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What you didn't know about foods that cause Gout

Gout is one of the more misunderstood diseases.  The history of gout dictates that it is considered the "rich man's disease".  In this day and age, that is no longer the case.  There is a variety of foods that cause gout attacks that are not what would normally be on the list of "rich" people.  Of course, consuming substantial portions of red meat, pork and shell fish are the obvious culprits.  These things have historically been associated with high cost and therefore those with money.  But what if you are one of those people who is hit with the ungodly painful arthritis attacks but can't understand how or why when you don't routinely consume those products.  To answer this quesstion, we have to dig deeper into the contents of the foods we eat. 

Firstly, gout is an arthritis that is caused by a problem with protein consumption.  Proteins are made up of molecules called amino acids.  They have a sugar at one end and an ammonia group at the other.  During the normal process of metabolish, these amino acids are broken down.  The sugars are converted to blood glucose and either used or stored whereas the ammonia groups go to the liver and are considered toxic.  The body's way of dealing with excessive ammonia is to turn it quickly into uric acid.  Uric acid is the main ingredient the body uses to make urine.  During the time period between when a protein is consumed and the uric acid is peed out, the uric acid level can build.  As it does, the uric acid tends to leave the blood stream and enter various body fluids.  It is during this time that gout becomes painful. 

There are some foods that a person with gout may consider as "safe" but are they really?  Asparagus is one of the largest uric acid producing "healthy" foods around.  Asparagus is made up of proteins and amino acids known as Asparagine.  Asparagine has the highest number of ammonia molecules within it and therefore produces the highest amount of uric acid.  Asparagus needs to be considered a very high gout trigger.  Those who consume a lot of this vegetable need to be aware that it may be causing their problem.

Also, we must start looking at the ingredients that are listed on the back of some of the foods we love to eat.  Most people think certain foods are safe because they are "not the right kind of protein" or aren't based on red meat or other triggers.  This thought process becomes an unwitting double edged sword.  In general, a person might be correct in assuming that a certain type of food may be safe.  However, if they check the ingredients, there are several types of preservatives out there that are not safe when consumed with other types of foods or in higher quantities.  Any product that contains any chemical that is listed as ??-nitrate or ??-nitrite (ie sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, disodium nitrate, etc) is a potential problem.  The nitrate/nitrite salts are water soluble.  Once inside the body, the sodium is taken into the cells and separated from the nitrate/nitrite portion.  The nitrate/nitrite portion goes to the liver to be "detoxified".  During this process the nitrates/nitrites are converted into uric acid as well before they enter the urine.  Again, accumulation of these types of products leading to higher quantities of uric acid can also cause a gout attack.

Be aware that there are a number of things around you that are considered "safe" for people who have gout but once you read beneath the lines of the ingredients, the underlying constituent ingredients just may not be.

If you believe that you may be sufferring from gout, please see your health care provider to get evaluated and tested for it.  Gout can be treated in a wide variety of ways.  Although its effects can be painful, with the right evaluation by the right person, it can be controlled.  Seek help if you need it.

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