Gout traditionally affected wealthy families and is often referred to as a royal affliction. This is due to many of the wealthier families having access to large amounts of fatty, rich foods making them much more susceptible to getting gout. In fact many famous people have suffered with gout over the years including Leonardo Da Vinci and Benjamin Franklin. However, today we have a more modern understanding of the disease and it can affect anyone, not just the rich and famous.
Gout is caused when the body produces excess uric acid. When this builds up in the blood it forms sharp crystals usually in the joint of the big toe. This in turn creates swelling and inflammation which then further damages the joint and can be excruciatingly painful. Primary gout is known as Hyperuricaemia, where the blood has a high level of uric acid within it. Symptomatic gout appears once the uric acid crystallizes causing the joint damage and pain.
Unfortunately, around 90% of people with gout will also suffer kidney dysfunction to varying degrees and also tend to be more at risk of developing other conditions such as kidney stones, high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus.
Gout is often treated with a drug known as Allopurinal. This drugs acts to reduce Uric Acid levels in the blood however it cannot help severe attacks of gout and may actually increase the frequency of attacks during the first few weeks of taking the drug.
Your doctor may prescribe you with steroids for gout relief. These work on the inflammation and are taken over a long period of time. This can however damage the joints with excessive use. Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs, or NSAID’s for short, are often used as pain killers to varying degrees and strengths for gout relief. These drugs should however be used with a degree of caution and always under the supervision and advice of your doctor as they can exacerbate the condition and cause further attacks.
Fruit tends to be used widely for gout relief and particularly beneficial extracts are often used in natural gout remedies such as Bromelain found in pineapples and Quercetin found in apples. These can actively dissolve uric acid crystals back into the blood stream. Folic acid may also inhibit Uric acid production and Anthocyanidins found in cherries and blueberries are also very well known for their pain relief properties as well as an ability to reduce inflammation. If you drink alcohol, it is always better to significantly reduce your alcohol intake levels.
It’s recommended that a general well balanced diet that has a reduced intake of fatty foods such as meat and dairy and an increase of fruit such as cherries to provide gout relief alongside any medical treatment you may be receiving. Always talk to your doctor about gout and your diet before making drastic changes. Your doctor will probably recommend a certain diet for you that can be effective for gout relief and is suitable for your body’s specific requirements.