Naija Foodie Update

FOODIE NAIJA UPDATE (6 LIFESTYLE TWEAKS TO PREVENT OR MANAGE GOUT)

Gout is a very painful condition that many people experience. A
form of arthritis that triggers painful inflammation of some joints, gout strikes when the
body is unable to flush out excess uric acid.

This leads to the formation of urate crystals around certain joints, triggering
agonizing inflammation and
tenderness that can last several days.

Uric acid in humans comes from the breaking down of
purines, which occur naturally in our bodies and in some
foods we eat.
Living with gout is a painful reality for millions around the
world. Because the pain is so severe, it can be debilitating at
times.

Fortunately, there are
different ways that people can control and prevent this
condition from flaring up. Some
health professionals have stated that some small tweaks in one’s lifestyle can eventually reduce
the frequency and severity of gout flareups.

1. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT.
As a general rule of thumb, here are some foods that will cause
and exacerbate the condition:
SEAFOOD
There are people in the world that love their seafood. In fact,
any food that comes from the sea can be the start of a wonderful meal.

Sadly, when people who love these foods begin to suffer with
gouty arthritis, it is important for them to switch their diets
right away. Some kinds of seafood may be eaten every once in a while, while others should be removed from the list
completely to keep gouty arthritis at bay.

Specifically, seafood that should be removed from the diet include anchovies, herring,
sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, haddock, mackerel, and tuna. The culprit that causes problems with consuming
seafood is the high
concentration of purines, since the body does not store
purines but breaks them down into uric acid.

MEATS: “Health is a very basic and important necessity,”
Everyone can agree with that statement. No matter if you have
a gout condition or not, we all have to be careful about what
we eat, especially in today’s world of processed and fast
foods.

As for those with gout, red meats and turkey should avoided. Even though white meats and red meats are normally placed on the family
table, gout sufferers must be informed and make the right
dietary decisions when given these two choices.

Typically, white meats are relatively safe because they have lower purine
contents. On the other hand, this statement is not true for red meats, these meats have higher purine contents and will produce higher levels of uric acid.

Other specific foods
Other foods and beverages to watch out for are organ meats like liver and kidney, drinks
sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, and poultry like
turkey and goose. Some vegetables like asparagus and
cauliflower are high in purines, but they are safer to consume
than purine-rich meats.

2. KEEP WEIGHT GAIN IN CHECK.
Maintaining a healthy weight is the best management strategy
for gout.
Weight gain increases the risk of flareups. If you have
gained weight, try to shed the pounds by following a healthy
diet and exercising regularly.

Cardiovascular exercises such as
swimming or doing water aerobics on your own will help
lower body muscle
strengthening and improve lung
function, along with
increasing mobility and joint functions without the pull of full gravity.
This means less stress
on your joints.

Drastic crash diets, however, are not recommended because they
disrupt the body’s natural rhythms and can spike uric acid
counts, ending up doing more harm than good.

3. KEEP HYDRATED.
Optimal hydration is a great defense against gout attacks.
Keeping the blood and urine flowing helps flush out excess
uric acid.

Water is the best bet and you should drink lots of it.
You can also consume
decaffeinated tea and coffee.
But steer clear of drinks sweetened with high fructose
corn syrup.

4. CUT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION.
Beer is a no-go for gout sufferers because it spikes levels of uric acid and prevents the body from flushing it out.

Wine is a better choice, but only in
moderation. Excess of any form of alcohol is a bad idea for health in general, and gout
patients in particular.

5. MONITOR URIC ACID LEVELS.
Visit your doctor regularly and make sure your uric acid level is closely monitored. The ideal is a count below 6 milligrams per
deciliter.

If your gout is severe
and chronic, the doctor might
recommend regular medication to bring it under control.

6. LOAD UP ON VITAMIN C.
There is growing medical consensus that vitamin C is
beneficial for patients with gouty arthritis.

Talk to your doctor about whether you
should consider taking supplements. If not, you could
always include more vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits in
your diet.

It’s easy to make these tweaks
because none of them involves drastic changes to one’s
lifestyle. All it takes is your own discipline and willingness.

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