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What Is Gout?

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:




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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi Will -
    my father-in-law had gout nearly all his life (he died at the age of 93 so I don't worry too much about him having too much fat in his diet!!), and it was always worse when he'd been eating a lot of red meat. His go-to cure was CHERRIES - it didn't matter if fresh, preserved, frozen, jelly, jam, pie filing, he would go through cherries.

    As I learned about gout reading up a lot over the past 15-20 years, I realized I probably was at risk for gout myself - but since I have always loved Cherries, I guess I never had a problem with the gout because I'm always eating cherries!!

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    so next time you are tempted by a luscious cherry cheese cake - dig in! the gout you prevent might be your own!!

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    2445 days ago
    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!
    2465 days ago
    My step-dad has it and my grandfather had it at the end. I have a hard time figuring safe foods out for my step-dad because he has gout, high blood pressure, hypoglacimic, rhymitod authritis, and high cholestorol.
    2466 days ago
  • -PAULA
    Thanks for the information. I am trying to help my mom understand this as she was told by a doctor last year she had gout.
    2466 days ago
    Diet does contribute to gout! Good for you for doing the researdh and for staying healthy!
    2466 days ago
  • LADYDI2049
    Good information Will, diet is important and fruits like pineapple, grapes and cherries help lower the uric acid, but to keep it from building up in the first place foods high in purines should be avoided. Some of those foods are: game meats, scallops, asparagus, dried beans, mushrooms and peas, these are the most common. It is important to be educated on health issues that run in families as most can be prevented when you know ahead of time.

    2466 days ago
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