Something that affects many people in the UK is gout. It is actually classed by doctors as a type of arthritis, but there are many things which make it different from the usual type of arthritis. Joint pain is one of the most common symptoms of gout and it is usually the first symptom that can cause someone to visit the doctors to receive a diagnosis.
The pain of gout is commonly felt in the big toe, but can also be experienced in the knees, ankles, wrist and elbow. Gout is caused by a build-up of something called uric acid in the body, which then builds up in the joints and starts to form crystals.
Uric acid is something that is produced by the kidneys and is used to break down a type of chemical known as purines, which is found in foods and drinks. When there is too much of this chemical produced, this then can build up and it causes gout.
Typically, men are much more likely to suffer from gout. This is because they have naturally higher levels of uric acid in their body. Women are at increased risk of it after menopause, but it is still more common in men. There are many treatments that are currently used for gout, and many studies being done such as these paid clinical trials www.trials4us.co.uk to find more treatments for the condition. However, there are also lifestyle factors which can increase your risk of developing gout, so it helps to know these in order to reduce your risk of getting it in the first place. These include:
Obesity – Gout is more common in obese people, so watching what you eat and having a healthy diet is an important part of prevention. Exercise is also something that can reduce the risk of gout, as moving the joints can prevent the buildup of uric acid.
Drinking Alcohol – Another common feature of people who have gout is that often they drink more alcohol. Cutting out or reducing your alcohol intake will reduce your gout risk, as well as helping you to be healthier all round.
Eating Meat – Because animal sourced protein increases the production of uric acid, eating less meat is another great way to reduce the risk of developing gout.