Preventing gout is a good way of keeping the body healthy while limiting chances of a gout attack. Lifestyle and diet play a significant role in preventing and even managing gout in the event of an attack. People at risk should employ prevention mechanisms to reduce the eminent risk of acquiring this painful and potentially disabling disease.
Gout is typically caused by an upsurge in the levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid finds its way into the blood stream as a byproduct of a purine diet. High purine foods include organ meats, beer, some seafood, and red meat. When the level of uric acid exceeds the tolerable amount in the blood stream, crystals are formed which are then deposited in soft tissues and joints. The body reacts by increasing inflammation in order to fight the crystal formation leading to excruciating pain in the joints. If you possess some of the risk factors associated with gout, you may get the disease at a certain point in life.
Adopting the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes helps you to lower the risk or reduce the magnitude of attacks. Medics who have studied the disease have identified a host of factors that increase the risk of acquiring gout and ways of combating them.
Gout is a genetic condition that happens more in males. This means that people with a history of gout in the family are at a higher risk of acquiring the disease. Diet, lifestyle, and the environment are some of the other risk factors. The chances of acquiring gout rise as a person ages and sometimes it affects women who have above the age of menopause. Some other factors that you can influence and lower include:
- Obesity or being overweight
- Taking foods high in purine
- Consuming alcohol
- High levels of cholesterol
- Increased blood pressure
- Lack of control of blood sugars for diabetics
- Certain medications such as aspirin, diuretics, cancer drugs, cyclosporine, vitamin, and niacin.
Tips of Preventing Gout
- Avoid high purine foods – Reduce and if possible, completely refrain from high purine foods such as red meat, seafood, asparagus, herring, sardines, organ meat, and mushrooms. Take at most 6 ounces per week and take substitutes such as tuna, cod, beans, chicken, and turkey.
- Increase the uptake of dairy products – Dairy products are rich in calcium and proteins. They include skim milk, cheese, and yogurt. Take at least two servings of these products every day.
- Be keen when choosing beverages – You should take a lot of water, at least between 10 and 12 glasses daily. Water is essential for supporting the kidneys to flush out excess uric acid from the body. Coffee is fine for people with a stable blood pressure. Beer should not be taken since it high in purines. Take at most 5 ounces of wine per day. Avoid soft drinks that have corn syrup with high fructose as this increases the risk of acquiring gout.
- Take a lot of vitamin C – Vitamin C is useful for lowering the risk of acquiring gout. It helps the body to break down excess uric acid. Take about 500 mg or more every day.
- Manage your weight – Shedding off weight will ease the strain on your body especially on the joints. However, this does not mean starving yourself since you will be denying the body of nutrients and weakening your system.
- Be keen on your health – Chronic health complications should be kept in check always. These include cholesterol levels and blood pressure. If you have prescriptions, you should take them as required. You should visit your physician regularly for checkups.
- Discuss with your doctor about your medications – Some medications may increase the risk of acquiring gout. You should find out from your doctor whether there are safer alternatives that do not expose you to the same risk. If there are no alternatives, the doctor may advise on possible ways of limiting the risk.
Preventing gout is a good way of reducing the risk of acquiring gout as well as the severity of the disease in case of an attack.