Watch out for Gout – it’s more common than you think

Gout is one of those conditions that we probably associate with our grandparents or a scene from a Victorian print depicting an old man bursting out of his waist coat with his foot bandaged up and resting on a stool while he sips on a glass or port. However, the reality is quite different in Europe where gout has been steadily on the rise for the past 16 years with around 1.6 million sufferers in the UK alone and that number is rising by 4% each year. Gout is still one of the most common inflammatory joint diseases (caused by an accumulation of needle-like uric acid crystals within the joints) but it looks like it’s being rather neglected. Luckily, there is a lot that can be done to help yourself and minimise your personal gout risk. The first step is to check your weight and see if you need to drop a few pounds. If you are partial to a few pints of beer it’s generally advised to cut this and avoid other alcoholic tipples such as spirits and red wine. Although it sounds like a mixed massage regarding the red wine which is generally lined to better heart health in those prone to the metabolic errors that cause uric acid to rise unusually high red wine is best avoided. Sadly, the same can be said for other ‘healthy’ options such as oily fish; in those who are gout prone these foods (and shellfish) can trigger flares. Finally, try and keep high fructose drinks (fruit juices for example) and yeast extracts low along with offal meats such as liver. Increasing your intake of cherries can help the body eliminate excessive uric acid (or cherry supplements such as CherryBomb if the actual fruits are hard to find) and dosing up on fish oil capsules (to get the best from the omega 3,6 and 9) to help make up for the lack of oily fish in the diet. If you suspect you may have a touch of gout its best to get it checked at your doctors, all that is needed is a simple blood test to determine your uric acid levels.


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