Gout – What Is It and How to Reduce Your Risk

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Gout, once described as the “disease of kings”, is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the world. It is caused by the depositing of monosodium urate crystals into the joints and other tissues, causing pain, redness, heat, swelling and severe extreme sensitivity at the affected area. Hyperuricemia is generally defined by a serum uric acid level (SUA) above 6 mg/dl. This leads to an increased life-long risk for developing gout and the complication of joint damage that can subsequently occur from recurrent gout attacks. There is also some evidence that suggests that elevated uric acid levels may also pose as a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease.

Foods that should be avoided with elevated serum acid levels include products high fructose corn syrups – sweets and sugary drinks, for example, as well as alcohol, organ meats, game meats, fatty red meats, lamb, pork, bacon, turkey, and seafoods such as scallops and shellfish.

One of the best ways to prevent gout is to achieve a healthy weight, as being overweight increases the risk for developing it. Losing weight not only lowers this risk but lessens the overall stress on joints. Some research evidence also suggests that treating sleep apnea with a CPAP or similar device designed to increase oxygen intake while sleeping, may significantly lessen the frequency of gout episodes.

Another way of preventing gout is by making healthy dietary choices. Eat foods that are higher in complex carbohydrates, such as fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains and choosing leaner cuts of meats and poultry as well as low-fat dairy products. Staying well hydrated with non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages will help keep the kidneys healthy and help flush out uric acid from the body. In addition, some studies suggest that moderate intake of caffeinated coffee may reduce the risk of gout.

Not sure of your risk factors for developing gout? Talk to your clinician at Scottsdale Weight Loss Center on your next visit for further information.

References
Cleveland Clinic. “High Uric Acid Level: Causes, Risks, Treatment, Prevention.” https://myclevelandclinic.org. Accessed September 27th, 2022

Mayo Clinic. “Gout Diet.” https://mayoclinic.org. Accessed September 28, 2022

 

 

 

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