Gout is a medical condition that is caused due to elevated uric acid levels in blood that are deposited as crystals in joints causing severe pain. Although multiple factors could contribute to the buildup of uric acid in body, individual lifestyle habits are reported as a common cause. In many gout cases, especially in the earlier stages, making changes in lifestyle could make great contributions to reducing the risk factors of gout.
As you grow into old age, you are more prone to gout and a family history of gout too could put you in the risk group.
Here are some of the lifestyle changes that you have to make to keep yourself at less risk for gout.
Avoid Foods That Increase Uric Acid Levels In The Body
The uric acid level in people with gout remains high because the body fails to excrete excess uric acid from blood and the people belonging to gout risk group should avoid foods that increase the uric levels. Foods naturally contain purine, a substance that could trigger a gout attack by increasing blood uric acid levels.
When the body digests purines, the waste product released is uric acid, which is not a matter of concern for healthy people as their body has proper mechanism to remove excess uric acids. But things are different with people having gout because the inefficiency of their body to excrete excess uric acid will lead to the accumulation of uric acid crystals that could lead to gout attacks. People with gout, as well as people belonging to the gout risk group have to avoid high-purine foods like meats, sea food, alcohol and beer.
However, studies have shown that vegetable foods that contain purines do not lead to elevated uric acid levels. Some studies have also suggested that foods that are high in sugar could increase the risk of gout even though they do not have high purine levels. They do so by interacting with several cellular processes.
Choose A Gout-Friendly Diet
For foods to be considered low-purine, they should have less than 100 mg of purine per 100 grams of their weights. Include foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts in your diet, as they are low in purine and are relatively safe. Fruits are generally safe for people with gout and cherries may prevent gout attacks lowering the levels of uric acid. While choosing dairy products, go for low-fat dairy products, as they are more beneficial for handling gout even though all types of dairy are gout-friendly.
Manage Your Weight
Excess body weight puts at you at greater risk of gout attacks because it increases insulin resistance of your body. When the body develops insulin resistance, excess sugar cannot be efficiently removed and the insulin resistance leads to elevated uric acid levels too.
Researches suggest that losing weight can help reduce insulin resistance and thereby lead to balanced uric acid levels. Take a note of the fact that losing weight very fast by eating very little food (crash dieting) might produce the opposite results. Always choose strategies that help you lose weight gradually.
Maintaining a healthy weight can contribute to the prevention of gout risk and regular exercise is the ideal practice that can help with it. In addition to managing weight issues, regular exercise helps lower the levels of uric acid as well.
One study conducted with 228 men found out that people who ran more than 5 miles every day had 50% lower risk of gout.
If the body has adequate supply of water, excess uric acid can be flushed out in the urine, and the uric acid levels in blood can be regulated. Thus staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is important to reduce gout risk especially when you exercise a lot because you lose a lot of water through sweat.
Limit The Consumption Of Alcohol
The possibility that body might prioritize the removal of alcohol over the removal of uric acid suggests that alcohol can trigger gout attacks. When the uric acid levels in the blood rise above the normal levels, they accumulate in joints and tissues as urate crystals.
Consider Taking Vitamin C Supplements
Research suggests that taking vitamin C supplements can help prevent gout attacks by lowering the uric acid levels in the body. It probably helps the kidneys to remove uric acid in urine. However, one study found out that vitamin C supplements could make no impact on gout.
The research on the effectiveness of vitamin C in controlling gout symptoms is new and more studies have to be conducted before you make strong conclusions.
In the earlier stages of gout, medication is not required and making suitable lifestyle changes like the ones discussed in this session can help prevent the progression of the condition into further stages. People belonging to the high gout risk group too should avoid habits that could lead to gout.