kidney stones in pregnant women - How Much Do You Know About Gout And Diet Prevention?
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How Much Do You Know About Gout And Diet Prevention?

Recently, a gout and diet prevention study was published in by Dr. Hyon K. Choi and Gary Curhan in Arthritis Care & Research's June 2007 issue which examined the fact that, contrary to popular belief, coffee may not be as bad for gout sufferers as previously thought. Although gout patients have been told to stay away from coffee, there may be an ingredient in the beverage that can actually help to lower the uric acid levels in the body.


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Almost 90% of gout victims are men over thirty years old. But women can also suffer from gout, especially if they take certain medications such as blood pressure drugs. Most women who suffer from gout are 60 years or older.

Red and black cherries - fresh, frozen or canned - have been used successfully to treat gout. Drinking several tablespoons of black cherry juice daily may produce the same effect.

People may have an elevated uric acid also called hyperuricemia but have no symptoms. Later they may develop acute gouty arthritis where the joint is affected. Almost three fourths of people with gout will develop it in the big toe at some point of time. In between attacks the gout is said to be in an interval or intercritical phase and finally some people get chronic tophaceous (with the tophi) gout.

Though it is not yet known what part of coffee is responsible for lowering the uric acid levels in the body, it is known that it is not just the caffeine content, as the same results were not found from drinking caffeinated tea. Whatever the cause, when participants drank one to two cups of coffee every day, the levels of uric acid in the blood reduced dramatically. Furthermore, as coffee consumption increased, uric acid levels decreased.

Considering that until this study, gout sufferers had been discouraged from drinking coffee, many gout sufferers may now be wondering what other gout and diet prevention beliefs may soon turn out to be disproved. For example, though tea has not been found to reduce uric acid levels in the body as has now been demonstrated with coffee, tea is often thought to be unacceptable as a part of a gout and diet prevention strategy. Instead, tea can indeed be a part of a gout diet as long as it is consumed in moderation and as long as its dehydrating effect is compensated for by taking in additional water.

It was also believed at one time that eating rich foods was the root cause of gout. Indeed, some rich foods are high in proteins and purines and therefore may contribute to gout flare-ups, however low fat dairy products have now been shown to have a preventative effect. Also Gout is believed to be caused by many factors, including being heredity.

Important Disclaimer: This information is presented for educational purposes only. This isn't medical advice and it's not a substitute for any advice or treatment from your physician. You should always see your doctor before starting any new diet plan for losing weight or controlling gout.

If you aren't able to get immediate medical attention there are a few things that can provide temporary relief to the pain and swelling commonly associated with gout. NSAIDS including ibuprofen can be used to reduce the pain and inflammation, but stay away from aspirin as it has been known to have adverse affects. You can also apply Preparation H ointment to the affected skin to reduce swelling.

He discovered his "cherry cure" by accident. One day, he ate a large bowl of cherries and the next day, his foot pain was gone. He found that as long as he ate the cherries every day, his gout was controlled.

Gout is a common disease and often presents suddenly with a painful joint. The most common and well-recognized symptom is swelling of the joint in the big toe where it joins the foot. This can be extremely painful and enlarged and if not treated the pain will last about 10 days and can cause lasting damage with repeated attacks. The area can be red, hot, inflamed and very painful or tender.

Many other people - some of whom have written to Prevention magazine - have also found relief by adding cherries to their diets. Supposedly, if you already have crippling gout or if you feel a gout attack coming on, you should eat 15 to 30 cherries a day at first to get your gout under control, then 6 to 10 cherries a day after that to keep the gout away.

So you may want to discuss with your doctor if an alternative approach might work for you. An approach without the toxic side effects of gout drugs. One dietary approach is simply to eat cherries. In the 1950s, Dr. Ludwig Blau discovered that he could keep his gout away by eating a minimum of 6 cherries a day. It helped his crippling gout so much that he was actually able to get out of his wheelchair and start walking again.

Over the long term there can be deformity of joints and there can be many large lumps under the skin. Nowadays with proper treatment this is less likely. The symptoms can last from three to ten days and often get better even without treatment. The next attack may occur many months or even years later. Usually (and fortunately) only one joint is affected at a time and the symptoms of the swelling and pain start within a day.

A similar study in Japan looked into the same concept, but used decaffeinated coffee. Similar, though not equal, results were witnessed. This is why it is now thought that components of coffee other than soley caffeine are responsible for lowering the uric acid levels in the body.

The bloodstream usually carries only a tiny amount of uric acid but if there is an increased concentration then crystals are deposited on the cartilage and tissues that surround the joints. If you have high levels of uric acid in your bloodstream it can also result in uric kidney stones.

There are other changes you can make to your diet, too. For example, eating a cup of strawberries may help to control gout. You should also drink plenty of water to help flush the uric acid out of your body. Six to eight 8-ounce glasses a day is probably best.

You can also apply ice to the affected area for 20-30 minutes multiple times throughout the day. Some may think that uric acid crystallization is increased with low temperatures but a recent study proved that those who use ice packs experienced a relief in pain without negative effects.

 
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Some high-purine foods are meats, especially organ meats, gravies, herring, mussels, sardines, fish, and alcohol. At least one study suggests that high-purine foods such as beans, peas, mushrooms, spinach and cauliflower do not make gout worse. But you should consult your doctor for the latest information and recommendations.

Hyperuricemia is a uric acid level higher than 420 ??mol/L in males and 380 ??mol/L in females. High uric acid levels don't always lead to gout. If it is suspected that you are suffering from gout the serum urate test should be repeated once the attack has subsided.

Kidney stones can form due to gout and can cause back pain. Other joints such as the knee, fingers and heel can also be affected. Some people get lumps on the rim of the ear or other parts of the body near joints under the skin and these are called tophi.

Article by Sven Ullmann, who runs Deserved Health - information on health for you and your family. Read more about gout and nutrition. Get our health newsletter.

You should always consult a doctor for treatment of gout. But some of the drugs used for gout - such as allopurinol, colchicine, indomethacin, and prednisone - can cause serious side effects.

To get an accurate diagnosis of gout you must have a light microscopy of joint fluid aspirated from the joint to show intracellular monosodium urate crystal in synovial fluid polymorph nuclear leukocytes. Only a well trained specialist can distinguish the difference from other crystals.

Many people also try to eliminate foods with high purine levels from their diets. Some of these foods may worsen gout by increasing your level of uric acid.

If gout isn't properly controlled, it can cause kidney stones and even more serious kidney disease. Gout is also associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, and atherosclerosis.

A similar belief was once applied to alcohol. It was thought that spirits, wine, and beer were the true cause of gout. Indeed, drinking to excess can be harmful to gout sufferers, especially due to the resulting dehydration of the body. Hydration is especially important to gout sufferers as it allows the body to flush the uric acid out of the blood, preventing its buildup as crystals on the joints. However, drinking alcohol is not a direct cause of gout.

It is important to speak with your doctor and dietitian about gout and diet prevention and what you should be eating to help to control your gout. However, it is also wise to keep up with the latest research, as the "truths" that we know about gout diets are always changing.

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood, tissues, and urine. The uric acid can form crystals which collect in joints such as the big toe. In fact, your big toe can become so painful and swollen that even the weight of a bedsheet can be agonizing.

Losing excess weight may also reduce uric acid levels, but it must be done gradually and under a doctor's supervision. Severe dieting or fasting can actually make your gout worse.

Gout is a disease that is due to an inborn disorder of the uric acid metabolism and is also referred to as metabolic arthritis. When you suffer from this disease monosodium urate crystals are deposited on the articular cartilage of joints and in tissues such as the tendons. Then also causes an inflammatory reaction to the tissue and the deposits get larger and burst through the skin to form sinuses discharging a white material.

The common effects of gout include the sudden pain, swelling, redness, warmness, stiffness in the joint, and sometimes a low fever may persist. Those suffering from gout are in pain because of the crystals inside the joint that cause pain whenever the area is moved, as well as the inflammation of the tissues around the joint which tends to cause swelling and soreness.

The definite diagnosis or determining if the arthritis is due to gout may involve drawing fluid from the joint and looking for crystals of uric acid.

Gout commonly affects the big toe but can affect other area such as the joints in the ankle, heel, knee, wrist, instep, fingers, and spine. There have been instances where gout appears in the joints of the small toes which have become immobile because of an impact injury which leads to poor circulation and gout.

It's best to eat the cherries or drink the cherry juice between meals. So why do cherries work for some people with gout? Because gout destroys the collagen that is needed to form connective tissue and cherries stop that destruction. Cherries also neutralize uric acid and have anti-inflammatory properties.

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