High Gout prevalence indicates our lifestyle habits include lots of gout triggers!

People should be more aware of ‘’how to prevent gout’’ to prevent serious complications.

Gout was historically known as “The Disease of Kings” or “Rich Man’s Disease” which is an acute inflammation caused by having a high-purine diet.

      When your body is breaking down meat, purine contained in the meat would be released which further produces uric acid. When the serum uric acid concentration exceeds a certain amount, hyperuricemia occurs. Uric acid usually precipitates within the soft tissue such as joints and tendon, forming needle-like crystals and causing inflammation. Having a sudden attack of severe pain in the joints is the main symptom of gout. Other symptoms may include the formation of lumps in the joints, joint deformity, the difficulty to stand or walk, and aches in the joints when the wind blows. Many patients have to keep taking medications for a long period of time in order to relieve their symptoms. With modern lifestyle habits, the chances of developing gout and hyperuricemia are increasing significantly.  

        According to the periodical released by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), the global economy continued to grow at a steady pace from 1990 to 2017. During this period, the prevalence of gout increased by 7.2%. In 2017, gout affected more than 41.2 million people worldwide. In addition to dietary habits, aging and the degeneration of physical function are also the reasons for slow uric acid metabolism. Its data indicate that the chances of developing gout increase with aging. The incidence rates of gout for people aged over 65 are 9% for men and 3.3% for women. The rates increased to 13.3% for the men and 6.2% for the women who are over 75 years old. With the current dietary habits and the problems related to an aging population, gout has become one of the most common illnesses of modern civilization.

Prevention of Gout could be Achieved with Healthy Habits

     Except for the severe pain during acute gout attacks, patients barely feel any symptoms most of the time. The brief pain has made people neglect the importance of getting treatment, which leads to higher chances of gout development and more severe symptoms.

Here are the four clinical phases of gout:  

  1. Asymptomatic Hyperuricemia

             Although there are no symptoms, the serum uric acid concentration exceeds the normal range considerably. It is highly recommended to find out the potential factors of hyperuricemia to reduce the risk of developing gout and its complications. The risk of gout is higher in people who are with a family history, obese, with malnutrition, renal insufficiency, heavy drinkers, and aged above 40. 

  1. Acute Gouty Arthritis

             Partial inflammatory joint pain, swelling, and redness are the primary symptoms. Many patients will wake up in the middle of the night with intense pain and more than half would have their first gout development at the MTP joint of their big toes. Initial gout flares usually involve a single joint. Over time, it can begin to involve multiple joints at once, which may be accompanied by fever.

  1. Intercritical Gout

             This phase is the interval between two attacks of acute gout and its duration depends on individuals’ condition. Studies indicate that over 60% of patients who have never received uric acid-lowering treatment will experience recurrent gout attacks within a year and over 80% would experience in two years. The duration of this period will eventually keep getting shorter and the frequency of gout attacks will continue to increase.

  1. Chronic Tophaceous Gout

             Patients who have been having acute arthritis for a long time, but not getting any effective treatment or keeping their uric acid levels under control may develop tophaceous gout from the accumulation of uric acid crystals. Severe tophi condition may lead to joint deformity and complete immobility of joints.

How can gout affect our lives?

The presence of gout impacts many aspects of the patient’s life. Besides severe joint pain and joint deformity, patients’ joint mobility would not be fully recovered even after the tophi removal surgery.  

Amputation may be necessary if tophi become seriously infected. Gout complications include nephropathy, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. Many patients wish to treat gout by taking medicine for a long time, which actually affects their overall health. Therefore, it is highly recommended to consume a healthy diet to lower the risk of hyperuricemia and prevent the gout condition from getting worse.

5 Ways to prevent gout in daily life!

In order to relieve gout symptoms, it is recommended to limit the intake of high-purine foods such as organ meat, seafood, and broth. Consuming foods high in fat and sugar and drinking should also be limited. Besides, drinking plenty of water could improve uric acid metabolism. Staying physically active to maintain ideal body weight, managing stress, and increasing the intake of gout-preventing foods such as vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, milk, and yogurt could help reduce inflammation and increase uric acid excretion. Drinking moderate amounts of tea and coffee also enhances uric acid excretion, but it is important to adjust the intake based on your own condition.

Source Reference:

Prevalence, Incidence, and Years Lived With Disability Due to Gout and Its Attributable Risk Factors for 195 Countries and Territories 1990–2017


Physical Function, Hyperuricemia, and Gout in Older Adults Enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Cohort Study




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