Bout With Gout

19 06 2009

The most common signs of gout are sudden (acute) redness and inflammation around joints with intense pain.  Most often the first joint that is attacked with arthritis like symptoms is the big toe with intense pain and throbbing, also swollen beyond belief and reddened.  This experience is so painful one can hardly stand to have a bed sheet touch the toe.  The same condition can occur in many other joints such as feet, ankles, knees, fingers, hands, elbows and wrists.  Bursa sacs which are fluid protective cushions around body joints to protect joint tissues are breached by elevated uric acid forming crystals transported by the blood circulation and deposited within targeted joints.  Although there is much similarity in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) the difference is RA afflicts up to several joints at a time, where gout usually impacts one joint at a time and typically starts in the feet.  Gout may also lead to a chronic bursitis (swollen bursa sacs) a condition where surgery may be required.  Uric acid crystals can also put you at risk for kidney stone problems.

Cause:  Purines are a part of our biology and introduced into the body through diet.  The by-product of Purines is uric acid.  Purines are part of human tissue and found in many Purine-Rich foods:  Beer, beverages, organ meat (liver, hearts, and kidneys), asparagus, yeast, sardines, anchovies, herring, fish, sweetbreads, smelt, and mussels.  Diets which are high in purines and protein have long have been suspected of causing gout.  By raising blood stream uric acid, painful crystals lodge within certain joints of our body creating acute pain.  Gout is considered one of the most painful forms of Rheumatic conditions and afflicts an estimated 840 out of 100,000 people in this US.  Gout accounts for approximately 5% of all cases of arthritis.  Symptoms:  Pain, swelling and tenderness, with limited movement within one or more joints; on and off pain mostly during the night time.  Increasing pain can last for hours and up to a week(s).  After periods of acute pain, the skin areas around the joint pain may peel, appear dry and become itchy.  Other symptoms: Fever or skin that looks infected with a red-purple in skin tone color.

  • Recommendations:
    -Feel for nodules (tophi) on ears, hands, or elbows – Hard uric acid crystals form under skin.
    -If you had surgery, or recovered from illness thereafter gout signs-symptoms.  See doctor.
    -Determine uric acid levels in bloodstream through blood test if you suspect you have gout.
    -Avoid alcohol, Drink Plenty of water. Exercise, maintain Ideal Body Weight.
    -Coffee and Tea is not a problem.
    -Avoid eating Purine-Rich foods and proteins.  Choose Tofu over meat products for example.
    – Gout Balanced Diet:  30% cals from fat (10% animal), 15% Low in Protein (soy, lean meat, poultry), and high in complex carbs (fruits, vegetables, whole grain)  “American Medical Assoc.”
     – Do not participate in extreme dieting as this form of weight loss increases uric acid levels.
    -Reduce uric acid & inflammation by consuming dark berries; blackberries, cherries, raspberries and blueberry (ruby-red type combinations) (see our affiliated purity products within our MAE Wellness Store).
    -Anti-inflammatory foods:  Flax, salmon, nuts, olive oil.  Vit C and Folic acid may benefit.
    -Few supplements increase hyperuricemia risk, such as Vitamin A.

Issue “Recognize Personality Disorder”  Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Why Should You be Concerned about Triglycerides?

25 10 2008

Q.   What are Triglycerides, should I be concerned?   I received my blood test last week and my triglyceride count was 184.  I was told this is average for my age.  I also had another friend of mine tell me this is high.  I’m not sure I understand what this means to my health.  Can you help provide a little insight?

A.    In a world where everyone is pinched for time; meal preparations within most family units now rely heavily on processed foods for convenience.  Our country has an obesity epidemic in mass proportions occurring especially seen within our children.  It is my opinion triglycerides should be as concerning to an individual that watches their cholesterol intake.  If you are concerned about your cholesterol also take stock of your triglyceride count.   Before I answer your question directly, let me provide a brief outline of what triglycerides represent to our health and why we should care about them.

Triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood much like cholesterol.   Neither one of these fats can dissolve in the blood.  Both fats use lipoproteins to circulate these fats throughout the body to be used by the metabolism.  Cholesterol function is to build cells and various hormones.  Triglyceride function is to provide the body with energy.   However, too much (high levels) of either of these blood fats for long periods of time create health risk and disease.  High triglycerides like cholesterol is thought to cause, or contribute to hardening of the arteries, or increasing the artery wall thickness (atherosclerosis).  Most of us know these conditions can lead to stroke, heart attack and heart disease.  High triglycerides also may trigger diabetes,  or create disease in the thyroid, liver and kidney.  Suspect you may have high triglyceride levels in your blood if you have too much fat around the waist.  “More often than not,” obesity and disease have a direct correlation with high triglycerides, high cholesterol, High blood sugar (glucose) and high blood pressure.  Check your “health risk” to potential disease by entering your weight/height into our fitness calculator at our healthblog page tab (click on the Fitness Calculator Link).

Without a blood test to indicate your level of triglycerides, one may suspect an elevation of the two blood fats if you typically over consume without regard to food intake.  This is not to say one consumes more, or less fatty, or cholesterol type foods.  Blood counts could be inverted.  In other words, you may watch your cholesterol, but because of other food choices, or hormone inefficiencies, consumption of triglycerides in your foods, or hormones don’t store blood fats adequately which can create a constant elevation of  triglycerides above normal levels (hypertriglyceridemia).

Although I believe your triglyceride levels appear decent opposed to many other counts I have seen, the normal level within the medical community sees a normal triglyceride level to be less than 150mg/dl.   Your count of 184 is considered “Borderline High 150 to 199 mg/dl.  High 200 to 499mg/dl, Very High 500mg/dl or above. Note:  Prescriptions can elevate your triglyceride levels, such as birth control pills, diuretics, steroids and breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, etc. 


 1.  Maintain “Ideal Body Weight,” Use our Fitness Calculator at home site to determine your IBW.

2.  Reduce excess calorie consumption, especially baked goods, processed foods, sugar, white flour. 

3.  Reduce trans fats found in many baked goods, cooking, crackers, chips, snack cakes etc.  Note – Just because a product states low trans fat there is still trans fat in most of these types of foods!  Even low level trans fat consumption could increase risk of disease.

4.  Avoid Alcohol.

5.  Exercise aerobically at least 30 minutes daily.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing,,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.