Gout -What is it?
Gout or gouty arthritis is popularly known as rich man’s disease. It is a medical condition in which a person encounters pain usually in the joints, be it elbow, knee joint, big toe, in simple terms it is a joint pain, which can affect any bone in our body. It is a kind of arthritis in which malfunctioning metabolism of uric acid results in arthritis. Gout usually affects the bones in feet, phalanges or finger bones.
How would you know if you are suffering from Gout? Gout can affect anybody and everybody. It was believed that only men are prone to getting this medical condition, but women are equally prone and likely of getting this disease; more so after menopause.
Most obvious symptoms are pain, swelling, and redness in the big toe area. That is the first area where gout attack takes place. However, gout can also give rise to kidney stones. At times, a person who has gout also gets fever in severe cases. The skin around the gouty joint often becomes flaky and starts peeling off on its own. Gouty arthritis often causes body aches.
Unhealthy lifestyle is the main cause of gouty arthritis. The cause of gout is the elevated levels of uric acid in our blood. Uric acid is formed purine, a chemical found in our body naturally breaks down, but there are certain foods which are rich in purine. This chemical called purine breaks down to form uric acid in our body. This uric acid often crystallizes, and the crystals get deposited in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues, often causing pain, redness, and swelling. Gout can also lead to kidney stones. Sometimes, gout occurs because it is a hereditary disease.
Just like any other health disease, people suffering from gout need to adhere to certain rules as far as food and diet is concerned. First of all, people with gout need to avoid foods rich in purine, which elevates the uric acid level in our body, such as meat, certain kinds of fish such as sardines, salmon, seafood, mushroom, spinach, peas, tomatoes, and egg yolk. Food rich in artificial sweetener should be consumed in limited quantities. Sweet bread, sweet potato, should also be avoided. Also, one should stick to vegetarian foods as far as possible. Consumption of low fat milk and curd is advisable. Alcohol consumption can worsen this disease. Hence, limiting or best avoiding alcoholic drinks can help minimize the pain caused due to gout.
The best treatment for gout is to take about 8-12 glasses of water daily. Increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables and limit the use of meat and chicken. Taking fresh fruit juice minus sugar helps to lower the uric acid level in our body. Regular exercise is a must to promote blood circulation in the body. However, if the condition has become severe, taking medicines, such as Ayurvedic medicines can help to lessen the uric acid levels without any side effects on our body. Though this disease is not life-threatening, it often restricts food choices that we have. Also, diet is the most important factor to minimize gouty arthritis.
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