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Gout | The Rich Man's Disease

What is Gout? Gout is a type of arthritis that affects mostly men. Arthritis is a general term for inflammation of joints which causes them to be painful and swollen and can be caused by different factors. Gout was historically referred to as "a disease of the kings" or "the rich man' s disease" due to the expensive diet (meat and lots of alcohol) that was associated with it.

What causes gout? Gout is caused by accumulation of uric acid in the body. This leads to deposition of uric acid crystals inside and around the joints causing severe pain and swelling.
The uric acid we refer to is formed when substances called purines are broken down by your body. Purines are made by our bodies but can also be found in our diet especially in meats and sea foods. Ideally the kidney removes this uric acid, however if you’re producing very high amounts or if the kidney is not functioning well, the uric acid accumulates in the body leading to deposition of the crystals.

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Gout | How to Prevent and Manage It

How to manage and prevent gout? For successful gout management you should first see a doctor. Adjusting one’s diet and lifestyle can also help to reduce and prevent gout attacks. This can be done by:

1. Losing Weight Achieving a healthy weight reduces the uric acid in body and the number of gout attacks. It also relieves your joints by reducing the stress from having too much weight. When losing weight however, it’s good to have a gradual weight loss. Rapid weight loss increases uric acid levels in the body and can cause you gout attacks. Avoid crash diets, starvation diets, high protein or low carbohydrate diets and stick to losing weight by eating a balanced diet.

2. Diet Uric acid is formed when purine found in food is broken down. If you’ve gout, you should avoid or reduce intake of foods high in purine. This include:
Meats especially red meatOrgan meats e.g. kidney, heart and liverSea food e.g. oily fish, shellfish, crabs A good diet for a person with gout should be balanced. Som…

Hypertension | The Silent Killer

Summary
What is Hypertension?Blood Pressure and HypertensionClassification of HypertensionSymptomsCauses and Risk Factors of HypertensionProblems associated with  Hypertension
What is Hypertension? Hypertension is basically a persistently high blood pressure. It’s also often referred to as a “silent killer” because one may go for years without developing symptoms only to get a fatal stroke or heart attack.

Blood Pressure and Hypertension Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted on the walls of the arteries by blood which is pumped by the heart. High blood pressure therefore indicates that one’s blood is pumping with more force than it should.
It’s often a common routine to have one’s blood pressure when you visit your doctor. The instrument used for this purpose is called a sphygmomanometer. It measures blood pressure based on two values:
The higher value (systolic pressure) – this is the highest pressure against the artery walls as the heart pumps the blood. The normal systolic …

Hypertension | Keeping Your Pressure In Check

Summary
TreatmentPrevention Now that we have an idea of what hypertension is, let's look at ways to to prevent it. If you haven't read the first part you can read it by clicking here.

Treatment For the majority of people, a change in diet and lifestyle alone can treat high blood pressure however some people may require medication. Your doctor will advise you on the changes you can make and if required will put you on medication.

Prevention 1. Salt intake Reduce salt intake to less than 6g per day. This is roughly the amount of one teaspoon. Also take note that some foods, particularly processed and packaged foods, contain sodium instead of table salt. Table salt is approximately 40% sodium and as such the daily intake for sodium is much lower. It’s recommended that it should not be more than 1500mg to 2300mg per day. So always make a point to check your food labels for sodium content. You can also reduce your intake of salt by reducing intake or having small amounts of foods th…

Iron Deficiency Anaemia | World's No. 1 Nutrient Deficiency

Summary
Some Quick FactsWhat is Iron Deficiency Anaemia?Signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anaemiaCauses of iron deficiency anaemiaPeople at risk for iron deficiency anaemia Some Quick FactsIron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide, affecting 2 billion people worldwide.Those at the highest risk of iron deficiency are women and children in developing countriesIt’s estimated that every second pregnant woman and about 40% of pre-school children in developing countries are anaemicIron deficiency is the only nutrient deficiency that’s is also significantly prevalent in developed nationsAnaemia is responsible for 20% of all maternal deaths Source: WHO
According to the most recent micronutrient survey, prevalence of anaemia in Kenya among pregnant women stands at 55.1% and 46.4% among non-pregnant women Source: KNBS

What is Iron Deficiency Anaemia? Iron deficiency anaemia, sometimes referred to as IDA, is a common condition that occurs when the body lacks sufficient i…

Iron Deficiency Anemia | Prevention and Treatment

Summary
TreatmentPreventionGetting the most out of your Iron Rich Foods
Treatment If you’ve been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia your doctor will take the appropriate steps to treat the condition. This is because as we have seen IDA can be caused by a variety of reasons other than just lacking sufficient iron in your diet.

Prevention Incorporating a variety of healthy foods into your diet is the best way of preventing and treating iron deficiency. Protein foods (meats and pulses) and greens provide the most iron in your diet. 

Iron Rich Foods Iron in our diet comes into two forms depending on the source. The first type is called heme iron and is primary found in animal foods while the second type, non-heme iron is found in both animal and plant sources. The main difference between this two is that heme iron is better absorbed than non-heme iron.

Some iron rich foods include:

Animal Sources (heme & non-heme source)
ChickenChicken LiverFishBeef (lean)Beef liverEgg yolkOysters Ge…

Obesity | A Look at the Popular Lifestyle Disease

Summary
Introduction Classification of ObesityCauses of obesityRisks associated with Obesity Introduction Obesity is a condition characterized by the abnormal accumulation of fat in the body. It's usually classified using the Body Mass Index (BMI) however fat distribution should be considered too. Obesity is a major health issue globally with WHO attributing at least 2.8 million deaths yearly to overweight and obesity.

Obesity occurs when energy intake is more than energy output. Energy intake is the amount of energy we derive from both food and drink while energy output is the energy the body expends when we are physically active and even when in rest (breathing, digestion, circulation, excretion etc.).

The prevalence of the obesity has been on a steady rise globally, both in developed and developing countries. Those most affected tend to be those that reside in urban areas. Obesity can affect people at all ages including children, but women tend to be more likely to be obese tha…