Gout is an extremely painful condition of the joints, especially the big toes, but it can also affect the ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers and elbows. Gout pain unfortunately is often sudden in nature and can be very intense; the affected joint may be deep red or even purple. Some sufferers do have symptoms warning of oncoming attacks including tingling and tenderness. Sufferers from gout eventually develop lumps beneath the skin around the affected joints. This is caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals. Gradually over time the recurring attacks can damage the joints.
It is known that gout has a very strong genetic component. The main symptom of gout is elevated levels of uric acid. Uric acid is created during the metabolism of purines found in organ meats, sardines, anchovies, mushrooms, asparagus and lentils. One also has to take into consideration that a number of medicines and supplements can increase the uric acid levels. These include asprin, vitamin B3, excess acidic form vitamin C and diuretics.
There are a number of dietary and lifestyle factors that also increase the chances of a gout attack, including:
- Meats that are in purines such as organ meats, sardines and anchovies.
- Coffee and all other caffeine sources.
- Reduce or stop all alcohol consumption, which dehydrates.
- Also if you are overweight, lose the excess pounds.
It is important to ensure you do not become dehydrated and avoid diets like the Atkin’s diet, which can exacerbate gout attacks. Even if you are doing all of the above the genetic component of gout is not to be underestimated. It is possible to have elevated levels of uric acid and never suffer from gout.
Like so many of the aliments I write about, the instances of gout attacks may be the result of dietary choices and lifestyle, on top of any genetic component. Making the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle as detailed earlier may be effective.
The following are also natural treatments and lifestyle changes are recommended by sufferers:
- Make sure you hydrate well, drink eight glasses of water daily, as good hydration may help to flush uric acid from the system
- Get hold of fresh, tart cherries or as cherry juice, the best of which would be unrefined cherry extract.
- Eat pineapples or take bromelain as a supplement, bromelain is a compound of digestive enzymes, extracted from pineapple stems.
- Ginger Root, has been used extensively for its anti-inflammatory properties, these properties may be very helpful in relieving the pain and inflammation.
- Avoid any sweetened or high sugar beverages.
- Make sure you get your protein from low-fat dairy products, as they may be protective against gout, so they may be the safest choices of protein.
- Also make sure to limit your intake of meat, fish and poultry and if you do have any, even a small amount and then pay close attention in case it seems to cause an attack.
The most popular treatment is Apple cider vinegar. The best way to get the full therapeutic effect you need to take 2-3 tablespoons, 2 to 3 times a daily. Most people struggle to take it straight up, if you do need to dilute it, dilute it with a glass of water, or even better mix it with your cherry juice or you could even use it as a salad dressing.
As always before commencing any treatments, dietary or lifestyle changes consult your qualified healthcare practitioner or doctor.
About The Author:
After eight years in the retail side of the health industry, much accumulation of knowledge and information I changed industries completely and gone back to my graphic design roots. I still wish to help inform people on natural alternatives, as well as help people when they are choosing to use natural alternatives to treat disorders, diseases and distresses.
(Read more posts by Charlie)