Gear up to deal with gout

Changing dietary habits can help in treatment. Photo: iStockphoto

Changing dietary habits can help in treatment. Photo: iStockphoto

The pain in his right ankle was so intense, he couldn’t rest his foot on the floor. Yet there was no swelling or inflammation. This is what Alex Anthony, 56, a retired naval captain and a maritime lawyer in Kochi, recalls vividly about his first attack of gout 11 years ago. “It felt like thousands of needles were piercing my ankle,” he says. When Ayurvedic massage offered no relief, he decided to consult a rheumatologist, who ordered an X-ray and a blood test.
“At first, we thought it was a particularly painful sprain,” he says. “However, the X-ray showed no signs of injury or trauma. A blood test revealed high levels of uric acid which led to a condition called gout.”

“Gout is an inflammatory form of arthritis,” says Shrikant Yeshwant Wagh, consultant rheumatologist at Apollo Jehangir Hospital, Pune, and founder-president of Know Your Arthritis, a charitable trust that works to raise awareness about arthritic ailments. “The condition arises because of the build-up of uric acid crystals—an excess of which is called hyperuricemia—in the blood. It is possible to have elevated levels of uric acid (higher than 6mg/dl, which is the norm) without developing gout, but when this excessive uric acid is deposited in a single joint, it results in gout pain.” Uric acid is a waste product that should be excreted by the kidneys. If it isn’t, it can lead to a build-up in the bloodstream.

“And though it can affect any joint, the common sites where excess uric acid is deposited are the big toe, the finger joints, the ankles or the knees—the result is intense and chronic pain,” says Dr Wagh.

Affecting younger people

According to a study published in 2015, in the medical journal Nature Reviews Rheumatology, the incidence of gout has been increasing worldwide over the past 50 years. In India, the disease is affecting a growing number of younger people too. “In some cases, gout is genetic, but a diet high in protein, frequent abuse of alcohol and a high intake of fast foods can increase your uric acid levels and put you at greater risk of developing it, especially if you’re already predisposed to it,” says J.V. Srinivas, director of orthopaedics, Fortis Hospital, Bengaluru. “We are seeing a lot of cases of people in their early 30s and 40s, though it can affect anyone at any age.”

As in Anthony’s case, the pain occurs without warning and keeps escalating. During an attack, your physician will prescribe painkillers and, depending on the intensity, even steroids that offer some measure of relief. Prevention, however, is most essential.

Lifestyle changes

Since uric acid is a waste product formed when the body breaks down purines—a type of protein that is found in many foods and even occurs naturally in our cells—changing dietary habits has long been linked to the treatment of gout.

“Dietary restrictions depend on how high your uric acid levels are and the frequency and intensity of your attacks,” says Saman Zaman, nutritionist at Philips Healthcare, New Delhi. “For non-vegetarians with chronically high levels of uric acid, it is best to avoid red meat, and consuming meat from organs such as brain, liver and kidney,” she says. “If your attacks aren’t as frequent, you can have limited intake of meats such as lamb, fish (tuna, salmon, trout) and poultry as these have moderate levels of purine. Portion sizes shouldn’t exceed 100-150g daily,” she says. “Chronic gout sufferers who are vegetarians may have been asked to avoid certain pulses and legumes such as beans, chickpeas and rajma, but recent studies show that moderate intake of purine-rich vegetables like these don’t aggravate symptoms of gout. A balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables and dairy is recommended.”

In a study published in November in the Journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, it was established that the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, originally formulated to help patients with high blood pressure, could also greatly help in controlling gout attacks.

“The DASH diet is a simple plant-rich diet. It’s high in fibre, low in sodium and red meat. Salt is restricted to around 1,500mg per day (2-3 tsp). It requires you to eat a lot of vegetables, fruits and whole- grain foods which increase your fibre intake. You can include fish and poultry and nuts, but must eliminate red meat. It also requires you to cut the simple carbs like sugars, sugary drinks, canned and tinned foods, Indian sweets, and junk food that contain trans fats and cholesterol,” says Payal Banka, a dietitian based in Bengaluru.

Associated health risks

A study of 409 obese patients, published in the June 2012 journal of Obesity Surgery, found that 47% of them had hypertension or high blood pressure. The group that had hypertension was more likely to develop hyperuricemia as well. Researchers found that though abdominal fat doesn’t directly cause the condition, gout patients had a propensity to become obese and develop diabetes.

Controlling gout, then, is essential to good health. Frequent monitoring is required, says Dr Wagh. “Keeping uric acid levels below 6 is critical to prevent the occurrence of other health issues,” he says. People who suffer from gout do have a tendency to develop kidney stones too, another excruciatingly painful condition to deal with. “Drink plenty of water to excrete the excess uric acid so that kidney stones don’t form and keep a strict eye on your blood sugar levels,” says Dr Wagh. “Ideally, patients should take a blood test once every month (for four-six months) to constantly monitor their uric acid levels.”

Understanding your body and its needs is critical in living and coping with gout and staying free of pain.

[“Source-livemint”]

Spotify Signs Sony Royalty Deal While Warner Holds Out: Reports

Spotify Signs Sony Royalty Deal While Warner Holds Out: Reports

Spotify has reached a licensing deal with a second major label, Sony Music Entertainment, according to media reports, setting the stage for a US stock market listing by the music streaming leader.

Recently valued at $13 billion (roughly Rs. 83,810 crores), Sweden’s Spotify is planning a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange later this year or in early 2018, sources told Reuters in May.

Sony agreed to reduce royalties that Spotify must pay in return for the streaming service restricting new albums to paying subscribers for two weeks before offering access to free users, the Financial Times reported, citing a single source.

Sony’s top artists include Adele, Beyonce and Shakira.

Spotify is also in talks with Warner Music Group , Billboard reported.

Favourable royalty terms are crucial for Spotify to attain profitability and to make it a viable long-term holding for investors.

The company reported a EUR 349 million ($400 million) operating loss, a 47 percent increase on a year earlier, even as revenue grew 50 percent to EUR 2.93 billion.

In April, it signed a multi-year licensing deal with Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, with a similar two-week release window for new albums and a break on the royalties Spotify pays Universal.

It also signed up digital agency Merlin, on behalf of more than 20,000 independent labels.

Last year, Universal held a 28.9 percent share of global music label revenue, Sony Music generated 22.4 percent and Warner 17.4 percent. Independent labels made up the remaining 31.3 percent, MIDiA Research data showed.

Spotify has fended off competition from rival Apple Music, with nearly double the number of paying subscribers.

In March, Spotify said it had more than 50 million paying subscribers and 140 million active users, including free listeners. Apple reported 27 million music subscribers last month, up from 20 million in December.

The company has faced boycotts from some top music artists who have complained its free services undercut the value of their work but the major label licensing deals have gone some way toward easing these tensions, according to analysts.

Spotify declined to comment. Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group did not respond to requests for immediate comment.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Verizon Says Unsure About Yahoo Deal

Verizon Says Unsure About Yahoo Deal
HIGHLIGHTS
Yahoo came under renewed scrutiny after disclosing data breach
Verizon demanded better terms for its planned purchase
AOL CEO expects the Verizon-Yahoo deal to go through
A senior Verizon Communications Inc executive said on Thursday that the company was unsure about its planned acquisition of Yahoo Inc’s Internet business.

Yahoo came under renewed scrutiny by federal investigators and lawmakers last month after disclosing the largest known data breach in history, prompting Verizon to demand better terms for its planned purchase.

“I can’t sit here today and say with confidence one way or another because we still don’t know,” Marni Walden, president of product innovation and new businesses at Verizon, said at the Citi 2017 Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas.

Walden added that the merits of the deal still made sense and that there were certain aspects of the investigation that had yet to be completed.

(Also see: Yahoo Hack: Disclosure Lag Could Be a Simple Lack of Knowledge)
She did not provide a time-frame for the completion of the deal.

“We think it will take weeks at least, we don’t have a desire to have it drag on forever, that’s not our intent,” Walden said.

However, AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong told CNBC that he expected the Verizon-Yahoo deal would likely go through. AOL was acquired by Verizon in 2015 for $4.4 billion.

Yahoo’s shares were up 3.09 percent at $41.30, while Verizon’s shares were relatively unchanged in late afternoon trading.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

For the latest coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, visit our CES 2017 hub.
Tags: Yahoo, Yahoo 2014 Hack, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Hack, Verizon, Cyber Attack, Internet, Yahoo Verizon Deal, Apps, Telecom, Cyber Security

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Black Friday Deal Offers Dropbox Pro Subscription at 40 Percent Off, Free $25 Dell Gift Card

Black Friday Deal Offers Dropbox Pro Subscription at 40 Percent Off, Free $25 Dell Gift Card
HIGHLIGHTS
Dropbox Pro 1TB annual subscription costs $99
Under this deal, you can get it for just $59.99 for a year
Dell will also give you a $25 eGift card for online purchases
Following the Thanksgiving Day in the US, comes Black Friday, bearing plethora of offers and discounted deals for the buyers. While Black Friday is over in the US, a lot of companies are still offering various discounts and freebies. Amid many Black Friday deals, Dropbox is also offering a good discount on its Pro plan, which comes with 1TB of storage. Additionally, you can also get a free Dell gift card to further sweeten the deal.

Dropbox is one of the highly utilised cloud storage services worldwide. The Dropbox Pro subscription generally costs $99 (roughly Rs. 6,800) annually for 1TB of cloud storage, whereas the monthly bill cycle incurs $9.99 per month. This Black Friday, Dropbox is giving 1TB of backup cloud space at just $59.99 for 1 year. It is worth mentioning that the Dropbox Pro subscriptions are only for a single user, but you can use its sharing tools for file-sharing to give read-only access to others. Pro accounts also come with unlimited file recovery and version history, which means you can go back to any version of the file in the past. Free users can only go back 30 days.

The Dropbox deal is available via Dell, which is also offering a $25 (roughly Rs. 1,700) Dell Promo eGift card along with the Dropbox deal. This eGift coupon will be automatically added to your cart when you’re about to check out to purchase Dropbox Pro 1TB storage. This eGift card can be used to Dell accessories like keyboards, mice, gaming consoles etc. or can be used to make partial payment towards a bigger purchase.

If you’re looking for a good cloud storage solution, then this deal is too good to be missed. For all other deals and offers, you can check our compilation of Black Friday deals. If you are based in India and want to grab Black Friday deals, fret not as we have got you covered in our simple guide on how you can purchase and import your items straight from the US.

Tags: Black Friday, Black Friday Deals, Dropbox Pro, Dropbox, Dell, Internet

[“Source-Gadgets”]