Can you prevent getting gout? Maybe not, in all cases. But lifestyle and healthy diet changes may lessen the risk of getting this disease. Take steps toward gout prevention now.
What do we mean by gout prevention? Gout has some risk factors that can be modified. Gout develops when your body has a high level of uric acid. Uric acid is made when purines are broken down in the body. Purines are substances found in most foods, especially seafood and meat. If there is too much uric acid, it can create crystals, formed like sharp needles, in the joints. This causes swelling and pain where these crystals lodge.
Heredity plays a part in contracting gout, so people with this factor will get the disease no matter what they do. There are diet and lifestyle factors that cause the level of uric acid to become high. Researchers have found several strategies for gout prevention that can help to decrease your risk of getting gout, or reduce your chance of a painful gout attack, if you currently have this disease.
When scientists think about gout prevention, they still do not know if people have much control over developing gout. Gout is influenced by your genes, environmental factor, and sex. Gout runs in some families, and you are likely to get gout if your family has a history of getting the disease. Men are more likely to get gout than are women. The gout risk increases as you get older.
There are however some factors that you can control:
• Diet rich in Purines
• Being overweight
• Drinking too much alcohol
• Having High cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Taking certain medicines, such as diuretics, low-dose aspirin, Vitamin B or niacin, some cancer drugs, and cyclosporine.
To reduce your risk of getting gout, you must restrict the number of purines you eat. Foods high in purines include salmon, sardines, and herring, mushrooms, asparagus, and organ meats. Seafood and red meat are also bad for you because they contain very high purine levels. Eating these foods increase your risk of getting gout.
Dairy products such as skim milk or yogurt are good foods for gout prevention. Your diet should include at least 2 servings of milk products each day.
Coffee, decaffeinated or regular, reduces your risk for gout. Alcohol, especially beer, is very bad for gout patients. Sweet drinks with high-fructose corn syrup are also associated with getting gout.
Taking Vitamin C tablets (500 milligrams daily) helps lower your risk of getting gout. It causes the uric acid to be excreted out of your body in your urine.
You should maintain your weight at a normal healthy level for your height. Being overweight increases your risk factor for developing gout.
Uncontrolled medical problems, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are associated with gout. You should follow your doctor’s orders and take the medications he prescribes to control these conditions.
Consider taking another medication if what you are taking now increases your gout risk. Talk to your doctor and ask if you can be switched to another drug.
If your gout risk worries you, see your doctor. The sooner you start on a plan for treatment, the sooner you can control your gout pain.