Gout, which is a complex form of arthritis, is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood, and can lead to permanent joint damage as the uric acid forms crystals in joints and cause permanent damage. Gout attacks are more common in men; especially those that are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much meat and fish that are high in purines.
Gout is treatable through medication, but to avoid dangerous side effects – gout can be treated and even prevented naturally with these simple techniques:
1. Drink Lots of Water
When uric acid levels get too high, the best way to get it out of your system is to flush it out by drinking lots of water. Water helps the kidneys process and flush out uric acid naturally. 2-3 liters of water of is recommended.
2. Baking Soda Solution
Drinking a baking soda solution helps to dissolve the crystals that form from high uric acid levels. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to 8 oz of water, mix thoroughly, and drink throughout the day (before bed, after waking, and every 2-4 hours through the day) until the symptom subside.
Baking soda is very high in sodium, so a salt-free diet is recommended while using this treatment. If you suffer from high blood pressure, this technique is NOT recommended, unless you can monitor your blood pressure and don not see an increase. Either way, this technique is still not recommended if your blood pressure is high.
3. Low Purine Diet
Purines are natural substances found in all of the body’s cells and in virtually all foods, because purines provide part of the chemical structure of the genes of plants and animals. Uric acid is created from the breakdown of purines, so reducing them in your diet keep new uric acid from adding to already high levels. Foods that are commonly high in purines are red meat, organ meats, poultry, and some seafoods. Foods that are low in purines are essential fatty acids (tuna, salmon), complex carbohydrates (bread, cereal, pasta), and fruits (cherries, strawberries, grapes).
4. Limit or Eliminate Alcohol Intake
Drinking alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to get rid of uric acid by not only dehydrating you, but by affecting overall kidney function. Beer is especially bad for people who suffer from gout.