Anyone afflicted with gout understands the pain associated with the disorder caused by an accumulation of uric acid crystals. Sometimes flare-ups occur without warning. At other times, patients may experience an itching burning sensation or a tingling in a joint anywhere from one to two hours before a full-blown attack. After diagnosis, patients often receive a prescription of medication that interferes with uric acid development or enhances elimination. However, gout sufferers should consider implementing home remedies to prevent outbreaks.
Purines are chemical compounds found at varying levels in animal and plant foods. The body naturally transforms the compound into uric acid. However, when consuming too much of certain foods, the conversion takes place so rapidly that the kidneys cannot remove uric acid fast enough and the crystals make their way to body tissues and joints. Studies indicate that eating purine containing foods increases the likelihood of suffering a gout attack by five fold. Patients are typically advised to restrict or avoid:
• Anchovies, herring, mackerel, scallops and other oily fish
• Brains, liver, kidney or other organ meats
• Beverages and foods containing fructose or refined sugar
• Fried foods
• Foods containing yeast
Best Food Choices
Preventing flare-ups is possible when including certain foods in a daily diet. These foods include:
• Bananas, oranges and pineapples contain potassium which liquefies uric acid crystals. Get at least one serving daily.
• Cherries contain antioxidants that alleviate inflammation and discomfort. The popular fruit has also been known to effectively reduce the number of attacks. Try eating 10 to 20 fresh cherries first thing in the morning upon awakening for best results.
• Essential omega-3 fatty acids found in green leafy vegetables, olive oil, nuts and salmon also help dissolve uric acid crystals.
• Vitamin C rich foods or supplements reduces the number of attacks and helps reduce the severity of attacks by decreasing uric acid levels. Good food choices may include oranges, red bell peppers, red cabbage and tomatoes.
• Hydrating adequately by increasing water consumption effectively dilutes uric acid concentrations and also hastens the elimination process.
Researchers suggest that establishing a routine of engaging in physical activities keeps uric acid levels lower. Low-impact cardiovascular, strength training and stretching exercises are all recommended if preferring conventional workout regimens. Physicians also advise that by combining a healthy diet with physical activity helps maintain an optimal weight, which also affects uric acid production and elimination. However, if desiring to lose weight, lose slowly to avoid triggering a possible attack.