Our increasing consumption of alcohol and processed, sugary foods, has not only resulted in increasing obesity rates; it has also caused the growing rate of gout, with figures jumping more than 30% in the last two decades.
What is gout?
Gout is a common form of arthritis that is related to the levels or uric acid in the body. It is said to be the most painful of arthritic pain and it occurs when crystals of uric acid accumulate in a joint, leading to sudden pain and inflammation. Often the first place this happens is in the big toe or on parts of the foot.
Am I at risk?
While gout is mainly caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood, below are some main factors that also play a role in the recurrence and intensity of gout attacks.
While we can’t change our genetics, they are often a great indicator for our future health and it is often best that preventative measures are taken if you know you are at risk. As a natural supplement company, we at Xtend-Life believe prevention is always better than cure. Health is the most important thing we have and it is crucial to protect and maintain it.
2. High intake of Purine-Rich Foods
If you are looking to dietary changes to lower uric acid levels and reduce your risk of gout attacks, the advice is to limit intake of animal fats, meat and high-purine foods. Foods high in purines include anchovies, bouillon, brains, broth, consommé, dried legumes, goose, gravy, heart, herring, kidneys, liver, mackerel, meat extracts, mincemeat, mussels, partridge, fish roe, sardines, scallops, shrimp, sweetbreads, baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, and yeast extracts (e.g., Marmite, Vegemite).
Purines are substances in animal and plant foods that the body converts into uric acid. When uric acid builds up too quickly it gets deposited in needle-shaped crystals in the tissues of the body – ouch! A 2004 study found that increased meat and shellfish intake resulted in approximately 50% higher risk of gout development. Instead opt for alkaline proteins found in plants, fish and low-fat dairy; and make sure to eat inflammation managing foods like cherries. If you are wanting inflammation support, try our Omega-3 Fish Oil or Green Lipped Mussel Powder.
3. Being Overweight
The first step to losing weight is to face it head-on. Accept that things need to change and make those gradual changes to your diet and lifestyle. Remember, your weight loss should not be rapid because restriction of calories can increase uric acid levels temporarily, which may aggravate the condition. Ensure you have a healthy supplement regime to partner with your new lifestyle changes. You may want to combine these changes with our Garcinia Cambogia supplement to kick-start your weight management goals.
4. High Alcohol Intake
I love a glass of red wine, especially after a busy day at the office. Red wine is full of tannins and antioxidants, but the key is to have it in moderation. Not only do we do silly things when we have a bit too much to drink, but high alcohol intake can result in at least 2,000 additional calories per month – the equivalent of 141 ice creams each year.
As the body can’t store alcohol, it metabolizes it right away, this affects the metabolism of fats and sugars and ultimately slows down our metabolism as a whole. High intake of alcohol not only causes weight gain, it also reduces the clearance of uric acid in the kidneys, resulting in increased levels in the blood.
5. Blood Pressure Medication
Certain blood pressure medications can increase your risk of gout attacks, amongst other side effects. If your blood pressure levels are not too high, you may be interested in looking our Cardio-Support with your health practitioner. While medications act on the symptom (high blood pressure), a long-term solution to look at the cause, which in this case is blocked arteries causing the heart to pump harder to get blood through. Cardio-Support helps to strengthen cardiovascular health to get to the root cause of the problem.
6. High Intake of Sugary Drinks
Besides wreaking havoc with your blood sugar levels; refined sugars, have been reported to raise uric acid levels resulting in increased risk of gout attacks. Instead, opt for a liberal intakes of pure fluids such as filtered water or alkaline juices to dilute the urine and promote excretion of uric acid. I recommend taking our Zupafood GREENZ which has organic grasses which are naturally alkaline and help with detoxification. It is convenient to carry around and is best mixed with filtered water for fast, easy, nutritious hydration.
Addressing these six factors not only reduces your risk of getting gout and/or experiencing recurring gout. They also support other areas of health for better overall health and wellbeing.
I encourage you to take the step of preventative health for better quality of life and noticeable benefits in the future.
In good health.