Are you aware of the negative effects of increased uric acid levels in your body?
It can cause Gout, which is a complex form of Arthritis. If the uric acid level increases in the bloodstream, it starts to crystallize into needle shaped crystals in the connective tissues of the joints and cause an unbearable arthritis pain also known as gout. A study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center, proved that middle aged men are more prone to develop gout than women.
According to National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), gout develops in 4 stages.
- Asymptomatic Gout: This is the stage where no treatment is necessary because the uric acid levels start to elevate but no symptoms are visible.
- Acute Gouty Arthritis: Also known as Hyperuricemia is the stage when crystal formation in the joint spaces takes place. Symptoms include pain and inflammation of joints, but usually the attacks subside within three to ten days without treatment.
- Interval Gout: It is a no pain stage that takes place between acute joint pains and normal functionality of the joints.
- Chronic Tophaceous Gout: The most intense stage of gout occurs after many years of the initial stages and it causes permanent damaging effects on the joints and in some cases also damage the kidneys.
Symptoms of gout include excruciating pain, redness and swelling of affected joints and usually the joint of the big toe is affected.
The best way to avoid gout is keep a regular check on the diet and avoid foods that cause an increase in uric acid levels. There are also some foods that can actually cause a relief from gout problems.
Purines are the natural substances found in the body and many foods, when these purines break down they result in uric acid formation. So people with gout problems should avoid foods containing purines.
What you should eat if you have gout?
The foods that are recommended by The American Medical Association, for gout patients are those that contain:
- Fiber rich- complex carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables and fruits)
- Low protein foods (only 15% of calories should come from lean meat, poultry and soy)
- Only 30% of fats should be consumed (10% of which should be animal fats)
Foods that can prevent gout
Following are the seven foods that can help prevent gout:
Pineapples are known to contain bromelain, an enzyme that has anti-inflammatory properties. So supplementing pineapple to the diet may relieve gout pain.
A study in mice revealed that the compounds found in ginger are helpful in reducing inflammation caused by uric acid. It is evident from the continuous researches that ginger is beneficial as an anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric is an effective anti-inflammatory and it has been recommended by experts that people having gout problems should include turmeric in their daily diet.
Read more about health benefits of Turmeric
Eating a lot of fruits in gout problems (remove s) can be very beneficial, especially cherries. Cherries not just lowers the uric acid levels but also reduces the chances of developing gout. Studies conducted in United States and Italy reported cherry juice to be beneficial for treating gout, scientists are still not sure what are the healing components found in it, though. Researches prove that cherry juice does not lower the uric acid, but it is its anti-inflammatory properties that play a vital role in controlling gout attacks, the occurrence of attacks reduces from 3 to 4 years to once in a year.
Bananas are found to be low in sugar and high in potassium and are alkaline in nature. It is one of the best foods for preventing gout. The high contents of potassium help to fight the symptoms of gout. It helps to break down the crystals formed by uric acid and rapidly excretes them out of the body.
Low Fat Dairy Products
According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, published in “New England Journal of Medicine”, an excessive use of low-fat dairy products, such as low fat yogurts and milk, reduced the chances of developing gout problems by 50% in men. Experts suggest that 16 to 24 oz of fluids is an adequate amount to cure the disease.
Watercress contains sufficient amount of minerals and vitamins. It has been found very useful for kidneys and also helps remove excessive amount of uric acid from the body.
Though the major treatment elements of gout are medicine and changes in diet, but changes in life style (lifestyle) are also recommended in order to maintain body weight. Also avoid alcoholic drinks and drink plenty of water as it has been found to cure the initial symptoms of gout by excreting away the excessive amount of uric acid from the body.