Understanding Gout
Gout was often referred to as an illness of excess. Gout is a type of arthritis characterized by painful, stiff and inflamed joints that tend to affect your big toe, but can also affect your, ankle, hand, wrist or elbow. Gout differs in how and why it affects the joint and is more specific to excess uric acid forming crystals in these
joints. The formation of uric acid crystals causes an inflammatory response in your body, resulting in pain and inflammation. A gout attack typically flares up at night; it can last a few hours, a few days and then go away only to mysteriously return. If your gout flare-ups are more frequent, it could cause long term damage to the joint. Gout affects more men than women (3 to 1), even if women have the same blood levels of uric acid in the blood. We don’t know why, but as both genders age, there is less disparity. And, natural remedies and protocols are the same for both men and women. If the root cause of Gout is uric acid building crystals in the joints, the fix seems simple – reduce uric acid build up. To do this, you need to understand what caused the increase initially and why your body is not excreting the excess through your urine output, which serves to regulate the process. Your body creates uric acid through a natural chemical process to break down another chemical called “Purine.” Purine is naturally found in your body, but here’s the kicker, it’s also found in high levels in red meat, organ meat, beer, shellfish and sugary drinks (the disease of excess). When your body is making more “Uric Acid,” than it can excrete through urine output, a buildup of acid occurs and when it has nowhere to go, it settles in your joints, forming crystals. Uric acid, if left untreated, can cause further health problems besides just disfiguring the joint, such as kidney stones. Some leading factors, other than a diet high in purine-containing foods, are long-term use of diuretics, alcohol, hereditary, dehydration, high cholesterol, blood pressure and heart disease.
Gout –The Natural Approach
A change in diet is crucial to help reduce uric acid build up and some supporting supplements show promise in reducing uric acid levels, such as “Black Cherry Juice,” which comes in a juice or capsule. Black Cherry juice, much like other foods, such as beets and blueberries, contain “Anthocyanins” (antioxidants found in foods). However, Black Cherry Juice has the highest amounts, which make them a better choice for Gout. The ‘Anthocyanins” help lower the body’s uric acid levels, reduce the number of attacks and reduce the pain associated with Gout. For the best benefits, you should consume Black Cherry Juice daily. A more recent study also showed that Black Cherry Juice helps with high
blood pressure. A lesser-known supplement for Gout is Chanca Piedra (a tropical plant found in coastal areas and Brazil). Chanca Piedra is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for bladder issues, liver and kidney problems, (kidney stones) – (it is often referred to as the “stone crusher)”. The same mechanisms within Chanca Piedra are also able to reduce the crystallization of uric acid as well as block uric acid production, reducing Gout attacks, especially when combined with a healthier diet. Chanca Piedra can increase uric output, so hydration is crucial to avoid dehydration. People with a heart condition and taking prescription heart medications should consult their health care provider before taking this plant. As a home remedy, you can also try consuming Apple Cider Vinegar. Its unique acidity may help relieve the pain associated with gout and other types of arthritis. The vinegar increases the body’s alkalinity and has anti-inflammatory properties. Keep in mind, that used in excess, apple cider vinegar may erode esophagus tissue and tooth enamel and negatively affect blood pressure and diabetes medications. Do not use Chanca Piedro if you’re pregnant or want to become pregnant, as it could affect fertility.

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