NCTV Episode 101

Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode includes:-

  • King Henry VIII
  • Foods and drinks to avoid
  • Which joints are affected by gout
  • Self help strategies
  • Treatments options


If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-

Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 101 which is all about “The Disease of Kings”, also known as gout to us commoners.

Historically, another name for it was “Rich Man’s Disease” because it was associated with indulgent lifestyles, rich diets and excessive alcohol consumption.

These terms originated from the belief that only the wealthy could afford the foods and drinks that were thought to cause gout, as well as the fact that King Henry VIII famously suffered from this condition which contributed to his mobility issues in later life.

So in order to unravel some of the mysteries of this ancient ailment, a great place to start is knowing exactly what it is. To put it sharply if you pardon the pun, it’s the build-up of tiny uric acid crystals that form in your joints causing swelling, redness and pretty intense pain. Uric acid is a natural by-product of the breakdown of purines in the body which are found in certain foods and drinks.

Which foods and drinks I hear you ask? Well, particularly red and fatty meats such as beef, lamb and pork, organ meats i.e. liver and kidney, certain seafoods like sardines, mackerel and shellfish and some processed foods like canned soup, gravy and refined carbs – for example white bread, cakes and pastries.

When it comes to drinks, it’s predominantly alcohol to avoid, especially beer, but some spirits such as whiskey and vodka and to a lesser extent, wine. But also, sugary beverages like sweetened soft drinks and fruit juices should be limited.

While diet and lifestyle factors play a significant role in gout development, genetics also play a part. Some people have a genetic predisposition to produce higher levels of uric acid or have difficulty excreting it efficiently, making them more susceptible to gout.

Gout most commonly affects the joint at the base of the big toe. However, it can also affect other joints, including the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and fingers.

But fear not, there are plenty of ways you can prevent gout and there are also some self-help strategies you can employ if you get it.

First of all, hydration is key, drinking plenty of water will help flush out excess uric acid in your system.

Something you can add to your diet is cherries, not only are they delicious but they also contain compounds that can help lower your uric acid levels.

Generally speaking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol consumption can also work wonders for keeping gout flare-ups in check. What’s equally as important is to focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products.

Aside from this, medically, you may be prescribed the likes of NSAIDS such as ibuprofen. Also, colchicine, corticosteroids or allopurinol may be prescribed to cope with the pain and inflammation or to lower the uric acid levels.

In terms of manual therapy, some people find the like of osteopathy or other physical therapies useful in helping to manage the pain, reduce muscle tension and improve the associated joint function.

So that’s it for this week’s bitesize bit to help your health flourish. Remember, knowledge is only potential power, so arm yourself with the tools to keep those joints gout free and happy.

See you next time!

Bye bye.