Why This Disease Is on the Rise in America

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One of the most painful acute forms of joint pain is gout. It is the subject of health news, and the news isn’t good: gout is on the rise in the U.S. Over the past two decades, it has steadily risen and now affects 8.3 million Americans. It’s about time we pay attention to this issue that materializes with no notice.

It is believed that higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and uric acid levels are linked to the jump in the prevalence of gout.

Gout, an inflammatory arthritis triggered by crystallization of uric acid within the joints, causes severe pain and swelling. It most often strikes the big toe. High uric acid levels are now spread across the U.S., affecting 43.3 million (21%) adults. Evidence suggests that gout is strongly associated with metabolic syndrome — a group of health conditions characterized by central obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol — and may lead to heart attack, diabetes, and premature death.

Also Read: Foods to Avoid If You Have Gout

Prior research found that gout incidences in the U.S. more than doubled from the 1960s to 1990s. The new study shows that this rise is continuing.

Researchers analyzed data from a national survey conducted in 2007 and 2008, comparing results from previous surveys between 1988 and 1994. There were 5,707 participants who completed the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) survey, which included questions regarding history of gout diagnosed by a healthcare professional.

The results clearly show that gout and “hyperuricemia” (high uric acid levels) remain prevalent in the U.S. The prevalence was higher in men (six percent) than in women (two percent) since the last study.

To prevent gout, one idea is to cut down on foods high in “purines” These substances are transformed into uric acid in the body. High purine foods include beer and wine, anchovies, gravy, organ meats, sardines and sweetbreads while foods moderately high in purines include red meat, carp, chicken, cod, halibut, kidney beans, bacon, lobster, mushrooms, shellfish, and ham.

One of the best natural remedies to combat gout is believed to be cherries, which may naturally lower the amount of uric acid in the body.

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