Gout affects an estimated 4% of the population, or around 1 in 25 people. Evidence suggests this number is growing and is certainly affecting a larger demographic than in the past. A lot of confusion has surrounded the specifics on how high levels of uric acid may affect the heart and kidneys, even when acute Gout attacks are not present.
There have been studies attempting to separate the mortality rates of those with other risk factors, namely cardiovascular disease and diabetes, from those with just Gout and/or high uric acid levels. The findings seem to suggest that Gout and high uric acid levels are independently responsible for higher death rates across most age, sex, and race subgroups independent of other pre-existing conditions. The University in Limerick found those with the high serum uric acid levels displayed at 77% higher risk of death from all causes, and a 209% higher risk of cardiovascular death. While pre-existing conditions such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc. are strongly associated with a higher death risk, the results did not decrease by much when those factors were removed.
What does this mean for the Gout sufferer? Quite simply, it’s crucial to address this condition directly and avoid hiding behind prescription medications. There is a long history of diet misconceptions, poor suggestions, lack of expertise when it comes to diagnosis and control, and general prescription drug dangers that only aim to Band-Aid, or worse, hide the symptoms. While this condition was once seen as an extremely painful nuisance, its single-handed ability to increase one’s death risk makes it too critical to ignore.
If you do a search on the internet you will find all sorts of ‘information’. Don’t eat this, drink apple cider vinegar, drink cherry juice, ask for an Allopurinol prescription, etc….. We can tell you first hand, following some of the diet guidelines you will be given will have you eating flour and sugar while avoiding healthy “higher purine” foods such as Cauliflower. This make no sense whatsoever. Following a low purine diet will get you in trouble. Purines only account for 30% of uric acid production. The other 70% stems from other resources such as dying cells. Do you think sugar alters healthy cells, or cauliflower? Exactly.
If you are searching while under an attack, you will find yourself desperate for quick fixes. No one could blame you. However, long term goals need to include a full understanding of exactly how uric acid operates and what causes something your body needs (protects the DNA), to attack you so viciously. DO NOT become complacent about Gout control and a strong maintenance program when the pain is not present. Just ask anyone suffering from chronic Gout and large tophi deformities how important it is to always control it to avoid its detrimental development. These people will be able to provide you the most accurate picture of just how devastating years of various Gout drugs and hiding from the inevitable can prove to be.