If you have ever gout, then you know how painful it is to deal with and the restrictions that it causes on your life. Gout is enabled by the sudden, sharp pains in the joints. A gout attack can be so severe that it can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and it can feel like your big toe is on fire, and any contact with the affected area can cause intense agony. Here are some ways to naturally control your symptoms.
Can your diet be causing gout inflammation in your joints?
1. Avoid foods that are high in Purines
Purines are natural substances that are found in the body’s cells as metabolic waste. Foods that we eat also contain purines, however some foods contain more purines than others. These foods include anchovies, organ meats, sardines, and beef. Uric acid is formed when the purines are broken down in the body. It’s best to avoid foods high in purines to lower your chances of a gout attack.
2. Drink water
Arguably the most important step you can take when dealing with gout is to drink a lot of water. A lack of water can raise uric acid levels as dehydration is one of the primary triggers of a gout attack. It is recommended that an individual suffering from a gout attack drink at least 8 glasses of water a day in order to flush the uric acid out of your system and help stabilize your uric acid levels back to normal.
3. Foods that can help manage uric acid/gout symptoms
Another critical step to managing your gout symptoms is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. As mentioned earlier, it is important to have a diet low in purine-rich foods and it is also important to stay away from fructose-sweetened drinks as well as alcoholic beverages. A few foods that you may consider would be fruits such as pears, apples, oranges, strawberries. These foods are high in fiber and can help lower the amount of uric acid in your system. Dairy products can also be effective in reducing uric acid levels. A substance in milk called orotic helps to flush uric acid from the kidneys. Along those same lines, cow’s milk has been shown to reduce activity of an enzyme, xanthine oxidase, which is the enzyme that produces uric acid. Try and drink one glass of skim milk every day or yogurt or other dairy product regularly in your diet.
4. Exercise regularly
In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, it is also important to exercise. Fitness walking or stair climbing exercises for 30-45 minutes 5 days a week will help improve lung function and increase the body’s ability to metabolize uric acid in the body. Healthy diet combined with exercise can help limit the damage that gout can have on the body.
Several seed extracts and fruits can help with uric acid levels
Along with all of these measures, there are several herbs and plant extracts that can help lower uric acid levels. A couple of these herbs include:
1. Celery Seed Extract
Celery seed has long been shown to be an effective remedy for gout. It is high in Omega-6 fatty acids, and works as a diuretic, which means that it helps cleanse the system of excess fluids from the body. Celery seed stimulates the kidneys and causes you to flush out uric acid and gout-causing crystals. Celery seed has also been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
2. Banaba Leaf Extract
Banaba leaf contains Valoneic Acid Dilactone (VAD), which is used to help naturally lower uric acid levels. VAD inhibits xanthine oxidase, stopping the conversion of purines to uric acid. Walnuts also contain VAD. Banaba can also be consumed in tea and have the same effect on your gout symptoms.
3. Turmeric Root
Turmeric is a spice that has been used to reduce inflammation associated with gout attacks. It works to inhibit the production of Cox-1 and Cox-2, the prostaglandins which carry pain messages, and reduce inflammation. Turmeric has also been shown to help ease pain and inflammation without the side effects of many of the NSAID’s that your doctor may prescribe to you.
4. Milk Thistle Seed
Milk thistle is another popular remedy for gout pain. It works with your liver to help relieve your symptoms of gout. Your body needs a healthy liver in order to metabolize uric acid and then pass it through your urine. If the liver is not functioning properly, this can cause elevated levels of uric acid and can lead to gout.
Certain fruits, especially berries and cherries can help you lower uric acid levels. Berries are high in anti-inflammatory compounds and low in purines, which is quite helpful for dealing with gout. Cherries are very high in both Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and also contain fiber. All of those are essential towards lowering your uric acid levels.