Gout is a condition wherein the joints become inflamed and swollen caused by uric acid crystallization. Uric acid is found in the bloodstream. Over time, it crystallizes in the joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues, causing pain.
Many factors increase the risk of gout. These factors include a person’s weight, genetics, and metabolic rate. There are treatments to control flare-ups, but gout is an incurable medical condition. The most effective way to control gout attacks is a drastic change of diet. Certain types of food elevate uric acid in the system. By preventing these foods, the incidence of an attack is reduced.
How to Control Gout Attacks
Maintain Normal Weight
Health experts from the University of Maryland Medical Center recommend losing weight to minimize gout flare-ups. Excessive weight causes too much strain on the tendons, joints, and ligaments. The joints take the brunt of a person’s weight with every step he takes. Losing weight doesn’t just minimize joint stress, it also alleviates symptoms associated with gout. Opt for low impact exercises to prevent joint damage. We recommend swimming and circuit training. These exercises burn more calories and they strengthen the joints.
Eat Low Acid Foods
Again, certain types of foods could trigger an elevated level of uric acid in the blood. These foods include dairy products, red meat, and animal fats. Purine rich foods should be eliminated from the diet as well. Purines are organic compounds converted into uric acid by the body.
Certain types of vegetables – like mushrooms and asparagus – are also high in purines. Replace all animal fats with healthier oils like olive or canola oil. Consuming low purine foods like fish whole grains and soy products helps prevent gout attacks. Foods that are high in vitamin C is also recommended.
Vitamin C helps neutralize uric acid in the blood. Because it’s water-soluble, vitamin C won’t remain in the system. Health experts recommend increasing your vitamin C intake gradually. The sudden increase of vitamin C could cause acute gout attacks.
Avoid Alcohol Beverages
According to the University Of Washington Department Of Orthopaedics, decreasing or eliminating alcohol drinks will prevent gout attacks effectively. Alcohol drinks are often fermented. This increases the level of purines. Also, alcohol beverages disrupt the elimination of uric acid in the body.
Natural Ways to Treat Gout Flare-ups
Applying a cold compress on the affected area helps bring down swelling. Once the inflammation is reduced, soak the area in tepid water with Epsom salts. You can add essential oils of peppermint or eucalyptus to soothe the swollen joints.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with herbal tea. Sweeten the drink with raw honey. This drink helps draw out uric acid from the body. It minimizes swelling and pain as well as purifies the liver and kidneys.
Noshing on celery sticks helps ease gout symptoms too. The natural compounds in celery soothe inflamed tendons and bring down swelling. You can boil the celery seeds and drink the liquid as a tea.
Here’s a great reason to eat dark chocolates, it prevents gout attacks. The natural compounds in dark chocs bind with uric acid so it’s easily flushed out from the system. The darker the chocolates the better!