Gout is a condition caused by the buildup of uric acid in the body. The uric acid forms deposits around joint areas, which causes sudden swelling, redness, and acute pain. The condition is often attributed to an unhealthy lifestyle, like being overweight or obese.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease characterized by high levels of blood glucose (or sugar) in the bloodstream, also called hyperglycemia. Over time your body isn’t able to use insulin correctly, and eventually the body is unable to make enough to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
Both diabetes and gout are often seen coexisting in individuals that are overweight or obese. With the increasing rates of obesity in the US, we’re unsurprisingly seeing ever increasing rates of gout & type 2 – the risk factors for the two diseases are strikingly similar. By learning about and altering personal risk factors, you can help prevent or treat these diseases. The methods for prevention and treatment are essentially the same as what you would do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced and proper diet in conjunction with moderate cardiovascular exercise.
- A proper diet means being aware of what you eat. While some foods may not necessarily be unhealthy, there are a few that can trigger gout like ones high in purine (i.e. organ meats, anchovies, lobster, shrimp, and lamb). For diabetes foods or beverages high in sugar should be avoided to prevent its onset.
- Skip the alcohol: Beer and liquor have been shown to cause a rise in uric acid levels, a leading gout trigger. Eliminating alcohol is also a great way to reduce your caloric intake and thus weight, which puts you at a lower risk for diabetes.
- More dairy, please! Dairy has been shown to reduce your risk of both gout and type 2 diabetes. Low-fat dairy products are ideal when supplemented with a healthy diet.
Following these tips can help reduce your chances of developing, or begin the reduction of, gout or type 2 diabetes. Both diseases are associated with identical risk factors, so preventing both should be as easy as preventing the one!
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