BBC Breakfast: Charlie Stayt reveals in 2014 that he had gout
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Gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden, severe joint pain. The condition is caused by small crystals of uric acid which form inside and around the joints.
According to the NHS: “It’s estimated that between one and two in every 100 people in the UK are affected by gout.”
Joint pain can be caused by a number of factors, including some diet and lifestyle choices.
However, people who are found to have high blood pressure could be more susceptible to gout.
According to Havard Health, both high blood pressure alone and some of the medication used to treat the condition can increase the risk of gout.
Mayo Clinic states: “Diuretics can increase your risk of developing gout, a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint. This may happen because diuretics increase urination, which reduces the amount of fluid in your body.”
The fluid which is left in the body can be more concentrated, which is what can increase the risk you’ll develop the crystals that cause gout.
Mayo Clinic adds: “Some types of diuretics also reduce the kidneys’ excretion of urate, a component of uric acid.”
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High blood pressure and diet are also often linked, with some foods more likely to cause blood pressure levels to rise.
Being overweight can increase the risk of both gout and high blood pressure.
Losing weight, on the other hand, reduces the risk of both of these conditions.
The NHS states: “Making lifestyle changes may mean you can stop or reduce further attacks.”
People are advised to “get to a healthy weight, but avoid crash dieting” and “eat a healthy, balanced diet”.
Which foods increase the risk of developing gout?
Eating too much of certain foods can make developing certain symptoms more likely.
Foods that are high in purines can be one of the main culprits for uric acid crystallisation.
Alcohol is also renowned for increasing the risk of gout.
The NHS states that drinking “too much alcohol” or eating “a very large, high-fat meal” can increase the risk of a gout attack.
People who endure frequent flare-ups are reminded to drink plenty of water, as dehydration can make gout worse.
What are the main symptoms of gout?
The most obvious symptom of gout is a searing pain in and around the joint. Most commonly this affects the big toe joint, but can also be felt in ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers.
The joint may feel hot and very tender, and some swelling can be detected.
The skin over the affected joint may turn red and shiny.
This skin may also peel, flake or become itchy as the swelling goes down.
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