What is gout? It’s a form of arthritis where the body reacts to irritating crystal deposits in the joints. Gout typically involves intense pain in a joint, which could be in the big toe, knees, ankles, elbows, thumbs or fingers. Gout feels like a painful “attack” that surprises a person, coming unexpectedly. While the pain usually subsides after a couple days, gout can recur at any time.
About 8 million Americans deal with gout, with more men getting it than women. Rare for children and young adults, gout usually occurs between the ages of 30 and 50; Women are more likely to get gout after menopause.
Who’s most likely to get gout? Those who are overweight or have high blood pressure. Therefore, if you want to avoid gout, do whatever it takes to lose weight and lower your blood pressure.
Gout is brought on by an excess of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is produced in the body, but it also comes from a person’s diet. Normally, extra uric acid leaves the body through urine. However, sometimes the body makes too much uric acid and/or fails to get rid of excess uric acid through urination… and then crystals of “monosodium urate” form in a person’s joints/tendons, causing inflammation, swelling, redness, and pain. People get gout.
To prevent gout there are several things you can do. For starters, cut down your intake of alcohol– beer included. Other drinks to avoid are those sweetened with fructose (fruit sugar). In essence, drink more water. Also, if you tend to eat huge amounts of meat (bacon) or seafood (mussels, sardines), cut down on those as well. And, just as you’d expect to hear, it’s important to exercise regularly, which will help you lose weight. If your body is at a healthy weight, such that you’re not obese, then you reduce your risk of gout.
Two things thought to reduce uric acid levels are Vitamin C (oranges, cherries) and coffee– while there’s no conclusive evidence for this, it’s generally assumed they can help.
Do you appreciate advice to help you eat/drink better and feel healthier? Lakewoods Chiropractic can help you “get on the right track” to looking and feeling better– make your appointment for chiropractic care today by calling 651-464-0800.