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Gout is a medical condition which causes painful swelling and inflammation in joints. These symptoms are caused by a build up of crystal like deposits of uric acid in joints and connective tissues. It is one of the most painful rheumatic diseases, and the symptoms usually appear as an acute attack with severe pain. The big toe is most often affected and is involved in 50 percent of cases. Other joints such as knees, heels, wrists and fingers may be affected. Other symptoms can include with fatigue and a high fever.
Today, data suggests that in the United States gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis in men over 40. Cases of gout have shown an increase in recent decades. Uric acid levels in the body can be measured by a blood test and can be a good indicator of a person's progress with the disease.
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How to manage gout
The natural way to cure and prevent gout is by controlling your daily diet. Consume plenty of liquids, and drink at least two liters of plain water a day. This will help dilute urine and prevent kidney stones.
Foods that are high in fat can cause gout and should be avoided. High levels of purine that are found in protein are responsible for gout. Repeated attacks can cause permanent joint damage.
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The following is a list of recommended foods for people suffering from gout:
Red cabbage, celery, mushrooms, asparagus, peas, artichokes, leafy green vegetables, red bell peppers and potatoes.
Rice, pasta, breads, cereals, whole grains and tofu, as an alternative to meat.
Fruit juices, bananas, red or blue berries, pineapple, tangerines, oranges, mandarins and peanuts.
Fatty acids from tuna and salmon.
Chocolate, cocoa, coffee, tea, carbonated beverages.
500 mg per day of vitamin C stimulates elimination of uric acid.
** Low purine cookbooks are available at all good health food stores.
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Foods you should avoid
Avoid fish products such as mackerel, mussels, oysters, sardines and scallops.
Red meats, pork and poultry.
Limit or avoid sugar.
Whole milk, ice cream, butter and cheese should be replaced with low-fat dairy products or soy products.
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Repeated flare ups of gout can lead to disability and a poor quality of life. Keeping uric acid at a healthy level is the long term goal for managing gout along with an exercise plan is also another important step in returning to a healthy lifestyle, especially if you are overweight.
Consulting with your physician is a very important step for recovery and prevention of future gout attacks, and can help you and your physician to come up with a proper treatment plan suited to you and your lifestyle.
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Photos courtesy of Flickr.com:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancentury/2772261813/ by DanCentury
http://www.flickr.com/photos/unclejerry/11806298/ by unclejerry