Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood and often afflicts people who are overweight. Sodium urate crystals form inside joints – often the big toe – and can cause sudden and severe pain, together with swelling and redness.
Gout has often been ridiculed over the years as a self-inflicted condition caused by eating too much rich food or drinking large amounts of port. In fact, gout is an extremely painful type of inflammatory arthritis and is the most common form of the condition in the country, affecting one in 40 people with diagnoses increasing by one and a half per cent every year.
Although diet can play a part, gout is triggered by a metabolic disorder. It is more common with age, four times more common in men and most often runs in families. Gout is also more serious than some people imagine because if it is not properly treated it can lead to permanent joint destruction, bone erosion and even kidney damage.
- Lose weight – being overweight or obese increases the chances of developing the condition
- Adjust your diet, for example sardines and liver should be avoided
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Cut down on alcohol
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