Natural Remedies For Gout
Posted on 02 May, 2016
Gout is a type of arthritis with sudden attacks of pain and red, tender joints, often occurring at the foot and big toe. This metabolic condition is caused by a buildup of uric acid, which is created when your body breaks down certain proteins, forming crystals that accumulate in the joints. Normally your kidneys filter uric acid out of the blood to be excreted out as urine; but your body can produce too much uric acid or excrete too little, resulting in uric acid buildup.
Your diet can play a huge role in managing the condition. Although there isn't a lot of research on alternative therapies for gout, certain foods have been studied for their potential to lower uric acid levels. Exercising regularly and keeping your body at a healthy weight has also been found to reduce your risk of gout. Of the natural remedies that gout sufferers swear by, these are the ones that top the list.
Decrease Acid-Forming Foods
Any arthritis, including gout, is deemed an ‘acidic’ condition. Acid-forming foods include sugar, grains and meat. Alkalising (the opposite of acid-forming) foods include all fruits and vegetables. Why not drink a freshly made vegetable juice daily?
Low GI Diet
Recent research has shown that high insulin levels increase the incidence of gout. Insulin spikes in response to high glycemic foods (foods that cause a rapid rise of blood glucose). Reduce high glycemic foods including sugar, white rice, biscuits and pasta. Increase low glycemic foods including fish, nuts and seeds, legumes and vegetables.
The Cherry Cure
Cherries have been associated with lower levels of uric acid in studies, as well as a reduced number of gout attacks. Cherries contain anthocyanins, natural compounds that decrease inflammation. The cherries can be fresh or frozen but it’s best to avoid the canned variety as these are often high in sugar.
Purines increase uric acid production. They are a natural break down product of certain proteins. High purine foods include; liver and other organ meats, red meat, deli meats, shellfish, crustaceans, herring, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, beer, asparagus, mushrooms and spinach.
Limiting Alcoholic Beverages
An attack of gout often occurs after a drinking a few beers as beer is high in purines. Spirits including whiskey, rum and vodka have also proved to increase the incidence of gout. However, studies show that a glass or two of wine, red or white, doesn’t have the same gouty effect.
Studies have found an association between coffee drinking — both regular and decaffeinated coffee — and lower uric acid levels, though no study has demonstrated how or why coffee may have such an effect.
The available evidence isn't enough to encourage non-coffee drinkers to start, but it may give researchers clues to new ways of treating gout in the future.
Boswellia, a close relative to frankincense (of three wise men fame), is an excellent anti-inflammatory herb that is used for all kinds of arthritis, including gout. Other anti-inflammatory herbs include celery seed, Devil’s claw, ginger and turmeric. Take a tablet or tincture each day.
Folic acid (also known as B9) helps to reduce the uric acid load. Take a B vitamin complex that contains at least 400mcg of folic acid daily.
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