Gout is inflammation of the joints that occurs due to too high uric acid in the body (hyperuricemia).
This disease is one type of arthritis or joint inflammation that usually occurs. When gout attacks, it causes joints to feel sore, swollen, and difficult to move and walk. Joints affected are commonly in the feet, ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and hands.
More serious gout will cause swelling of the big toe or hand.
Signs and symptoms
The most common signs and symptoms of gout are:
Joint pain is severe and sudden and usually first occurs in the morning.
The joint feels warm and soft when pressed.
Symptoms or attacks of gout can last for days or weeks. However, in severe cases, attacks can last longer.
What causes gout?
The cause of gout is the uric acid that is too high in the body.
Under normal conditions, uric acid will be excreted by the body through urine and feces. However, if normal uric acid levels are excessive, these substances eventually accumulate and form crystals around the joints.
This buildup of urate crystals then causes inflammation. Uric acid levels that are too high can be caused by an unhealthy diet, such as eating too many purine-containing foods. However, not everyone with high uric acid levels will experience gout.
Gout can be cured?
Gout pain cannot be completely cured, however, patients can control the gout pain in question. Patients can practice preventative measures such as maintaining weight, drinking plenty of plain water, and taking breakfast that contains about 100 to 150 mg of uric acid daily.
The problem of gout has almost doubled after the festive season as people including patients themselves do not control their eating patterns
How to Manage Gout?
Achieve ideal weight and good eating habits
Avoid some (not all) foods that are high in purines
Eat good food and help control uric acid levels
Diet for gout
Weight loss – being overweight increases the risk of developing gout. Studies suggest calorie and weight loss can lower uric acid levels and reduce gout attacks. Weight loss will also reduce stress on the joints.
Complex carbohydrates-eat fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains that supply complex carbohydrates. Avoid foods and beverages that contain high-fructose corn syrup, and limit drinking naturally sweet fruit juices. Metabolism of fructose in the body will produce uric acid which in turn increases its level in the blood.
Drink – stay hydrated by drinking plenty of plain water.
Fat-avoid saturated fat intake from meat, processed meats, chicken/duck fat, and high-fat dairy products.
Protein – choose lean meat/poultry, low-fat dairy products, and legumes as protein sources.
Food or supplement recommendations
Internal organs-avoid the intake of internal organs such as the liver, lungs, stomach, spleen, and others: they contain high levels of purines and increase the level of uric acid in the blood.
Red meat – limit your intake of beef, lamb, and pork.
Seafood – some types of seafood such as anchovies, clams, sardines, and cod contain higher purines than others. However, the benefits of fish consumption outweigh the risks for gout patients. Therefore, moderate fish intake is recommended.
High purine vegetables studies have shown that the purine content in vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, and cauliflower does not increase the risk of gout attacks.
Alcohol – Beer and liquor increase the risk of gout and recurrent gout attacks. Consumption of wine in moderation does not increase the risk of gout attacks. Avoid alcohol during a gout attack, and limit alcohol, especially beer at other times.
Sugary foods and drinks – limit/avoid sugary foods such as sweet cereals, sweet cakes, and pieces of bread/bakeries. Limit your intake of naturally sweet fruit juices.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C may help lower uric acid levels. Talk to your doctor/dietitian about the suitability of a 500 mg vitamin C supplement with your diet and medical plan.
Coffee – there are studies that suggest moderate coffee consumption is likely to help reduce the risk of gout. However, coffee intake may not be appropriate if you have other medical problems. Talk to a dietitian to determine the appropriate amount of coffee in your diet.
Diet for gout patients can help inhibit the formation of uric acid and increase its elimination. However, this diet cannot lower the concentration of uric acid enough to treat gout. Medications are still needed in addition to a proper diet to help reduce the frequency of gout attacks and the severity of gout.
An appropriate diet, in addition to calorie control and constant exercise is necessary to improve the overall health of gout patients by helping to achieve and maintain an ideal weight.