The causes of gout are now well known.
And that's good, because gout is on the increase. But research shows natural prevention and pain relief is not only possible, it's fairly easy.
What is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis caused by high blood levels of uric acid in the body (hyperuricemia). The uric acid crystallizes in joints causing painful inflammation.
Uric acid is a waste product from the breakdown of purines. Some purines are made in the body, while others come from food. Scientists used to believe that the best treatment for gout was to eliminate ALL purine foods from the diet.
But new research gives us a better understanding of what works and doesn't work for the prevention and pain-relief of gout.
What are the Causes of Gout?
A tendency towards gout can be hereditary. Or it can begin as a result of joint injury, surgery, chemotherapy or even losing weight rapidly on a crash diet. However, the main causes are fatty red meats, certain seafood and all alcohol.
Alcohol raises blood levels of uric acid and interferes with its elimination from the body.
Meat and seafood also create excess uric acid. The latest research from the Harvard Medical School shows gout risk increased by 21% with each daily serving of meat.
For best results avoid the following:
• All alcohol, but particularly beer
• Meats, especially beef, lamb and pork
• Organ meats, such as liver, kidney and sweetbreads
• Seafood, especially anchovies, sardines, herring and mackerel
If no lifestyle changes are made, flare-ups can become more frequent and severe, maybe even crippling. But this can be prevented if the initial attack is taken as a warning signal.
Seven Simple Steps for Prevention and Natural Relief
1. Drink 10 to 12 glasses of water a day. Water helps flush uric acid crystals from the body. You'll notice immediate relief within a few days.
2. Eat two daily servings low-fat dairy. Research participants who ate low-fat dairy showed 50% less problems.
3. Choose chicken over meat and seafood. Those who eat the most meat and seafood are 50% more likely to get gout and have flare-ups. But chicken has no negative effect.
4. Eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Even vegetables high in purines DON'T increase the risk or symptoms.
5. Reach and maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts more stress on joints and increases hyperuricemia. But avoid fasting or rapid-weight-loss diets since they can increase uric acid levels in the blood.
6. Decrease or eliminate alcohol. Alcohol increases the risk of hyperuricemia because it increases blood levels of uric acid and interferes with its removal from the body.
7. Supplement with fish oil to reduce inflammation. Certain omega 3 fatty acids, only available in fish oil, are important nutrients and naturally reduce inflammation. Since good quality fish oil supplements are a source of omega 3 fatty acids and don't have purines, Dr. Choi, the lead investigator of the Harvard study, highly recommends them.
You can check out this recommendation at www.omega-3.us.
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.