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Proper Eating Could Prevent Gout: Doctor

Gout is a common inflammatory arthritis that can lead to intense joint pain, but it can be potentially be avoided by proper eating, a doctor said Thursday.

The disease is caused by a high level of uric acid in the blood, which can come from certain foods, such as organ meats, like liver, or anchovies, said Dr. Taing Tek Hong, as a guest on "Hello VOA."

Gout affects 1 percent to 2 percent of adult men, and nine times as many men as women, he said.

"It causes intense joint pain, usually of the big toe, at night," he said. "Risk factors include obesity, family history of gout, male sex, women after menopause aged over 40 to 50, excessive alcohol intake, especially beer," and others.

Medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes can also lead to gout, he said.

The disease can show up as nodules under the skin, or as kidney stones, and acute gout can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

"To prevent recurrent attacks, patient should avoid alcohol, especially beer, cut back on red meat and organ meats, like kidneys and hear, anchovies, sardines, mussels, sweet breads and sea food," Taing Tek Hong said. "Low fat dairy products, ascorbic acid, or Vitamin C, and wine consumption appear to be protective."