What is gout?
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that associated with metabolic syndrome, characterized by recurrent attacks of a red, hot, and swollen joint. At present, gout is caused by improper metabolism of proteins, resulting in uric acid crystals deposited in fingers, toes and joints and causing inflammation. An abnormality in handling uric acid and crystallization of these compounds in joints can cause painful attacks, kidney stones, and blockage of the kidney filtering tubules with uric acid crystals, leading to kidney failure.
Gout was historically known as “rich man’s disease”, it affects 1-2% of adults in developed countries, most commonly in men. The chances of having gout rises with age, other risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, moderate to heavy alcohol intake, high-purine diet, and have a family history of gout.
Underlying cause of gout
What is the reason that so much uric acid accumulates in the body and does not go out, where is the uric acid coming from? The key issues are still unclear.
If you have been eating food that contains high purine for ten years or even decades, why gout happened today only? So, is the focus point to be the food you eating or because somewhere of your body’s function went wrong? Another phenomenon is why drinking alcohol could lead to occurrence of gout? At present it is very clear that alcohol can damage our liver so much.
It is clear that gout frequently occurs in combination with other medical problems. Such as obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. These diseases are metabolic disorders. We are very clear that metabolic diseases are connected to poor function of liver, and the place of purine metabolism is exactly happening in liver. The fundamental cause of gout is most likely to be the liver, because of bad lifestyle in a long term which caused damage to liver function, resulting in a large number of uric acid to stay in the body and ended up with gout.
Treatment and prevention of gout
Doctor’s initial aim of treatment is to settle the symptoms of an acute attack. Repeated attacks can be prevented by medication that reduce serum uric acid levels. Options for acute treatment include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine, and Corticosteroids. Again, medical approach only controls the condition, but never solve the underlying problems.
Gout is treatable; the actual effect of treating gout by nutritional medicine also suggested that the function of the liver is significantly related to the occurrence of gout. The principle is to help the liver to restore functionality to have normal purine metabolism. It should be understood that the occurrence of gout is not because you eat too much high purine food, it is because the body decline in metabolic capacity of uric acid. The underlying cause of the disease is still unhealthy lifestyle and diet. The doctors will always tell you not to eat high purine foods, however those foods are great source of quality protein. Forbidden to eat those food will lead to long-term protein deficiency and cause further deterioration of liver function, which not only cannot cure gout, also lead to many other diseases. Therefore, it is visible that nutrients are so important to human bodies.
Below lifestyle guidelines may help reverse and protect against gout:
Drink plenty of water – Stay hydrated, drink at least 2 liter of water each day and avoid sweetened beverages.
Avoid or limit alcohol – Alcohol not only damages the liver, recent studies also suggest that it may increase the risk of gout symptoms, especially in men.
Ensure quality protein intake – protein is the most important nutrient for liver, get your protein from vegetables, low-fat dairy, and white meat.
Limit foods high in purines – Foods with lots of purines can increase your uric acid levels, such as lamb, beef, pork, organ meat, shellfish, and mushrooms.