Gout pain could lead to something much worse

Think you know gout pain, ladies?

I've got some bad news for you today, because as bad as that pain is -- and I know it can be absolutely crippling -- that's not the end of it.

It could be only the beginning!

New research finds that women with gout can face something far worse down the road. And while gout pain can certainly FEEL crippling, this one really IS crippling -- because it turns out gout can boost your risk of a devastating hip fracture.

One of the main reasons for gout is uric acid. While we all have some level of uric acid, gout patients often have way too much for the kidneys to handle -- so instead of being pumped out in your urine, it runs wild.

Some of it gets stuck around the big toe, where it accumulates and crystalizes, which is what leads to those incredibly painful gout flare-ups.

But that's not all uric acid does.

Those same high levels also increase both oxidative stress and inflammation, which can stop new bone from forming -- something that's already a problem for older women.

Adding uric acid to the mix just speeds that process.

As a result, the new study finds women with gout have a 40 percent higher risk of a hip fracture, a condition that can in turn increase the risk of disability and even death.

One study a few years back found these crippling breaks in older women can increase the risk of death within a year by as much as 500 percent.

That's not the only way gout can hurt you well beyond that toe.

That same inflammation and oxidative stress can take a toll on your heart, which is why men and women alike who suffer from gout have a higher risk of heart attack and other serious cardiac problems.

So we've got bone breaks, disability, heart attack, and death -- all from a little gout!

You don't have to face those risks, because there are simple and highly effective ways to slash your uric acid levels and prevent painful gout flare-ups as well as everything else that comes along for the ride.

All you have to do is make a few tweaks to your diet to avoid foods rich in the purines that lead to excess uric acid production.

There's no single category, but in general the list includes organ meats such as liver, as well as seafood such as sardines, mussels, anchovies, and herring.

It's also found in some vegetables, although in lower amounts. If you have a recurring problem with gout, though, it's probably best to limit or avoid spinach, mushrooms, lentils, asparagus, and cauliflower.

Yeast is another source of purines -- so avoid bread and beer (sorry).

If you've tried that and still have gout flare-ups, supplement with the juice or extract from cherries, especially sour cherries.