Gok Wan reveals he has gout on This Morning
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Arthirtis is a debilitating condition that can be broken down into several subtypes. Among the most painful forms of the disease is gout, which occurs when needle-like crystals build up in the joints. Symptoms are generally manageable with adequate treatment, but certain foods may best be avoided too.
According to Holland and Barrett, foods rich in purines are high on the list of dietary culprits behind gout attacks.
The health body adds: “These are chemical substances in certain foods that are broken down into uric acid inside the body.”
According to the UK Gout Society, a purine-rich diet can trigger a five-fold increase in gout attacks.
The health body adds: “Your diet plays an important role in both causing gout and reducing the likelihood of suffering painful attacks of gout.
“If you already suffer from gout, eating a diet that is rich in purines can result in a five-fold increase in gout attacks.”
Broadly speaking, foods high in purine include yeast extract, oily fish and seafood.
Though certain purine-rich vegetables have also been linked to gout attacks, reducing the amount of purine-rich products from animal origin is particularly important.
To prevent uric acid build-up from the diet, the UK Gout Society recommends limiting the intake of:
- Offal: Liver and kidneys, heart and sweetbreads
- Game: Pheasant, rabbit, venison
- Oily fish: Anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, sprats, whitebait, trout
- Seafood: especially mussels, crab, shrimps and other shellfish, fish roe, caviar
- Meat and year extract Marmite, Bovril, commercial gravy as well as beer.
The health body also stresses the importance of eating a balanced diet in the prevention of health woes like gout.
Certain other foods or drinks sweetened with fructose should also be avoided for example.
It says: “Foods and drinks sweetened with fructose (often seen labelled as glucose-fructose syrup or corn syrup), as well as sweetened host drinks, increase the risk of developing gout, as well as the number of gout attacks.”
What causes painful gout attacks?
When the kidney failed to filter out enough uric acid, or the body produces abnormally high amounts of it, microscopic crystals build up in the body.
One place these crystals conglomerate is in the joints, possibly because the temperature in these areas is slightly lower than the rest of the body.
“These crystals can cause the joint to become inflamed (red and swollen) and painful,” explained NHS Inform.
With treatment, most people are able to reduce their uric acid levels enough to prevent painful gout attacks.
However, lifelong treatment is usually required other symptoms may come back every few months or years.
“If you have frequent attacks or high levels of uric acid in your blood, you may need to take uric acid-lowering medicine,” adds the NHS.
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