People with gout have a 25 percent greater likelihood of dying prematurely than people without gout, according to the Arthritis Foundation. This increased mortality rate has not improved over the past 16 years, unlike the mortality rate for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This is why it is important that you know all you can about gout. It can be more dangerous than just painful joints.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis. It is caused by too much uric acid in your bloodstream that is then deposited as sharp crystals in one or more joints of your body. Uric acid is a normal by-product of the breakdown of purines which are found in our bodies and in the food that we eat. The excess uric acid causes the condition known as hyperuricemia.
What Joints Are Affected by Gout?
The joint most commonly affected is the joint in the big toe but joints in the elbow, knee, hand or ankle can also be affected.
What Is A Gout Flare-Up?
Gout causes severe pain during attacks that are referred to as flare-ups. During a flare-up there is pain, swelling and/or redness in the afftected joint. These symptoms are caused by inflammation which is a key component of all types of arthritis especially rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
Is Gout Acute Or Chronic?
Gout can be either acute or chronic. The chronic form of gout is called Chronic Tophaceous Gout. This is where nodular masses of uric acid crystals are deposited in various soft tissue areas of the body. They are most commonly felt as hard nodules aroung the fingers, at the tip of the elbows and around the big toe. However these hard nodules can appear anywhere in the body.
What Is The Difference Between Acute and Chronic Gout?
- Usually only 1-3 joints are affected.
- You will only feel symptoms during attacks.
- Attacks may last from a few days to a week.
- After attacks, you will not feel symptoms.
- You may start by having acute gout but worsen to chronic gout overtime if attacks happen more often.
- Multiple joints are usually affected.
- Pain is usually present all of the time or there are short intervals between gout attacks.
- Chronic gout can lead to permanent joint stiffness, damage, and deformity.
Is Gout Dangerous?
It is easy to think of gout as a painful but less serious type of arthritis. One should be careful not to make that mistake. Gout is serious and potentially deadly in it’s own right.
A large research team conducted a review of the existing literature on the relationship between cardiovascular disease and two forms of inflammatory arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
The traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease include race, sex, age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes. But in the last few years, researchers have started adding risk factors like systemic inflammation and diseases such as arthritis and gout.
According To Studies On Rheumatoid Arthritis.
1. People with rheumatoid arthritis have up to twice the risk for atherosclerosis that people without arthritis have.
2.Their heart attack and heart failure risks are doubled.
3.Chances of suffering a stroke increase by 50 percent
4. They are 54 percent more likely to die early, with a life expectancy reduced by between six and seven years.
The Research On Gout Is Equally Bad.
1. People with gout are twice as likely as people without it to have high blood pressure.
2. Gout sufferers are more likely than the general population to be obese, with an increased risk of 60 percent versus 44 percent.
3. Gout sufferers are twice as likely to have high cholesterol.
4. While eight percent of the non-gout population has diabetes, 26 percent of the gout population does.
5. By the time gout is diagnosed, patients already have a 33 percent greater chance of having heart disease, and this risk increases as the gout sets in and progresses.
6. People with elevated urate in their blood have a greater risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, even if they don’t yet suffer from gout.
7. While the occurrence of congestive heart failure is two percent in the non-gout population, it is 10 percent in the gout population.
8. People with gout are 29 percent more likely to die of heart disease than people without gout
Foods That Cause Gout Flare Ups
Red Meat – Red meats are high in purines, the substance that breaks down and causes the deposits in joints. Lamb is know to have the highest concentration of purines. To avoid or minimize gout flare-ups, limit consumption of red meats.
Fish – Fish, such as herring, tuna, mackerel, sardines and anchovies are high in purines and should be avoided or limited as well. It is good to know that Salmon is relatively low in purines so it is safe to eat in moderation.
Wild Game – Also high in purines with rabbit, venison, quail, pheasant, and goose being the highest. Eating them will increase the risk of gout attacks. Choose white meats to be safe.
Scallops – High in purine content, again. Safer choices are lobster, shrimp, salmon, and crab, as they have lower purine content.
Organ Meats – It is best to eliminate tongue, liver, brains, kidney, and sweetbreads to minimize gout attacks.
Beer – When beer is broken down in the body there is a spike in uric acid level. This may be due in part because beer causes dehydration which slows the elimination of uric acid. It is best to avoid alcohol wherever possible, but moderate consumption of wine is generally fine.
Sugary Drinks -These beverages contain high fructose corn syrup which can stimulate the production of more uric acid and increase the risk of gout attacks. Try to avoid all foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup when trying to prevent gout attacks. Fruit juices and herbal teas are good substitutes.
Vegetables (some) – People with gout should consume a diet rich in vegetables but some veggies are high in purines. These include asparagus, mushrooms, peas, spinach, and cauliflower. It is a good idea to also avoid dried fava and garbanzo beans.
Fruits (some) – Some fruits cause increased production of uric acid. Dates, prunes, lychees, plums, and pears are on the list of fruits to avoid. Most individuals prone to gout attacks can consume them in moderation as long as they take care to avoid other high fructose corn syrup drinks and/or purine rich foods in the same day.
What Foods To Eat For Gout
Complex Carbohydrates – Complex carbohydrates can reduce gout flares-ups. Fruits, whole grains, and vegetables are great for managing gout because they are digested slowly therefor preventing the purine spikes in the blood. While fresh fruits are beneficial avoid naturally sweet fruit juices with their high concentrations of fructose. Fructose breaks down quickly and can result in the purine spikes that can trigger an attack.
Reducing Calories – I know this is not a food but weight loss reduces inflammation and gout attack risk. Excess body fat increases the risk of gout. This is especially true of visceral fat also referred to as belly fat. Uric acid is eliminated through the kidneys and we want them to function well. Being overweight or obese decreases the efficiency and functioning of the kidneys.
Drink Water – Drinking water accomplishes two goals. It dilutes the uric acid levels in the blood and it flushes the organs. The more water you can consume, the more uric acid will be excreted. Therefore decreasing the risk of urate crystals in the joints.
Healthy Fats – We are primarily talking about Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. We do not produce them naturally so we have to get them from our diet. Supplements are not nearly as good as getting your Omega -3’s from food, such as salmon. Omega-3s are well-known anti-inflammatories that are helpful in managing gout symptoms.
Lean Protein – Eggs, nuts, seeds, and tofu are safer choices than beef, shellfish and organ meats. Also, integrate low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt to decrease the risk of gout attacks.
Gout can’t kill you directly, but it can cause serious health problems that may eventually kill you.
Chronic systemic inflammation is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and inflammation is precisely the mechanism behind the pain caused by gout.
The good news is that it is relatively easy to reverse gout using a simple lifestyle change explained in this FREE report. Click the blue link below and you will be taken to a page that explains it all. Here is a secret…it has nothing to do with uric acid! Don’t wait any longer. Thousands of people are now gout free. You can be one of them too.