Monday, August 22, 2011
What is Gout?
I always wondered about gout but never took time to learn about it. When I was very young, that's a term I always heard but never fully understood it. My dad has it. My grandfather had it. Several living and now deceased people in my family suffered from it. I kept thinking that it must be hereditary, so I figured I’d look it up and check it out thinking that I might end up with it one day.
In the arthritis family, gout is marked by pain and inflammation in and around the joints, like fingers, toes, wrists, and so forth. My research has shown me that oftentimes, it can affect a single joint but in more chronic cases, it can affect many different joints. I was happy to know that although a person can have a propensity for gout based on family history, like many other conditions, lifestyle can play a huge role in it and it isn't necessarily herditary. People with gout, caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body, often have other conditions such as obesity, kidney disease, diabetes, and some blood cancers, or they consume large quantities of alcohol, red meat, or eat foods high in fats and sugar. It’s more common for a man to get gout, but some women can get it too.
Diet and exercise can make a big difference. Persons with a diet high in fiber and low in saturated fats are less likely to get gout. This is yet another reason why I maintain and am supportive of a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle, because another way to describe a vegetarian/vegan diet is a high fiber-low fat diet.
There are lots of great resources about gout. Look them up when you have time. You can look at these, for starters: