If you’ve never had gout, do two things.
First, next time you take off your shoes and socks, give your big toe a little tap of thanks for never going bad on you. You’re in this one together.
And second, next time you’re at the doctor’s office getting your bloodwork cooked up, make sure he checks your uric acid levels — and not just for your toe.
Do it for your brain!
This is the stuff that turns into the “crystals” that feel like glass shards in your toe, leading to that intense pain that, as any gout victim will tell you, feels like being stabbed with a thousand red-hot daggers.
Most docs won’t bother unless you currently have or have had gout — but this stuff isn’t just in your foot.
It moves right through you, from head to toe — which is why new research finds a link between high levels of uric acid in your blood and your risk of an especially vicious form of dementia.
It’s called vascular dementia — and it’s caused by gummed-up blood vessels blocking all the blood from reaching your brain, depriving it of essential minerals and oxygen.
And if you’ve got high levels of uric acid in your blood, you’re facing more than TRIPLE the risk of this form of dementia.
The study also finds it can increase your risk of other forms of dementia, with the exception of Alzheimer’s disease.
The key here?
These folks had high uric acid… but they DIDN’T have gout.
At least, they didn’t have gout YET — but with uric acid levels like they had, they were certainly on deck for it.
Many of them did have something else, though: They had suffered a stroke at some point, and that’s where the biggest risk of all is.
If you’ve had a stroke, you’re at risk. If you ever will have a stroke, which is impossible to predict, you’re also at risk.
So, just assume you’re at risk, and get those uric acid levels checked.
If it turns out you’re on the wrong side of the fence, there are three ways to get back in your own yard.
1. Drop a few pounds. Too much jiggle in the middle will make you FIVE TIMES more likely to have elevated uric acid levels.
2. Drink coffee. A cup or three a day can cut uric acid levels by as much as 20 percent.
3. Get your hands on tart cherry extract. If you’re REALLY in the risk zone, the anthocyanins in tart cherry can sweep out uric acid and even break up any crystals that might be forming.
You’ll be cutting your risk of gout AND dementia… at the same time!