For the next several weeks, most of us will be eating more than we should. And not more raw veggies or salad either. Holiday foods (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years) tend to be rich, fatty, sweet and heavy. Ah, just thinking about it all makes my mouth water!
All this rich food can lead to gout. Gout is an increase in production of uric acid in the bloodstream that sees joints becoming swollen and painful.
This kind of arthritis affects at least 3 million American and is increasing due to poor diet and obesity. It is often first seen in the big toe, and the flare ups can spread to joints like ankles and wrists and become so painful that even wearing clothes can hurt.
While some sufferers do not employ a diet rich in gravies, sauces and foods like liver and beer, many people find that their outbreaks of gout come after over-eating or over-drinking. Hence why this disease was formerly known as the "Disease of Kings" since poorer people did not have access to large amounts of food or drink.
Attacks of gout can last several days and some can suffer attacks often, whereas others can escape for several years without experiencing the painful condition.
In severe cases, kidney disease can occur and gout patients can experience what is known as "tophi", where the uric acid crystallizes and forms bumps on the joints. People who have this tophi can see their hands or feet permanently deformed with this bumps.
There is no sure fire way to avoid gout but a diet filled with green and raw foods can help, as can staying away from eating animal organs (like kidneys or liver) as well as seafood, and avoiding rich foods in general. Binge eating or drinking are reported to trigger attacks. High protein meals should be limited, as should high sugar foods like jams, soda pop and candy.
Good foods to eat include low fat dairy, celery, pineapples, strawberries, blueberries, foods high in potassium (bananas) and foods high in Vitamin C like oranges, potatoes and cabbage).
Outbreaks of gout are generally treated with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen, and corticosteroids.
For more information on gout, click here www.gout.com
Do you (or someone you know) suffer from gout? What triggers an attack? What do you do to prevent and treat this condition?
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