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What is GOUT ?

Gout (metabolic arthritis) is a condition where uric acid builds up in the joints, causing painful inflammation, redness and sometimes swelling. Gout is most commonly found in the big toe, particularly in men (nine out of ten sufferers are male), although it is more common in women after menopause.
Gout also appears to be hereditary, since 20% of those suffering from gout have a history of it in the family. Occurrences of gout are most common at night and can be quite acute. If left alone, the pain typically lasts anywhere between five and ten days, gradually subsiding, until it disappears.
Effectively, the body slowly dissipates the build-up of uric acid, but the cause is still there. Western medicine recommends the use of anti-inflammatory drugs to combat the pain, and uric-acid lowering drugs for prevention.

SYMPTOMS OF GOUT :
– Rapid severe pain in the big toe.
– The affected joints can become very tender and swollen, and can feel warm.
– The skin on the joint turns reddish.
– Most painful attacks last a few hours to a few days. In rare cases, it can last weeks.
– Some people experience other illness symptoms such as fever or chills, and an increased heartbeat.
– The inflammation from the uric crystals can lead to bursitis.

CAUSES OF GOUT :
– Being overweight, excessive alcohol consumption, and irregular kidney function all increase the risk of getting gout.
– Certain drugs are known to cause uric levels to rise. These include insulin, some antibiotics, cyclosporine, low dose aspirin, and others.
– Recent surgery.
– Injury to a joint.
– High blood pressure.
– Low thyroid hormone levels, known as hypothyroidism.

DIETARY CONSIDERATIONS :
– Fresh cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and other red-blue berries.
– Bananas.
– Celery.
– Tomatoes.
– Vegetables including kale, cabbage, parsley, green-leafy vegetables.
– Foods high in bromelain (pineapple).
– Foods high in vitamin C (red cabbage, red bell peppers, tangerines, mandarins, oranges, potatoes).
– Drink fruit juices and purified water (8 glasses of water per day).
– Low-fat dairy products.
– Complex carbohydrates (breads, cereals, pasta, rice, as well as aforementioned vegetables and fruits).
– Chocolate, cocoa.
– Coffee, tea.
– Carbonated beverages.
– Essential fatty acids (tuna and salmon, flaxseed, nuts, seeds).
– Tofu, although a legume and made from soybeans, may be a better choice than meat.

IMPORTANT NOTE :
Foods considered moderately high in purines but which may not raise the risk of gout include: asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, peas, spinach, whole grain breads and cereals, chicken, duck, ham, turkey, kidney and lima beans. It is important to remember that purines are found in all protein foods. All sources of purines should not be eliminated.

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