Gout is a condition that is unknown to many, especially those of the younger generations. But, for those of us who do know what Gout is, we definitely know that it is, by no means, pleasant or enjoyable. Gout is a form of arthritis that typically develops when a substantial amount of uric acid builds up in the blood. Uric acid releases shard-like objects into your joints, thus cause them to inflame. Gout most frequently “attacks” the big toe, often showing redness and swelling in the joints associated with that toe. Although the big toe is the most likely victim of Gout, this condition can also affect the ankle and knee.
How can I tell if it is Gout? Although you should see a doctor to be certain, these are symptoms that are associated with Gout:
- Tenderness of joints
- The pain is acute and develops rapidly
- Typically the pain increases exponentially overnight
What can I do to prevent Gout Attacks?
There is a plethora of things that you can do to help prevent Gout. One of the most prominent ways of stopping gout attacks before they develop is by maintaining a well-regulated diet. As we mentioned before, Gout is caused by the buildup of uric acid, so you should stay away from food that increases this acid, and instead look to eat foods that decreases uric acid. Foods that increase uric acid are, but not limited to : Meats, that is meat with high purines such as beef kidneys, liver, lamb, bacon (pork in general) and veal; Fish, that includes, cod, sardines, shrimp, and scallops; Vegetables such as asparagus, cauliflower, spinach and mushrooms (I know what you’re thinking, “now you’re going to tell me that vegetables are bad!?” but the truth is some vegetables, like the other categories mentioned, can trigger gout attacks).
Gout attacks are the most common among men that are over the age of forty. With this in mind, we know turn the conversation to Alcohol. God forbid that we do a regression (correlation) between American men over the age of forty and alcohol consumption—you get where the discussion is going now? The truth is, alcoholic beverages increase uric acid, which can cause gout attacks, so we urge you to keep your consumption low or avoid it completely—especially if you are over the age of forty.
Whether you have or have not experienced a gout attack, we hope that this information can help you. Although maintaining a well-regulated diet can help decrease your chances of having a gout attack, there are plenty of other ways; you should consult your doctor. For more information on Gout, check out these websites: