What is gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that can cause sudden pain with very subtle to severe levels. Discomfort from gout can linger for weeks or months if it goes untreated. Gout affects around 4% of the population1, and the risk of developing gout increases by age and co-occurring conditions such as kidney disease, blood sugar dysfunction, Diabetes, and other arthritic conditions. Often, it affects the big toe, although other joints and connective tissues are also commonly affected. The good news is gout is treatable, but in order to address it, you have to know that you have it and why you have it! It all starts with the diet!
What causes gout?
Gout is caused when uric acid crystals accumulate within the joint. Uric acid is produced when the digestive system breaks down purines, a type of protein, in our food.3 The crystals can cause swelling and redness over the joint or muscle. The skin on or near the painful area can often be swollen or tender to the touch. An attack of gout can last for up to seven days and can linger for months if untreated. It can also be a tricky diagnosis as it imitates other conditions with flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, joint pain, and fatigue.
All-Natural Remedies to Beat Gout Symptoms
Your diet plays a big part in causing gout as well as other health problems. Changing your diet and lifestyle may be the easiest solution to beating gout. Here are some top all-natural gout remedies to get rid of gout for good. If you follow these tips, you can increase your success of getting rid of gout quickly.
Celery Seed Extract
Consume celery seed extract and celery juice. The many benefits of celery make it useful for treating a wide range of conditions that are made worse by inflammation: gout, joint pain, kidney and liver infections, irritable bowel syndrome and urinary tract infections, to name a few.
Celery seed is available as a supplement, or you can buy celery seed extract. Celery stalks are a healthy food choice, but they don’t contain as many beneficial compounds as the seeds and oil. Because of this, it may be better to incorporate the seeds into your diet to see benefits for gout.
Tart Cherry Juice
One of the many benefits of cherries is treating symptoms of gout. Cherry juice has very similar benefits to celery juice: It reduces inflammation and uric acid buildup in the body. In general, tart cherry juice is GREAT for any joint or muscle pain.
Nettles is a powerful anti-inflammatory phytonutrient. You can buy nettles as a supplement or drink it as a tea.
Fish oil is proven to be an effective treatment for arthritis, and since gout is a form of arthritis, it only makes sense that it’s omega-3 content benefits people with gout. Fish oil doesn’t act as fast as celery seed extract or black cherry juice, but fish oil can decrease your gout risk over time by reducing inflammation.
If your doctor has told you that you have a magnesium deficiency, you may be susceptible to gout. Magnesium can decrease uric acid formation in the body, and studies show that magnesium-rich foods or magnesium supplements are an effective gout treatment. Magnesium is also used for poor sleep, constipation, slow digestion, muscle soreness, cramping, and stress relief.
Bromelain is a digestive enzyme found in pineapple juice and the core of a pineapple. For centuries people have used it to aid with inflammation, pain, muscle soreness and other conditions.
Foods That Help
First, we’ll look at the foods and drinks that can help prevent gout or aid your recovery.
High-fiber foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, are superfoods that can help reduce the amount of uric acid in your bloodstream. In particular, fresh, organic cherries and berries can help to neutralize uric acid.
Seeking out foods high in potassium, including avocado, salmon, squash, bananas and apricots, can help balance the fluid within the body’s cells, relieving gout. Other potassium-rich products include raw cultured dairy or coconut water.
Fish contains Omega-3, a super-nutrient that supports your body’s health in a multitude of ways.4 Crucially, Omega-3 can help you to overcome the pain caused by gout.
We all know that we should drink plenty of water every day, but during a gout flare-up, you’ll need to up your water intake even more. Aim for at least 8oz every two hours. This way, you can flush the uric acid out of your system.
Foods to Avoid
Sadly, some foods can increase your risk of gout. Here we’ll consider the foods that are best avoided.
Foods High in Purines
Foods that are high in protein will break down into purines. Purines are the amino acids that form uric acid. Reducing your intake of purines is therefore vital to keep levels of uric acid low. High purine foods include fatty red meat, shellfish, small fish, mushrooms, organ meats, peas, lentil and spinach.
Fried Foods and Hydrogenated Oils
Gout can be aggravated by fried foods or consuming large amounts of soybean, vegetables, corn and canola oil. These products are therefore best avoided.
Foods High in Oxalates
Oxalates are natural substances contained in many foods including spinach, rhubarb, beets, nuts, chocolate, black tea, wheat bran, strawberries and beans. An excessive consumption of these foods can lead to a higher production of uric acid and result in a larger acid burden for your kidneys to expel. A high concentration of acid can make it easier for uric acid stones to form. If you have a history of kidney stones or gout, you should limit foods that contain oxalates.
Refined Carbohydrates, Sugar and Soft Drinks
The consumption of natural sugar and the man-made sweetener high fructose corn syrup appear to increase gout risk. It’s always wise to read the labels of everything you eat and drink. And know the hidden names for sugar – generally, anything ending in “ose” is a type of sugar you don’t want to consume.
Because sugary beverages are often sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, frequent soft-drink drinkers are significantly more likely to suffer from gout, particularly men.
Alcohol converts to sugar in the body, which increases uric acid and can be a significant contributor to a gout attack.
We have talked a lot about supplements and diet when it comes to gout. But, since obesity and gout are linked, regular exercise is a must to relieve gout from your life. Exercise will not only aid in gout relief but should be a part of your life no matter what.
Gout can be an unpleasant condition to live with, but making simple dietary and lifestyle changes can put you back in control of your health. Take a look at your diet for a week, then look for simple changes you could make to reduce your risk, or severity, of a gout flare-up.