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Disease of the Rich Man

Prepared by Nutritionist Chen Yin


Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the joints, resulting in severe pain, tenderness and swelling. It is caused by deposit of uric acid crystals around the joints when uric acid starts to build up to high levels in the body.

Gout is called “disease of the rich man” because foods such as red meat, alcohol and other rich foods contribute to increased uric acid levels. Some underlying medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, obesity can also increase the risk of developing gout. If gout is left untreated over long periods of time, uric acid crystals can form in the kidneys which can develop into kidney stones.

Modifications of diet and lifestyle are important for treating gout and preventing future flareups. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help you reduce gout flares and manage your symptoms.

Do’s

  • Weight management if you are overweight or obese. A reduced calorie diet and increased physical activities help reduce uric acid levels, which can help manage gout symptoms.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Eat low-fat or fat-free dairy products and plant oils
  • Consume natural anti-inflammatories such as turmeric which will help with the pain and assist the healing process
  • Consume black cherry or celery extract which is helpful to lower the production of the uric acid
  • Applying ice to the affected area to help reduce swelling and pain
  • Elevating and resting the affected limb to help reduce swelling

Don’ts

  • Avoid foods high in purines such as red meat, seafood and offal
  • Avoid sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, foods high in saturated fats and alcoholic beverages

Reference

  1. Gaafar Ragab, Mohsen Elshahaly, Thomas Bardin, Gout: An old disease in new perspective – A review, Journal of Advanced Research, Volume 8, Issue 5, 2017, Pages 495-511, ISSN 2090-1232, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jare.2017.04.008.
  2. Roddy, E., Doherty, M. Gout. Epidemiology of gout. Arthritis Res Ther 12, 223 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1186/ar3199
  3. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/gout/diagnosis-treatment-and-steps-to-take
  4. https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/muscle-bone-and-joints/conditions/gout#about-gout

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