Gout – ‘Disease of the rich man’

Gout is on the rise in the Western world, with nearly 2% of the population in the UK expected to suffer from it at some point in their lives....

Gout is on the rise in the Western world, with nearly 2% of the population in the UK expected to suffer from it at some point in their lives.

Gout can manifest itself in a number of forms, but the most common is acute inflammation around a joint (usually the big toe). It is caused by prolonged raised uric acid levels in the body, which deposit around the joint and cause inflammation. It is called the rich mans disease because foods such as wine, red meat and other rich foods contribute to increased uric acid levels. If raised uric acid levels are not addressed, uric acid crystals can form in the kidneys which can develop into kidney stones.

So, if you are worried about gout or have got gout, you need to try and reduce your uric acid levels.In order to achieve this you need to increase your vegetable intake, exercise and reduce the amount or rich food in your diet. These foods include:

  • Red meat
  • Anchovies
  • Alcohol
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Gravy
  • Mackerel
  • Herring

These foods are high in purines, which are converted into gout.

If you want to treat gout the most promising thing is black cherry drinks (such as CherryActive). This is different to cherry drinks made from concentrate which are common in supermarkets, those drinks won’t help with gout. These black cherry drinks can have a effectively reduce uric acid levels which will reduce the frequency and severity of an attack.

As the pain from gout is a result of inflammation, an anti-inflammatory will help with the pain and assist the healing process. Natural anti-inflammatories such as turmeric will be great for this, and should be considered over the synthetic anti-inflammatories.

You may also consider strengthening the joint with a glucosamine supplement, but it is unclear how effective this is at treating gout.

Your best bet is to reduce consumption of the foods listed above, exercise, eat your veggies, have a black cherry drink and get a natural anti-inflammatory.

Image courtesy of Jamie Drummond

I hope you enjoy the site, and like what we have worked hard to create, any feedback is very much welcome, after all this site is for you! Graduate of Nutrition & Food Science (Bsc) at Reading Uni.

The Health Cloud was created in December 2011 by Craig and Morg who have been friends since high school. Our focus is to educate our readers with unbiased health articles and on the side we run our own online health shop. This website is for you, so drop us a comment or send us a tweet, we always take the time to reply!