Arthritis refers to any joint problem. Gout is a common form of arthritis that affects many Britons. It is caused by monosodium-urate crystals growing inside and around joints. This can cause sudden flare ups in severe pain, heat and swelling. This affects the feet, particularly the big toe and knee, ankle, wrist and wrist. Painful gout symptoms can be caused by certain things.
It is important to understand what causes gout before you can understand why.
“The most common cause of gout is high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream, medically known as hyperuricemia,” explained Cheryl Lythgoe, Matron at not-for-profit healthcare provider Benenden Health.
The expert continued: “Uric acid is a chemical that is produced when your body breaks down food and drink that contain organic compounds called purines.
“Purines are found in almost everything you eat and drink, however certain substances contain more than others.”
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The “worst”” foods for gout are those which are high in sugar and fat, meats such as bacon, turkey, beef, veal, venison, and organ meats such as liver, warned Ms Lythgoe.
Seafood and shellfish are also culprits, the expert said.
Research bears out these claims. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found eating a lot of meat and seafood increased the risk of gout.
Over a 12-year period, researchers prospectively examined the relationship between purported dietary risk factors and new cases of gout among 47,150 men who had no history of gout at the start of the study.
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What else should you watch out for?
The more alcohol a person consumes, the more likely they are to develop or trigger gout symptoms, warned Ms Lythgoe.
“All alcohol has different uric acids levels. Regular beers have the highest level of purine, while some low-alcohol beers contain more than twice as much.” she said.
Spirits and wine also contain purine so it’s “It is better to avoid everything altogether”.
According to the specialist, if you enjoy the occasional tipple that’s okay, but it’s important to try and moderate consumption.
Alcohol isn’t our only factor to consider as it’s also important to manage your diet appropriately.
“It is important to eat a varied diet high in whole grains, fruit, and vegetables to reduce the risk of a flare up,”Ms Lythgoe spoke.
The Department of Health recommends that you limit alcohol intake to 14 units per week. It also recommends that you avoid snacks, surgery drinks, and processed food like white bread, cake, and full-fat dairy products, such as cheese, milk, and butter, whenever possible.
“Other causes of gout can be crash dieting, stress, illness, and certain medications such as water tablets and aspirin,”The expert was also added.