Gout may sound like a disease of the past – an affliction out of a novel by Dickens. Yet this painful condition is still very much with us and can affect anyone. But what exactly is gout, and what are the best ways to treat and live with it?
What is gout?
Gout is an inflammatory disease – a form of arthritis – that affects one or more of the body’s joints, particularly the big toe. Gout sufferers experience redness, swelling, tenderness, and considerable pain in the affected joints. Those who experience gout often describe joints with gout as feeling as if they are on fire.
What causes gout?
Gout is caused by the accumulation of urate crystals in the joints. These crystals are a byproduct of high levels of uric acid in the blood, which can be caused by the consumption of foods that are high in purines – a naturally occurring substance. When purines break down in your blood, uric acid is formed, and excessive levels can trigger the symptoms of gout. If your kidneys cannot expel these high levels of uric acid, pain-causing urate crystals can accumulate in your joints, causing gout.
Smart lifestyle choices help treat gout
Your doctor can diagnose gout and recommend medications to treat it. They’ll likely prescribe some lifestyle changes as well. Some of these are:
- Avoid foods with high levels of purines. Red meat and organ meats, as well as many types of seafood, contain high levels of purines. Drinks sweetened with fructose are also high in purines. Consult with your healthcare professional on how to modify your diet to avoid these
- Limit alcoholic beverages. Alcohol, especially beer, is high in purines. In addition, alcohol consumption can trigger inflammatory responses that make gout symptoms worse.
- Control your weight. If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to get gout. Getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet is an excellent long-term strategy to fight gout.
- Use supplements as an intervention against inflammation. Natural supplements have a proven record of fighting inflammation-causing immune responses like the ones that contribute to gout. Tested and proven supplements like UnFlame Herbal Supplement can help you boost your body’s response to inflammation.
Be sure to talk to your doctor
There are other factors that contribute to the incidence of gout, including family history, age, previous medical history, and responses to medication. If you think that you’re experiencing gout, it’s important to consult with your physician. In addition to the lifestyle modifications we’ve described, there are medications available to treat the symptoms of gout plus reduce the underlying causes.