Food choices plays an important role in managing gout, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the United States. Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood (instead of being excreted) and gets deposited as crystals in one or more joints, triggering sudden swelling and pain. Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of purines, naturally occurring compounds in the body and in certain foods, which is why diet can be important for controlling gout attacks.
We asked rheumatologist Hyon K. Choi, MD, a gout expert and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, what people with gout should know about diet.
Continue reading What to Eat and Avoid for Gout
Gout is one of the oldest known human diseases – dating back to 2600 BC – but a new study shows it’s a disease that patients still don’t understand very well. The study, published online in January 2016 in Arthritis Care & Research, found that just 14% of patients with this painful type of inflammatory arthritis actually knew what their uric acid level should be.
“It is an old disease for which there are really effective treatments and despite that, understanding of treatment goals is suboptimal. It is somewhat surprising,” said study author Ted Mikuls, MD, the Umbach Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in Ohama. “Patients have pretty good knowledge of what causes gout and what drugs are used for, so the lack of knowledge about a treatment goal stood out.”
Continue reading Get Better Control of Your Gout
If you are trying to lower your risk of gout or reduce your risk of painful attacks once you have it, one of your best defenses may be to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
“Higher weight is associated with higher uric acid levels in the blood, which therefore increases gout risk,” says Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the body and then crystallizes in the joints, causing intense and often crippling pain, inflammation, stiffness and swelling.
In 1991, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that men who gained excessive amounts of weight in young adulthood were more likely to develop gout later in life, with the greatest risk occurring with the highest body mass index (BMI) at age 35.
Continue reading Controlling Your Weight May Be Effective For Lowering Gout Risk