Gout – a very common form of arthritis – is caused by an excess of uric acid, which is created by our bodies to break down a substance in some foods called purine.
Now, if you frequently suffer with gout attacks, I don’t need to tell you how painful they can be… a red, hot and swollen toe can leave you limping for days.
But it’s not just the pain and discomfort that could make your life a misery. According to a new study, published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, gout also increases your chances of a hip fracture…
Gout is actually found in three times as many men as women – and it’s a serious health concern for both. Frequent flare-ups are also associated with atrial fibrillation – a rapid heart rate that increases your risk of stroke, heart failure, and cardiovascular disease.
Men who suffer with frequent gout attacks in particular are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
However ladies, when it comes to hip fractures, your risk increases by as much as 40 per cent if you’re suffering with gout. And that’s because women are already at risk of bone loss and deterioration (osteoporosis). Apart from the fact that having high levels of uric acid can increase oxidative stress and inflammation, elevated levels can also speed-up and worsen the bone deterioration that older women face… But it also prevents new bone from forming.
And a hip fracture is no joke. 20 per cent of hip fracture patients die in the first year after a fracture. Those who survive suffer a loss of independence and as much as 40 per cent need assistance to walk, while roughly a third of these patients end up in assisted living within a year.
The first step is to change your diet. Gout was once known as the disease of kings because of the rich fatty foods they ate and the copious amounts of wine they consumed.
This means you should avoid organ meats (also known as “sweetbreads”), which are packed with purine. Sugary alcoholic drinks like cocktails can also block the uric acid from being released in your urine, so it stays inside your body where it builds up and irritates your joints.
To reduce the severity of your flare-ups and to prevent them from happening in the future, try taking devil’s claw supplements and drinking tart cherry juice (without sugar). They’re both preferable to taking painkillers like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which have been shown to kill off your heart cells.
And finally, when it comes to hip fractures, prevention is far better than recovery. A compound derived from olives called oleuropein actually helps bone cell growth, and a combination of calcium with magnesium and vitamins D and K can keep your bones strong.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Women With Gout: Higher Risk for Hip Fracture, medpagetoday.com/Rheumatology/GeneralRheumatology/60164?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2016-09-13&eun=g362705d0r&pos=2
Gout and Risk of Fracture in Women: A Prospective Cohort Study, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/art.39852/full