Due to the overload of uric acid, gout leads to the formation of tiny urate crystals that deposit in the tissue of the body, especially the joints. With a unique distinction of being one of the most frequently recorded medical illnesses, gout is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of joint pain with redness, warmth, and swelling in the joints. Obesity is a common cause behind gout, promoting it especially within the first phase of arthritis. Let's take a look at why obese people eventually suffer from gout.
Why overweight people are more prone to developing gout.
Gout is highly common in obese people. The logic is simple: If you are overweight, you are putting extra pressure on your joints. This causes chemical changes in your body. Thus, it is believed that a fat person is four times more likely to get gout than a non-obese person.
People with high BMI readings also have higher uric acid levels, which eventually increases the risk of gout. This is because people who are overweight have high levels of uric acid in the blood, which sometimes forms solid stone or crystal masses, deposited in the joints, thus, propagating gout.
Obesity also heightens other risk factors for gout such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and high cholesterol. And obesity increases stress on joints, exacerbating the pain and inflammation that accompanies gout. [Via]
Another interesting finding related to gout and obesity is that people who were obese in early adulthood developed gout earlier than those who became obese later. [Via]
How to best prevent and minimize future gout attacks if you are obese:
- Do take periodic medications as prescribed.
- Follow up with your physician and find a treatment that is right for you.
- Get acquainted with your uric acid levels and get it tested once in every 3 months.
- Cut down on dehydrating drinks, such as beer, wine, coffee, tea and so on.
- Stay away from purine-rich foods as much as you can. These include beans, peas, anchovies, liver, brains and kidney.
- Exercise options include cycling which is low impact yet highly stimulating for the cardio muscular system. Cyclic motions also stimulate the articular cartilage and loosen up stiff joints. Brisk walking burns calories as well. Swimming is good as it lets you burn calories while your joints are supported by water thus easing arthritis pain.
- Go for physiotherapy, as it helps in gaining range of movement in stiff joints and helps build strength of muscles around the joint. Physiotherapists will also guide you regarding good posture and suitable life style modifications.
- Try and lower your weight, so that it matches your height, gender and age. Weight reduction is of paramount importance in arthritis patients because every pound of weight reduced means four pounds of pressure reduction on your knee joint. Thus weight reduction means off-loading your knee joints, thus letting you live a happy and hearty life even with gout.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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