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There's a benefit of keeping weight and blood pressure low that a lot of people aren't aware of _ a lower risk of developing gout.
Gout isn't life-threatening, but it can be one of the most painful diseases known. It's caused by the deposit of a chemical called urate in the joints, and those deposits are directly related to blood levels of uric acid. It's mostly a disease of advancing age: Men generally get the first attack in their 40s, women in their 60s (estrogen, the female hormone whose production falls off at menopause, keeps uric acid levels low).
Classically, gout was described as a disease of the rich. Now we know that anyone can get it. Habits that increase the risk of gout include drinking too much and gaining too much weight as well as high blood pressure.
There are treatments for gout _ drugs that reduce uric acid levels, painkillers for acute attacks, but it's a lot better to prevent it by keeping blood pressure and body weight within normal bounds.
_ Maturity News Service