If you have ever been awakened at night with a hot and painful feeling in your big toe or ankle and the joint appears red and swollen, there is a good chance you have gout. 

Gout is a disease caused by an excess of uric acid that turn into crystals that collect in the joints.  Your body produces Uric acid when it breaks down substances found naturally in your body as well as certain foods. One way to prevent the severity of gout attacks is to cut out these foods from your diet. 
You can find a list of those foods below. 
Men are more likely to have gout than women primarily because women have lower uric acid levels than men. Some health problems, such as obesity and high cholesterol, make gout more likely. Medications such as diuretics and low dose aspirin can increase uric acid levels. 

Treatments: 

Gout attacks are painful and often happen more than once. Taking medications may reduce pain and prevent future attacks. Your doctor may prescribe a daily-long term control medication to reduce levels of uric acid. At home, rest the joint by raising it to a higher level than your heart. This will reduce the amount of blood in the area and reduce inflammation. 

Foods and Beverages to Avoid:

  • Alcohol ( beer, red wine)
  • Sugary Drinks ( soda, some juices)
  • Certain Veggies ( asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms) 
  • Certain meats ( organ meats, red meat, processed meat, turkey)
  • Shellfish ( lobster, crab, shrimp, scallops, mussels)
  • Certain Fish ( anchovy, sardine, herring, mackerel)

Preventing Gout: 

  • Avoid alcohol and foods that trigger gout
  • Take any prescribed long-term control medications
  • Lose weight if necessary
  • Control blood pressure and cholesterol 
  • Drink plenty of water to help flush uric acid from the body 

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