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Gout Treatment

 

Gout


Gout is a common type of arthritis caused by a buildup in the body of uric acid, which is found in meats and some other foods. When the level of uric acid rises to unhealthy levels in the body, it crystallizes in the joint cartilage and synovial tissue and fluid, causing sharp, needle-like pain in the joints, as well as fever, chills, and loss of mobility.



The condition is primarily a disease of men over age 30. In at least half of gout cases, the first attack is characterized by intense pain in the first joint of the big toe. If the attack progresses, fever and chills will appear, Initial gout attacks usually strike at night and are preceded by a specific event such as excessive alcohol ingestion, trauma, certain drugs, or surgery. Kidney stones and other kidney problems are present in 90% of gout sufferers, because urate crystals also accumulate in the kidneys.

Dietary treatment for gout sufferers is intended to reduce the production of uric acid to normal levels. Patients should eliminate alcohol intake, which both increases uric acid production and reduces uric acid excretion in the kidneys.

Gout sufferers should also maintain a low-purine diet, which completely omits organ meats, shellfish, yeast, herring, sardines, mackerel, and anchovies. Foods with moderate levels of purines, including dried legumes, spinach, asparagus, fish, poultry, and mushrooms, should also be curtailed. 

Focus should be on alkaline-forming foods such as vegetables.

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