Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Archive for March 29th, 2012

Gout and Oats – There Could Be A Connection

Posted by terrepruitt on March 29, 2012

Seems as if my quest for something to eat for breakfast before teaching my Nia classes has turned into somewhat of a series on oats.  I know a body needs to eat to break the fast, but I don’t always have time to eat something before Nia in the morning.  I wanted something quick but healthy.  Oatmeal is always said to be one of the best breakfast to have, but I don’t like oatmeal.  I don’t think eating a processed breakfast or snack bar is the answer I was looking for.  I was thinking granola even though I used to not like granola, I have found a few that I like, but most often than not they have canola oil in them so I have been looking for recipes where I can make my own.  I found one that I like after I did a little bit of adjusting.  The whole process had me wondering about oats and oatmeal.  When I did a search of nutrition one of my favorite sites came up with some information on oats I found totally interesting.  As usual I learned something totally new to me.  I hear a lot more about Gout lately than I used to.  And the information about oats and gout had me looking gout up what gout is again.  I always forget it is a form of arthritis.

Here is what wiki says about Gout:

“Gout has increased in frequency in recent decades affecting approximately one to two percent of the Western population at some point in their lives. The increase is believed to be due to increasing risk factors in the population, such as metabolic syndrome, longer life expectancy and changes in diet. Gout was historically known as “the disease of kings” or “rich man’s disease”.”

According to PubMed Health there is:

“Gouty arthritis – acute; Gout – acute; Hyperuricemia; Tophaceous gout; Tophi; Podagra; Gout – chronic; Chronic gout; Acute gout; Acute gouty arthritis”

This type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in blood and causes joint inflammation.  So just like other types of arthritis there can be flare ups.  With the different type of gout the flare ups are different.  One joint is affected by pain and inflammation in the case of acute gout, but in chronic gout it can be in more than one joint.

While they know what causes gout, they don’t know what causes the cause.  Too much uric acid in the synovial fluid causes crystals to form.  The crystals are what cause the pain, swelling and inflammation.  But they don’t know why a body might make too much uric acid or have difficulty getting rid of it.  They have a list of what they consider to be risk factors.  Risk factors include: being over weight, consuming too much alcohol, eating too much red meat or fish or foods high in purines.  Gout is more common in males than females, although woman after menopause seem to be at greater risk.  Certain medications might contribute to gout.

These risk factors could be what contributed to the historical nicknames as probably kings and rich men were more often the ones overweight, drinking too much alcohol, and eating too much red meat and fish.

It is the food high in purines that got my attention.  Oats are high in purines.  So oats might not be good for people with gout or with high levels of uric acid because they could cause gout. Even though oats are a good source of antioxidants and are believed to help lower cholesterol if you have too much uric acid you might not want to consume them every morning.  Another uric acid related health issue is kidney stones.  So monitoring your intake of oats, might be prudent if you are prone to high levels of uric acid.  Although the site does go onto say that recent research is showing the purines in the meat and the fish are the real culprits in producing too much uric acid contributing to the health issues and that the vegetable/plant purines are not, it still might be a good idea to keep it in mind if your body is prone to gout or kidney stones.

Just another thing that is so great for you, but depending upon your individual body might not be so great.  I really believe that our diets are a main factor in our health.  It is important to know that even foods that have so many health benefits and are so full of nutrition still could affect your health in a negative way.  It really depends on your body.  I think it is always a good idea to look at the diet when there are health issues.

Did you know that oats could aggravate gout?

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