In this blog post, we will share and attempt to give a better understanding of what gout is. You may have come across either friends or family who might have had gout and heard how painful it was for them during that time.
Gout occurs when there is excessive build-up of uric acid in a joint and the kidneys cannot get rid of this additional uric acid efficiently. It commonly affects the big toe but it can also occur at the ankles, knees, wrists, elbows or fingers causing acute pain. Symptoms of gout include swelling, redness, warmth, pain and extreme tenderness of the affected joints, as well as chills and fever. Occurrence of gout increases with age and it is more prevalent in men compared to women.
The risk of developing gout can be increased if the person is:
- Drinks alcohol
- Does not drink enough water
- Has high blood pressure
Uric acid is also the end product of “purine metabolism” in the body. This is why many people who suffer gout often get it after eating certain foods high in purine. To reduce the occurrence of gout, it is recommended to limit foods such as:
- Anchovies (ikan bilis)
- Offal foods (e.g. liver, kidney, intestines etc.)
- Stock cubes or gravy (containing monosodium glutamate)
- Meat and yeast extracts (e.g. Vegemite, Marmite, Bovril)
- Beer and other alcohol
Other practical ways of reducing the risk of developing gout would be to maintain your body within a healthy weight range while making small changes to nutrition and eating habits. Drink plenty of water (minimum 8 glasses per day), reduce or stop your intake of alcohol, reduce salt intake and limit foods high in sugar content (e.g. soft drinks, cakes, chocolates etc.). Regular exercising is strongly advised as this will not only help with maintaining the body in a healthy state but can encourage a healthier way of eating.
If you have any questions or would like further clarification on how you can reduce the occurrences of gout, call us on 03-64193918 during our opening hours or drop us an email to make your appointment. Our nutrition and dietetic consultant, together with the rehab team will be more than happy to help.