Gout is a form of arthritis that causes inflammation, pain, soreness and swelling of the joints, also reducing their mobility. It mostly it affects the joints of the lower body limbs, such as toes, heels, ankles and knees, but it can also affect the joints of the upper body. Gout sometimes affects skin and soft tissue like muscles and tendons, causing swelling and rigidity. There are many factors that contribute to the occurrence and the development of gout, such as genetic predisposition to the disease, renal insufficiency, inappropriate diet and lack of proper exercise. Among all these triggers of gout, the quantity and the type of food consumed seem to play a very important role.
In the past, gout was referred to as “the disease of kings”, as it mostly affected rich people. The high incidence of gout among the rich, noble families in the past is explained by the fact that they had better access to expensive, exotic foods that in present are known to facilitate the development of the disease. Today, many people are still confronted with gout as a result of improper diet, unaware of the damage that some foods cause to the organism. Apart from foods that cause gout, another important factor in the development of the disease is obesity.
Gout is mainly caused by the crystallization of a substance called uric acid in the bloodstream, causing arteries to block. In normal quantities, uric acid is neutral to the organism. However, when in excess, it may cause a lot of damage. Uric acid is a residual product formed in the synthesis of purine. Purine is a substance that resides in fat meats, fish, some dairy products and vegetables. Foods that cause gout are rich in saturated fats and purines, therefore contributing to the excessive secretion of uric acid. Among the foods that cause gout, the most dangerous are considered to be red meats and some fish. Beef, pork, lamb and seafood should be avoided when suffering from gout. Furthermore, healthy people should control their intake of such foods in order to prevent the acquiring of gout. Other foods like chicken meat, low dairy, grains, green vegetables and fruits are well tolerated among people who suffer from gout.
In order to ameliorate the symptoms of gout, foods that cause gout should be excluded from the diet in favor of healthy food. Also, the consumption of alcohol should be reduced, as it increases the amount of uric acid produced by the organism. Smoking can aggravate the symptoms of gout too, slowing the natural process of healing and interfering in the right circulation of the blood.
By drinking plenty of water you will help the body in eliminating the excess of uric acid. It is strongly recommended to drink at least 2 liters of water a day. Also, try to reduce the amount of saturated fats from your diet and eat more carbohydrate rich foods such as cereal, pasta and bread. Consume plenty of fruits, as they contain lots of important vitamins and minerals. Fruits like apples, oranges, nectarines and lemons should be a part of your daily menu.