It's high time (eleventh hour) for talking about gout prevention.
Because you're a senior?
Because gout is one of the most often recorded chronic illnesses in history?Because way too many people needlessly suffer from and with it?
Yes, gout prevention is an important topic for all the above reasons.
This is what gout is. It's a form of arthritis manifested through chronic inflammation in a joint. It is very common in a person's big toes, but can also affect ankles, knees, elbows, fingers, and wrists.
The pain it causes can be excruciating and may last for several days.
Damage to the joints can include loss of mobility.
Most types of arthritis are caused by a constant compromise of the immune defense system.
Gout however is the result of your body's metabolism.
Due to being overburdened by lots of purine-rich food such as meats and organs, and the resulting overproduction of uric acid, the body – by way of its kidneys – cannot eliminate the excess.
Fowl and certain types of fish and seafood are also high in purines and protein. There is an undeniable link between seafood and gout.
Reaching a certain level of uric acid in the blood causes a form of monosodium urate crystals which are deposited in connective tissue, tendons and joints, provoking intense inflammation.
Weight gain and obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, hypothyroidism, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney dysfunction, as well as certain medications, are contributing factors in the development of gout.
Heavy alcohol consumption is a known culprit.
2.1 million Americans are afflicted with gout. There is a genetic aspect, albeit a minor one.
The main objective seems to be a necessary change in diet. Gout is a form of arthritis that is most affected by diet.
A diet rich in whole, unprocessed plant food with emphasis on vegetables and fruits is advisable. Look for the ones with an abundance of vitamin C, as this vitamin helps lowering uric acid levels.
Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains must be a major part of a healthy diet. Oats, brown rice, barley, millet, spelt, amaranth, and many others come to mind.
Legumes, such as beans, peas and lentils (and lots of them – to crowd out the meats from your plate) are excellent sources of plant protein.
And even though legumes, mushrooms, spinach and cauliflower are also high in purines, according to studies there is no increased risk associated with eating these as part of a healthy plant-based diet.
One of my most frequent recommendations is drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This advice is especially valid when it comes to gout prevention.
Reducing body weight is a good idea in any case – not just to prevent gout.
Reducing the consumption of alcohol is always very helpful.
Greatly reducing the consumption of sodas (high fructose corn syrup) may be a good idea.
P.S. I read some outrageous statement somewhere claiming that medications for gout "reduced the need for dietary restrictions, although some dietary modifications can decrease the severity of gout attacks."
I strongly recommend to all seniors that changing one's dietary lifestyle to a plant-based diet offers by far the best chances for gout prevention.
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