Statistics indicate in 2006, that gout affected approximately 3.5 million people in the United States.
Gout is a form of arthritis which is caused by uric acid deposits in the joints. A rise in the blood's uric acid level is called hyperuricaemia. It occurs predominantly in men over 30, and in post menopausal women as the estrogen level lowers.
A salt called monosodium urate (from the uric acid) forms needle like crystals in the joints. These crystals cause inflammation and pain. Gout sufferers describe a flare-up as a piercing stabbing pain in the swollen joints.
What causes gout is very simply an over abundance of uric acid. So what you need to do to combat the symptoms is to get rid of the excess uric acid. There are 7 easy ways to do this.
1. The first thing that most doctors agree on is the diet. High protein foods cause a build up of a chemical called purines. The purines raise your uric acid level and increases risk of another gout attack.
So we have to limit or avoid foods such as: organ meats, sweetbread. anchovies, herring, mackerel, red meat, poultry, shellfish, fish roe, scallops, asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, dairy foods, peas, lentils, and beans.
Foods that are recommended help to counteract the purines. These include cherries which contain flavonoid compounds that can lower uric acid and reduce inflammation.
Some other good choices are blueberries, strawberries, raw pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, raw foods like sprouts, wheat grass, and fresh salads. Also include more grains, fruits and vegetables instead of high protein foods.
2. The second way of combating gout symptoms is drinking water. If you will simply drink 8 ounces of water with each meal, and between each meal, the water will help to flush out a lot of the impurities.
3. The third thing that helps to control gout is losing weight if you are overweight. When you are overweight your body does not metabolize food as efficiently as it could at a desirable weight.
Doctors advise a sensible weight loss plan in the attempt to lower uric acid levels. But take it slow. Crash dieting can actually increase the amount of uric acid produced by the body and bring about an attack.
4. The fourth way to lower gout symptoms is to cut out the alcohol. Alcoholic beverages increase uric acid in the body, and they also inhibit the excretion of uric acid.
Red wines such as port and Madeira contain the highest levels of purines. Eliminating alcohol ends gout attacks for many people who suffer from gout.
5. Exercise is the fifth way to lower risk of gout attacks. Stretching exercises helps to strengthen the joints, and also increases your endurance and stamina. A sedentary lifestyle is not recommended for gout sufferers.
6. Supplements is sixth in line. Cod liver oil, and Vitamin E is beneficial because they help reduce joint inflammation.
Using an alkaline supplement to reduce and prevent acid build up in the joints. Maintaining the proper pH balance in the body helps to retain a healthy immune system. When the blood has a slightly alkaline pH the body is healthier.
7. Herbs can also be instrumental in fighting gout. Some of the herbs that are frequently used are sarsaparilla, and celery seed which helps clear toxins from the body and reduces inflammation.
A cup of fresh parsley tea helps to lower excess uric acid. It also doubles as a diuretic which is useful for relieving water retention.
Tea tree oil, dandelion, and nettle are also used on gout patients. You can soothe the foot joints by soaking in a cool foot tub with a few drops of rosemary oil.
When you can bear to touch the affected area, combine juniper oil and olive oil and massage into the joints.
Levels of uric acid in the blood can also be raised by stress, injuries, and aspirin.
By implementing these 7 easy ways to reduce gout pain, you should be well on the way to pain free joints.