Nodules in the elbows, hands, or ears? Joints problem? Severe pain? It is one possibility to have gout.
People who either produce too much uric acid, or more commonly, who have a problem in removing it from their bodies, have gout.
Gout is a disease characterized by an abnormal metabolism of uric acid, which leads to an excess of this acid in the tissues and blood. Too much uric acid in the body means acute or chronic gouty arthritis, kidney stones, and local deposits of uric acid in the skin and other tissues. Gout may occur alone or may be associated with other medical conditions or medications.
Gout symptoms include:
- Severe pain in the joints;
- The skin is red/purplish, it becomes itchy and, in time, it peels;
- Elevated temperature (high fever);
- The affected joints lose their flexibility;
- In some patients, in the initial stage, the gout may first appear as nodules in the elbows, hands, or ears.
Some patients experience no symptoms, so their condition can easily develop into chronic gout more.
Gout has long been associated with diet. When the human body metabolizes foods containing chemicals purines, it produces uric acid. Purines can be found naturally in the human body, as well as in food, such as organ meats, anchovies, asparagus, mushrooms and herring. As a result, gout treatment includes dietary restrictions, focusing on maintaining and controlling the production and on the elimination of uric acid, which may help prevent gout attacks or reduce their severity.
Gout diet rules:
- Reduce the consumption of foods rich in purine, such organ meats, red meat (beef, pork and lamb) herring, anchovies, mackerel, tuna, shrimp, lobster, scallops. The daily intake should be of a maximum of to 4 to 6 ounces (113 to 170 grams).
- Take your proteins from plants- especially from beans and legumes.
- Cut down on saturated fats. They indirectly contribute to obesity and gout.
- Limit the alcohol consumption to one or two 5-ounce (148 milliliter) servings of wine per day. Alcohol it interferes with the elimination of uric acid from your body.
- Drink at least 16 glasses of fluids, especially water, each day. Fluids help remove uric acid from the body.
- Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
- Consume more whole grains and fruits, vegetables and fewer simple carbohydrates.
- Limit or avoid sugar.
- Drink four to six cups of coffee a day (it lowers gout risk in men).
- Avoid fasting and rapid weight loss because these can provoke a gout attack.
- Avoid drinks high in fructose – females who regularly consume beverages with high fructose content are 74% more likely to develop gout (Boston University School of Medicine research).
- The diet should be complemented with anti-gout medication: NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), colchicine, steroids, Uloric (febuxostat), as prescribed by your doctor.
Following the gout diet, you will be able to lower the uric acid concentration. Most probably the gout will not be treated without medication, but the gout attacks will be less severe. Sticking to the gout diet, limiting your calories and exercising can improve your overall health by helping you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.