Gout: A Modern Disease with Modern Causes

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This painful ailment was unknown in cavemen times, but modern diets and lifestyles have created new risks.

Many of us today think of gout as an ancient disease that is rarely seen any more. It’s supposedly something that rich, overweight royals like Henry VIII suffered from, while the common man struggled for bread.

Although historically it was associated with the super-wealthy, gout’s occurrence is actually on the rise in the 21stcentury. In fact, the incidence rate has approximately doubled over the past 20 years, because this disease is directly associated with certain side effects of modern living.

Simply put, gout is a form of arthritis that affects the joints and tendons. It is an inflammation caused by an excess of uric acid in the system, causing severe pain to those who suffer from it.

Gout typically affects just one joint at a time, most commonly the big toe, which can make it extremely painful to move around. Most gout sufferers are men over 45, though post-menopausal women are also a group at risk.

An acute attack of gout can last anywhere from four to 10 days, while chronic gout can spread and become a severe problem if not treated.

It can cause arthritis, kidney, liver and heart damage through the formation of crystal deposits, albeit these are rarer now that medical practitioners know more about the ailment and how to treat it.

One cause of gout is diet. It’s a disease associated with frequent and excessive consumption of alcohol, meat and seafood.

This is the kind of diet that was historically only available to the very rich, but as incomes have risen and the prices of such commodities have gone down, they’ve become more accessible to many more people.

In addition, foods like sugary sodas, which were unavailable to the cavemen, can cause increased uric acid buildup and lead to gout as well.

In fact, recommended diets for gout look eerily similar to the eating plans associated with a Paleo diet. Rely on plant-based proteins. Avoid alcohol, and limit consumption of meat, protein and fish. Stay away from refined carbohydrates and limit the use of sugar.

Elevating the afflicted limb can help reduce swelling in an acute attack, as can packing the painful joint with ice. Vitamin C has been shown to help as well.

Otherwise, diet is the big way to prevent gout, and the Caveman Diet is helpful because it provides nutritional depth that others don’t. Fad diets like all-protein plans or starvation diets can actually exacerbate the problems by causing the body to increase its production of uric acid.

This is certainly one area where the caveman lifestyle was more healthy than the modern one. To avoid gout and a very painful problem, take a page from the Caveman Diet and start eating healthier.

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Ida Cavemen

IDA is the kind-hearted cook who also takes care of the children. This is perhaps the most difficult job in the tribe.

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