Gout is a complex form of arthritis characterized by deposits of uric acid crystals in the body which affects the joints. Uric acid is a substance formed when the body breaks down purines, it is a vital element for DNA synthesis, circulation, digestion and absorption of nutrients. The blood transports uric acid to the kidneys and the excess amount is excreted out. When the kidneys cannot eliminate the excess uric acid, it gets deposited in the body causing gout, also called hyperuricemia. It mostly affects men after 40 years, however, it triggers in women post-menopause. Also Read: Gout: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
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Causes Of Gout
There is no specific cause for gout, but many underlying factors can increase the risk of this painful disorder which include:
Genetics - a family history of gout increases your risk.
Age and gender - men after the age of 40 years are more prone than women.
Weight - a person who is overweight, the risk is higher.
Diet – consuming food that is rich in purine content such as red meat, organ meat, herring, mushrooms, scallops, anchovies, and asparagus.
Alcohol - excess alcohol intake affects the body’s mechanism of eliminating uric acid.
Exposure to metals like lead.
Certain health conditions like hypothyroidism, hypertension, Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome or Lesch-Nyhan syndrome increases the risk.
Intake of certain medications.
Stages of Gout
Gout is categorized into four stages:
Asymptomatic Hyperuricemia: In this stage blood uric acids is elevated without any other symptoms.
Acute Gout: In this stage, uric acid starts to build up in the joints resulting in swelling, pain and tenderness. In most cases, gout attack starts at night and prolongs for 3-10 days.
Interval Gout: This stage is in between the acute gout attacks when the patient does not show any symptoms.
Chronic Gout: With the accumulation of uric acid for the prolonged duration it results in permanent damage to the joints associated with intense pain.
Generally, gout affects one joint at a time, however, if left untreated it may trigger other joints. Some of the most common symptoms associated with gout include swelling, penetrating joint pain which causes inflammation, redness which commonly observed in toes, ankles, fingers, wrists and knees.
Mother Nature has bestowed upon us with amazing ingredients that work wonders in easing the symptoms associated with gout. Add these amazing foods in your daily diet to get respite from swelling and painful joints.
5 Super Foods For Alleviating Gout
Vast reserves of anthocyanin and ascorbate in cherries have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which lower the risk of a gout attack. As per the study conducted by Boston University, a person with gout who had consumed cherries over 2 days had a 35% lower risk of gout attack than those who did not take the fruit. It is recommended to consume three servings of cherries or cherry extracts to minimise the risk of a gout attack (one serving contains 10-12 cherries).
The goodness of enzymes papain and chymopapain in papaya possess strong anti-inflammatory effects which help in easing inflammation and reduces swelling in the joints. It also helps in getting rid of excess uric acids from the body by increasing the alkalinity. Besides these, it is packed with antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C which helps to reduce inflammation and mitigates pain and redness in the joints. Also Read: Best Health Benefits of Eating Papaya
The plethora of nutrients present in celery seed such as iron, manganese, calcium and other bioactive compounds support in curing gout. Luteolin, 3-n-butylphthalide and beta-selinene notable plant compound in celery reduce uric acid levels in the blood and lower inflammatory nitric oxide production which aggravates gout attack. Add celery seeds in the diet in the form of juice, extracts or seeds.
Ginger is a versatile herb well-known for its potent medicinal and culinary purposes. The powerful anti-inflammatory effects of ginger reduce inflammation, swelling and lower the blood uric acid levels and confer respite to gout attacks. Take one inch of ginger, steep well in a cup of water for 5-10 minutes and drink this powerful concoction regularly to get relieved from joint pain.
Lemons and lemon juice is proven by studies that have an amazing natural remedy for curing gout. Ample amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants in lemons reduce inflammation, breakdown the uric acid deposits in the blood by increasing the pH of urine and helps in clearing out uric acid. All you have to do is consume lemon juice 2-3 times in a day to ease gout pain.
Gout, though a painful condition can be effectively managed and also prevented from worsening further by adding these natural foods and following an appropriate diet. If pain persists and symptoms worsen then seek immediate medical attention.