Gout is a highly painful form of arthritis that is distinctly different from the other forms such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The difference comes mostly from the cause, with gout being caused uniquely by an over-abundance of uric acid in blood which then crystallises and attached itself to the joints where it can cause pain due to its hard and sharp form. Those who have gout tend to experience these ‘gout attacks’ when the body becomes overwhelmed with uric acid on a recurring basis of around three times a year (though this number can vary). Fortunately, the unique cause of arthritis means that it is uniquely treatable and that it is possible to prevent these attacks from occurring through the correct diet and lifestyle (with osteoarthritis etc being impossible to cure). By understanding what uric acid is and how it occurs, it is possible to reduce the amount of uric acid in the blood and thereby prevent gout attacks.
Uric acid is normally produced by the body which is completely healthy and normal in adults. However, it is when the body produce too much uric acid that there is a problem. Normally our bodies eliminate uric acid by processing it, but when the build up becomes too high, it then enters the blood stream. Uric acid is produced in our bodies as a by-product (waste product) of the body breaking down protein to get amino acids. As such it is directly related to the protein in our diet. At the same time, consuming other things can help us to neutralise, wash or eliminate the extra uric acid in our body. Read on for some suggestions for how to do this:
Eating additional fruit and vegetable is one way to reduce uric acid in the blood and this works through a variety of processes. Firstly, as they contain vitamin C, they can help the immune system to spot and combat toxins in the blood. At the same time the fibre in citrus fruits can be used by the body to ‘clear out’ or ‘sweep’ the digestive system and other veins and arteries pre venting all manner of build ups including of uric acid. Berries are also particularly good for neutralising uric acid and also contain magnesium which is thought to help limit the acid. Though it will not prevent the uric acid in your blood, fruits are also known to have anti inflammatory abilities which helps them to fight swelling and damage caused by the gout attacks making fruit a multi-pronged defence.
Perhaps the single most important way to limit uric acid in the blood is to drink water. This will thin the blood and will cause your body to more regularly flush out any toxins and unwanted substances in your blood. This makes it useful for combat ting everything from uric acid, to cholesterol to glucose for diabetics. If you only make one change to lower your uric acid count then it should be this. Similarly you can also use diuretics to flush your system and this might be a good way to alleviate acute symptoms.
Fibre too can have all of the positive benefits of water for flushing the system and clearing the veins and arteries of unwanted toxins and are additionally good for bowel movements.
Other foods can help to combat uric acid in other ways by neutralising their effect and by helping the body to combat its effects. Garlic is one such super food that has many advantages for lowering the uric acid in the blood as well as other unwanted substances such as cholestrerol. Garlic is a good source of vitamins and minerals as well as high in fibre, but it also contains sulphur which can help to regularte uric avid levels. Similarly magnesium has been thought to help combat uric acid (which is partly what makes berries so good).