Gout is a painful form of arthritis that occurs when high levels of uric acid in the blood form crystals and accumulate in and around the joint. However, gout can still occur without high UA levels. The onset of gout is sudden with severe joint pain, redness (feels like the joint is on fire) and is tender to the touch. It often occurs at the base of the big toe, but can affect other joints as well. It is a type of arthritis which creates inflammation in the affected area. Men are more prone than women to have gout. The chances for women increase after menopause. Areas affected are the joints, bursae (sac between bones in joints), tendon sheaths and kidneys.
Gout arthritis increases bone fracture risk notably due to low vitamin D levels but also oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines induced by hyperuricemia. Inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress can increase bone resorption and decrease bone formation increasing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Uric acid is produced when purines (a naturally occurring chemical in the body and some foods) are broken down during digestion. UA normally passes through the kidneys and exits through urine without issue. Higher levels due to excess production of UA or failure to eliminate properly triggers the condition.
• Family history
• Age and sex
• Obesity (UA levels higher primarily due to lowered elimination)
• Medical Conditions: HBP, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, kidney disease, kidney stones, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, psoriasis
• Any disease that increases UA levels
• Certain medications: Diuretics (helps body to eliminate fluid), low-dose aspirin, Cyclosporine (immunosuppressant), niacin-B vitamin (if taken in large amounts).
A healthy diet (fruit, veggies, whole grains) can help alleviate or prevent this painful disease. Cherries have been shown to reduce symptoms. Foods to avoid due to their sugar content or purine levels are:
• Steak and organ meats
• Sweetbreads and other sugary food and sodas
• Seafood such as anchovies, shellfish, sardines and tuna are higher in purine than other types but the health benefits of of fish may outweigh the risks
• Alcohol and beer (avoid during gout attacks), wine doesn’t appear to increase risk
High quality supplements can play a positive role in treating gout. They can also improve metabolism, reduce inflammation, improve kidney function and filtration, and may help keep UA levels normal. Certain antioxidants also help to reduce inflammation as well as reduce frequency and severity of attack.
Vitamin D: High levels of UA inhibit vitamin D production. D deficiencies are common with gout.
Grape Seed extract with Vitamin C: Best supplement Dr. Ladd has seen to reduce symptoms of gout. Patients had great success reducing pain and recurrence of gout flare ups. Doses varied with patients.
Joint support with curcumin (turmeric extract) mixed with vitamin C and several other important supporting ingredients creates a synergistic safe anti-inflammatory response that reduces pain effectively, while at the same time helps heal the tissues.
If you feel you may be at risk it may be time to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle. As we used to say in the olden days,” ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Here’s to Health.