Gout is an inflammatory condition of the joint in which the deposition of urate crystals forms in the joint cavity. Gout comes in flares with the period of complete resolution in between the flare intervals. The first attack of gout commonly involves a big toe called podagra. Flares may involve any joint of the body, commonly the knee, ankle, and other joints.
The first attack of gout is acute and resolves without causing permanent damage to the joints. However, if recurrent attacks occur, they can cause permanent deformation of the joint that is extremely painful. However, there are certain things that you can do to prevent gout.
Before talking about gout prevention, let’s see why these urate crystals get deposited in the joint cavity. It is because of the higher-than-normal concentration of serum Uric Acid (sUA). This occurs because of greater than normal proteins inside the body, which causes increased purine metabolism and leads to higher urate concentration. So, logically, if you can maintain your sUA concentration, you won’t get gout.
People Prone to Developing Gout
Not everyone is at a higher risk of gout. However, some people have a greater tendency to gout. Some risk factors are mentioned below:
- Being a male, especially between 30 and 50 years
- Alcohol consumption
Other than the reasons mentioned above, you can have gout if you have the following medical conditions:
- Kidney diseases
- Diabetes mellitus
People who are at a higher risk of developing gout should take extra care for the sake of prevention.
Prevention of Gout
You can save yourself from arthritis and deformation of joints by following these strategies:
Cutting off Alcohol
Alcohol is responsible for increasing the purine metabolism and the incidence of gout, both the initial attacks as well as the flares. So, limiting alcohol in your diet may help prevent gout. Just a glass of wine or liquor can increase the uric acid level. You can replace it with something healthier and full of nutrition.
Alcohol imposes many health risks other than gout. Whether you are prone to getting gout or not, you should limit alcohol intake from your diet to save yourself from multiple ailments.
Losing Weight and Maintain a Normal BMI
If you are obese and having excess protein regularly, it may harm your general health as well as increase the urate load in the body. Eat raw veggies and citrus fruits and involve yourself in a workout. This will help you lose extra fat as well as improve your health and immunity. Exercising regularly helps your defense mechanism to be active and thus protects your body in various ways.
Obesity can lead to several diseases. It can not only cause gout, but a lot of health conditions are likely to develop if you have a greater than normal BMI. A balanced diet and regular workouts can help you lose weight.
Drinking water has plenty of benefits. A rule of thumb is to drink approximately 3.7 liters of water a day for an adult man. For women, it is around 2.7 liters per day. You might be thinking about how drinking water helps in the prevention of gout. Well, hydration helps your kidney remain healthy and removes extra waste in the urine. This prevents the accumulation of uric acid or other waste inside the body. No accumulation means no gout.
Drinking water also helps you stay fit. There are millions of benefits of staying hydrated. So, get yourself a water bottle and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Avoid or Limit Foods that Are High In Protein
If you are prone to gout, keep a check on your diet and avoid foods with a high protein ratio. These foods include seafood, red meat, sugar-sweetened, and canned foods. Soybeans and sardines are also known to have a high concentration of purines. Sugary foods should be avoided as well. Added sugar in any form, for example, table sugar and corn syrup, are prohibited.
It has been reported that coffee reduces the risks of gout flares. Therefore, don’t hesitate to drink coffee if you are craving it. However, researchers are still testing the authenticity of the hypothesis that coffee helps lower serum urate levels.
Also, you can rely on low-fat and non-dairy items for maintaining blood urate levels.
Have Foods that Prevent Gout
Yes, certain foods can shield you against gout. For instance, cherries have been known to have the effect that prevents gout. You can eat around 1 to 3 servings of cherries in 48 hours.
Who doesn’t like fruits like cherry? Having cherries as prevention is like a preventive delight, isn’t it? Don’t hesitate, go to the mart, and buy yourself a pack of cherries. Stay healthy and happy.
And yes, before buying foods, check labels for any added sugar. Fructose in refined sugar is absorbed in a rate faster than natural foods. You should only prefer natural foods over processed ones. Also, go for skimmed milk powder as it helps boost your immunity and prevent gout.
Vitamin C, if taken more than 500 mg per day, can aid in gout prevention. You can eat the whole orange or drink fresh orange juice to increase vitamin C in your body. Strawberry is also one of the excellent sources of vitamin C. In addition to that, you can also take vitamin C supplements.
Avoid Medications That May Trigger Gout
Some medications may increase the urea level of serum. It may be a direct effect or due to drug-to-drug interaction. So, you should consult your general physician before going for any random medicine.
If you have high serum uric acid level, you can have medications that can help prevent gout. Some medications are enlisted below. But make sure to consult your doctor before opting for any of them.
- Xanthine oxidase inhibitors
These drugs help lower uric acid levels by either decreasing its formation or enhancing its excretion from the kidneys.
If you are under physical or emotional stress, you may be at a higher risk of getting gout flares. Keep yourself calm and stay at a distance from gout. For this, you can implement some relaxation exercises in your routine. It may be Pilates, yoga, or meditation.
Moreover, balance your sleep-wake cycle, which also lowers the overall stress of a body. If you have a sleeping problem, you should consult your general physician.
Maintain your Insulin Levels
Having excess levels of insulin in your bloodstream may cause an increase in the uric acid level. So, if you are diabetic, you should be careful to maintain normal insulin levels in your body.
Have More Fibers In Your Diet
Having fibers in your diet will help the kidney excrete excess uric acid from the body. It thus acts as a mediator for its removal from your body. At least 5 to 10 grams of fiber should be consumed a day. Foods containing fibers include oats, nuts, barley, etc.
It is important to be conscious about your health as good health is the blessing one can have. If you are healthy, you are independent of anything.
Arthritis is not something that you can cure completely. It stays with you your whole life. So, why keep a disease as your companion when you can prevent it? Follow these simple steps and have a strict check on your serum urate level to help your joints stay healthy. When your joints are in good health, you can enjoy doing any chore without feeling gout pain.