Gout is the build up of excess uric acid forming painful uric acid crystals in soft tissues and joints.
According to the Gout Education Society, gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, affecting more than 9.2 million Americans and on the rise. Middle aged men are generally more afflicted, and an obese person is three times more likely to develop gout.
When a gout attack strikes, in addition to taking medications that treat inflammation and drugs that treat the underlying metabolic condition of hyperuricemia, following a special diet can help at home.
Certain foods can lead to a increased risk of development of gout and hyperuricemia. According to the Arthritis Foundation, eating a diet avoiding or limiting high purine foods can reduce the risk of developing gout. High purine foods include beer, drinking soda or beverages and processed food that contain high-fructose corn syrup, and eating high protein animal sources such as seafood and shellfish, and meats like bacon, pork, turkey, lamb, veal, venison, wild game meats like goose and duck, and organ meats like liver, heart and sweetbreads.
The Gout Education Society recommends to minimize table sugar, table salt and any store-bought baked goods, cereals, ice cream, candy and processed foods at fast food restaurants.
Medium-purine foods should be limited as well but not to the extent as high purine foods. Medium purine foods include asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, green peas, beans, peas and lentils, oats, and wheat germ and bran.
There are several lifestyle changes to make at home. Know your benchmark, and every six months check your uric acid level. A healthy uric acid level is 6.0 mg/dL or below.
Maintain a healthy body weight that can reduce the amount of stress on your joints. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should exercise tailored to your body for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Always check with you doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Stay hydrated by consuming 64 ounces of water daily to help your body transport nutrients and waste while cushioning joints. If you are exercising then drink more water.
Men taking daily Vitamin C seem to lower the risk of developing gout.
Consume foods in your diet that are low in purine. Eggs, nuts, low fat cheese, skim milk, soup made without meat broth, fruits and vegetables not listed in the medium-purine list above, coffee, tea, popcorn, fat and oil are generally low in purine.
A study exploring the anti-hyperuricemic effects of chrysin concludes that chrysin improves hyperuricemia- related conditions. Chrysin is a flavonoid compound found naturally in honey, propolis, and mushrooms and is sited to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits.
A gout free life is possible. Food is one component that can be done at home to help control gout triggers. Cellular repair is possible through diet, lifestyle, water, and by taking certain herbs and vitamins.