Gout natural remedies
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
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Gout is a type of arthritis caused by an excessive accumulation of monosodium urate (uric acid).
Either a patient produces too much uric acid or they are unable to excrete (get rid of) the uric acid. The end result is deposits of uric acid in the body, most commonly the joints and the kidneys.
Among the more common signs and symptoms are:
• Extreme inflammation in a single joint, usually the base of the big toe, but other joints can also be affected (such as the feet, fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, or ankles)
• Joint is shiny red-purple, swollen, hot, and stiff
• Fever as high as 39°C (102.2° F) with or without chills
• Attacks develop over a matter of hours but may get better over a few days or weeks
• If the disease progresses, tophi (deposits of uric acid) form under the skin in the outer ear, hands, feet, elbow, or knee
Gout medicines are discussed on other pages on the website.
Natural remedies for gout start with common sense measures.
Nutritional tips include:
•Maintain ideal weight. Avoid crash dieting and rapid weight loss.
•Drink plenty of water because dehydration can trigger gout.
•Restrict purines in the diet. Purines are converted to uric acid. Foods with a high purine content include beef, goose, organ meats, sweetbreads, mussels, anchovies, herring, mackerel, and yeast. Foods with a moderate amount of purines include meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish not listed above. Spinach, asparagus, beans, lentils, mushrooms, and dried peas also contain moderate amounts of purines.
•Do not drink alcohol, especially beer and red wine.
•Cherries—One half pound of cherries per day (fresh or frozen) for two weeks has been shown to lower uric acid and prevent attacks. Cherries and other dark red berries (hawthorn berries and blueberries) contain anthocyanidins that decrease inflammation. Cherry juice (8 to 16 oz. per day) is also helpful.
•Vitamin C—8 g per day can lead to decreased blood uric acid levels in many people. However, there is a small number of people with gout who will get worse.
•Folic acid—10 to 75 mg per day inhibits xanthine oxidase, which is required for uric acid production.
•EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Found in fish. Inhibits pro-inflammatory leukotrienes. Dose is 1,500 mg per day.
Some more natural remedies are:
•Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) reduces pain and inflammation.
•Bromelain (Ananas comosus)—proteolytic enzyme (anti-inflammatory) found in pineapple.
Some of the most common homeopathic remedies used for gout may be effective. These include aconite, belladonna, bryonia, colchicum, and ledum.
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