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Condition - Gout

By Debbie Paddington DipION

Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when you have high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid crystals are deposited in joints, tendons, kidneys, and other tissues, where they cause considerable inflammation and damage. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines, substances that are found naturally in your body, as well as in certain foods such as shellfish, organ meats and foods containing yeast.

Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. But sometimes your body either produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little. When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needle-like urate crystals, in a joint or surrounding tissue, that cause pain, inflammation and swelling.

Symptoms

  • Excruciating joint pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Redness.
  • Warmth.
  • Stiffness.
  • Low-grade fever may also be present.

Contributing Factors

  • Hereditary tendency.
  • Being overweight.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Diabetes.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Arteriosclerosis.

Dietary Advice

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid high purine foods - These include organ meats, meats, shellfish, yeast (brewer’s and baker’s), herring, sardines, mackerel and anchovies.
  • Avoid alcohol - Alcohol increases uric acid production.
  • Avoid refined carbohydrates - such as sweets, chocolate, cakes, and biscuits - they may increase uric acid production.
  • Reduce saturated fats - e.g. dairy produce and processed meats - these decrease uric acid excretion.
  • Increase complex carbohydrates - such as legumes, whole grains and vegetables.
  • Increase cherries, blueberries, and other dark red or blue berries - they are rich sources of anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins. Consuming a half pound of fresh or canned cherries per day has been shown to be very effective in lowering uric acid levels and preventing attacks of gout.

 Useful Nutrients

  • Folic acid - may help to keep uric acid levels in a healthy range.
  • Vitamin C - may help to maintain normal urinary excretion of uric acid.
  • Devil’s claw - may help to maintain normal processing of uric acid, as well as being a powerful antioxidant.
  • Fish oils - contain the essential fatty acid EPA, which supports flexible joints and healthy tissues.
  • Vitamin E - a powerful antioxidant, mopping up toxins and maintaining membrane health.
  • Selenium - works synergistically with vitamin E.
  • Boswellia - maintains a healthy blood supply and the integrity of the blood vessels.
  • Quercetin.
  • Celadrin. 

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