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So you Have Gout!

What is gout? Gout is a form of arthritis resulting from deposits of uric acid crystals formed in the bodies' joints. A gout attack will usually attack only one joint at a time, the big toe being the most common. Other joints that may also be impacted by gout are the feet, ankle, knee, hand, and wrist. The pain will typically last five to fourteen days, at which point the crystals will leave the joint.


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Purine is a normal constituent of the human diet. It is metabolized within the body to produce uric acid, which then reacts with the sodium ions present in the system to give mono-sodium urate (MSU). The production of MSU rises with the internal pH of the body. At the biological pH, the MSU exists in the form of insoluble crystals that deposit on the joints of the body. The bodys defense mechanism recognizes these accumulated crystals as foreign invasions and combats them with white blood cells called neutrophils. As a result of this immunologic reaction, sudden inflammation and rubor of the skin develops, along with heat production and tenderness of the affected regions. This is accompanied by excruciating pain as the bodys defense mechanism fights the invading MSU crystals. The symptoms include malaise, fever, chills, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure.

- Obesity. Body weight has an impact on the bodies' ability to process uric acid properly, and puts a greater load on your joints. - Medical Conditions. High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and medicines used to treat such conditions increase the likelihood of developing gout.

And here are a couple of surprises. Two spices or condiments that are high in vitamin C and not often mentioned: paprika 100 grams (71mg); prepared horseradish 100 grams (25mg).

The most commonly afflicted areas of gout include the big toes and the joints in feet, ankles, knees, hands, wrists, arms, elbows, and bursas, the ligaments and tendons around these joints; and, in extreme cases, shoulders, necks, hips and spine.

It's not likely vitamin C on its own will cure gout. But it is helpful especially if combined with a low purine gout diet and other natural remedies for gout.

- Avoid Alcohol. As stated before, alcohol interferes with the body excreting uric acid. Definitely stay away from alcohol if you are experiencing a gout attack.

There is no sure way to determine if you will have gout, until you have your first flare up. If you have already had a gout attack, you know that you never want to have another one. There are a number of prescription medications available to treat gout, and you should discuss with your physician what you should take.

It's hard to summarise a daily diet for all the tastes of people who read this article. But the easiest (no cooking time) and probably the most popular way to reach 500 mg daily - drink plenty of orange juice. Or, putting it simply, and you've heard this before, eat these fruits and vegetables.

Self help! There are a number of things that you can do for yourself to decrease your chance of developing gout, or having a recurrence. I must state however that there is no guaranteed way to prevent a gout attack. Important Disclaimer; Many of the following suggestions are intended to decrease your blood uric acid level. Ultimately, this should be your goal, but a sudden drop in your blood uric acid level, may cause a gout attack. I suggest that all lifestyle changes be made at a moderate pace to decrease the risk.

Gout attacks typically set in between midnight and 2 a.m. and are more frequent during the spring. The initial attacks may wane automatically within a few days even without treatment, as the crystals become encrusted by certain proteins that prevent their recognition by the immune system as non-self particles. However, gout may resurface even after years, and in due course of time the frequency of the attacks gradually increases. Ultimately, the problem becomes a persistent one and in chronic cases, can cause permanent distortion of the affected joints.

- Limit your purine intake. Uric acid is formed when your body breaks down purines.

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In an earlier article I quoted examples of studies that have shown Vitamin C can reduce uric acid (UA) levels, the objective of all gout treatments whether by pharmaceuticals or natural remedies. The usual uric acid level target is 6mg/dL in men, slightly less in women. This is the level below which the trouble-causing MSU crystals, formed mainly from uric acid, may dissolve and thus alleviate or cure gout. However, there are no ironclad guarantees this will happen at that uric acid level.

Gout is an extremely painful disease and can cause immense discomfort apart from complications like kidney stones and the like. Unfortunately, there is no established cure for gout. The best means of thwarting gout attacks is prevention. These insidious attacks occur when you will be least expecting it, sometimes while you are asleep.

What is uric acid? Uric acid helps protect blood vessel linings and serves as an antioxidant. Uric acid is created when purines are broken down by the body. Purines are found in all the cells of the body, and in virtually all food. Some food sources contain a much higher concentration of purines than all the others. Foods with very high purine levels include:

Just add up from the following list to get 500 mg daily. Source figures are taken from the USDA's (United States Department of Agriculture) National Nutrient database release SR20. It is accessible online - search "National Nutrient database."

- Organ meats, such as brain, kidney, liver, and sweetbreads. - Anchovies - Mackerel - Herring - Sardines - Gravies - Dried beans and peas

Uric acid is a major body antioxidant and antioxidants quell free radicals. Excessive uric acid is produced because of free radical production. i.e the body deals with free radicals by creating excess uric acid. Therefore provide the body with more antioxidants so that it doesn't need to create excess uric acid.

Fruits amount of vitamin C, if one whole fruit, or other amount, is the serving size: 1 papaya 188mg; 1 orange 70 mg; 1 red chili pepper 65 mg; and the juice from 1 orange 43 mg; 100 grams limes 29 mg.

So what takes the tart cherry so legendary to fighting joint pain? Although food scientists are not absolutely certain on the specific compound that is 100 of the nutritional value of the tart cherry. The leading super fruit company in the U.S. is Fruit Advantage. The company offers a complete line of super fruit capsules including tart cherry capsules.

John Mepham is a gout researcher who has examined many gout studies and medical research articles. He believes many cases of gout can be cured with natural remedies, sometimes quickly. For more about natural gout remedies visit http://www.fast-gout-remedies.com

To standardize and simplify this list Serving size is 1 cup unless stated; raw foods only (except peas); foods with added Vitamin C excluded; doesn't account for different varieties, country or region of origin; climate when produced and other variables; figures rounded to whole numbers. It is, if you like, the big picture. Vitamin C amounts are in mg.

 
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The most recent of these studies suggested that 500 mg of Vitamin C daily could bring about a uric acid level reduction of about 10%. This is unlikely to be enough to bring UA levels down to the required target, but helpful. This amount of Vitamin C is easily purchased as a dietary supplement. Without question Vitamin C is the world's best known and most widely available vitamin. It's also one of the cheapest.

According to the National Arthritis Foundation, one in five American adult's suffers from arthritis. This means almost 45 million American's feel this excruciatingly pain consistently. In addition, as the population ages, the number of people experiencing arthritis pain is expected to increase dramatically. So with all of the prescription drugs available to help fight joint pain, why is a tiny fruit grown in Northern Michigan get so much attention from gout and arthritis suffers?

According to the National Arthritis Foundation, one in five American adult's suffers from arthritis. This means almost 45 million American's feel this excruciatingly pain consistently. In addition, as the population ages, the number of people experiencing arthritis pain is expected to increase dramatically. So with all of the prescription drugs available to help fight joint pain, why is a tiny fruit grown in Northern Michigan get so much attention from gout and arthritis suffers?

But do not follow a strawberries only diet. This is a crash diet which is not a good idea since crash diets can trigger gout, and may worsen it. But if you suffer from gout strawberries are an excellent addition to your gout diet plan, because of their anthocyanidins, (the dominant one is pelargonidin), and their Vitamin C. Was it this combination that cured Linnaeus' gout? Perhaps it was.

red peppers 190mg; orange juice 124 mg; green peppers 120 mg; strawberries 106 mg; orange 96 mg; grapefruit juice 94 mg; kale 80 mg; broccoli 79mg; pineapple 74 mg; kiwi fruit 71 mg; lemon juice 61 mg; cantaloupe melon 59 mg; mango 57 mg; cauliflower 46 mg; red cabbage 40 mg; roasted chestnuts (European ) 37 mg; peas (frozen) 35 mg; raspberries 32 mg; lemon 31 mg; honeydew melon 31 mg; blackberries 30 mg; cabbage 26 mg; watermelon (one wedge ) 23 mg; tomatoes 23 mg. Since the potato is so popular, note one baked potato 202 grams size: 19 mg.

The convention wisdom is that vitamins are best obtained from natural sources,that is from fresh foods. So how easy is it to eat or drink at least 500 mg of Vitamin C daily?

What are the risk factors? - Alcohol. Excessive consumption of alcohol is believed to inhibit the bodies' ability to dispose of excess uric acid.

The Tart Cherry - Mother Nature's Joint Pain Solution For years, the tart cherry has been the source of legend and folklore. The natural pain relieving properties has been handed down from generation to generation for natural joint pain relief. Just as the old saying goes, "an apple a day will keep the doctor away", tart cherry believers may soon be saying, "Twenty cherries day will keep the pain away". In fact, according to research from Michigan State University, as few as twenty cherries can make a difference in relieving inflammation in the body.

- Drink plenty of water. Water helps to flush uric acid out of your body. - Lose weight. If you are overweight, losing weight will decrease your uric acid levels. Do not fast, or engage in a rapid weight loss program, because this will actually cause a temporary raise in uric acid levels.

The late Dr. Robert Atkins (the Atkins Diet) also believed Vitamin C is helpful in gout treatment. It was one of the vitamins in his anti gout formula, as explained in "Dr. Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution" (Simon & Schuster Inc., 1999). He included it because of a cause of gout theory that runs on these lines...

Strawberries should be considered very carefully by gout sufferers. The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) stated that a diet of only strawberries had cured his gout. His linkage of vitamin C and gout gains extra weight from the fact that Linnaeus was a botanist. He probably knew a lot about strawberries.

- Genetics. A family history of gout increases the chance of developing gout by 20 percent. - Gender. Men are much more likely than women to develop gout.

What causes gout? This question is still up in the air. The quick answer is that hyperuricemia, which is an elevated blood level of uric acid, is responsible for gout. With that said, not all patients with hyperuricemia develop gout, and some patients with gout do not have hyperuricemia. Although it is not clear how hyperuricemia relates to gout, one thing is clear; gout is associated with sudden changes in uric acid levels in the blood.

Foods with high and moderately high purine levels include: - All other meat - Other beans, such as kidney, lima, navy, lentil - Some vegetables, such as asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, and spinach

A few words about strawberries Berries are excellent foods for a gout diet, principally because of their flavonoid anthocyanidins. (It is the anthocyanidins in cherries which are believed to have positive effects on lowering uric acid levels). These act as antioxidants thus boosting general health which is so important for gout sufferers. But among the anthocyanidin berries, strawberries stand out as the highest in Vitamin C.

This is not the usually explained purine theory. However it should be noted that not all gout sufferers have excessive uric acid in their bodies but most do. If you have gout and excess uric acid, the important thing is to try to reduce it.

- Age. Men are most likely to develop gout between the ages of forty and fifty. Women generally develop gout after menopause. What can we do about gout?

Medications should be taken within a short while of the onset; otherwise the attack may get beyond control. If no treatment is administered within the first 12 hours, combating gout becomes near to impossible. If you are a frequent sufferer, do remember to carry necessary medicines wit you wherever you go, even on business or pleasure trips. Do take sufficient rest until the attack completely subsides, overuse of the strained joints may cause irreparable damage. For more tips and info about Gout?, feel free to visit us at: http://www.about-goat.info


 
 
     
 
 





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