Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis that usually affects the outlying joints. The big toe is most commonly afflicted, but gout can also affect the knees, elbows, thumbs or fingers. Deposits of urate crystals in the joints result in gout. Urate is one of the breakdown products of compounds called purines.

Gout sufferers tend to either produce more urate than normal or to excrete less in the form of uric acid. Gout is usually accompanied by raised blood urate levels. The underlying cause for these deficiencies which lead to gout are unknown. However, there is often a family history of gout.

Men (16 in a thousand) are much more prone to develop gout than women are (3 in a thousand), although post-menopausal women also run an increased risk. Foods do not cause gout per se, but help trigger attacks. Similarly, obesity is an added risk factor. We thank Allāh for forbidding alcohol. Amongst its various harms is that it triggers gout.

Treatment and Diagnosis

A blood test revealing high levels of uric acid will confirm if the painful joint is gout afflicted.

Avoid Medication with aspirin as it causes the retention of uric acid. Anti-inflammatory medication on the other hand, such as ibuprofen can reduce symptoms.
 
Weight control is essential to bring gout under control. Resolve on a programme of exercise and diet for steady weight loss. Rapid weight loss can trigger gout. It is important to keep hydrated to prevent the build-up of uric acid. This is also important to remember when fasting.
 
Potassium assists in the excretion of uric acid by keeping the urine alkaline. Fresh fruit, especially bananas, and green leafy vegetables are sources of potassium. Cherries help lower blood levels of uric acid. Celery is recommended for its anti-inflammatory qualities.

Tofu (bean curd) increases uric acid secretion and therefore helps the body maintain lower acid levels.

Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease the body’s output of inflammatory compounds. Fish oil supplements, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, can relieve painful swelling of the joints. As per information at our disposal the following omega supplements are Halaal suitable:

Revite Omega Vegi-capsules, A. Vogel VegOmega-3, Solal Fish Oil (Extract) Omega3 Fish Gelatine Capsules, Solal Flaxseed/Linseed Oil Omega3 Vegi-capsules, Solal Omega 3 Double Strength Fish Gelatin Capsules and Bio-Life Salmon Oil Fish Gelatin Capsules.

Solal Omega All and Solal Sol-Oil Omega 3 & 6 are NOT approved by SANHA as they contain bovine gelatin derived from non-Halaal slaughtered animals.

Avoid foods rich in purines.  The following are high in purines:

Anchovies, brains, consommé, goose, gravy, heart, herring, kidney, mackerel, meat extracts, mincemeat, mussels, roe, sardines and yeast.

The following are moderately high in purines and should only be consumed in moderation:

Asparagus, dried beans, lentils, meat, fish and poultry (except the above-mentioned), mushrooms, dried peas, shellfish and spinach.