Q: I thought I was only suffering from minor aches and pains but it turns out that I have gout. How do I get rid of this?
Gout has been aptly called by many health experts as the disease of overindulging oneself.
A form of arthritis, gout manifests the same symptoms-joint pain accompanied by swelling. This pain may be felt in the first joint of the big toe, wrist and elbow, knee and the joint of the foot. Pain is caused by sharp crystals of uric acid forming in the fluid surrounding the joint.
What can cause gout? Alcohol, rich foods, blood pressure medication, lead poisoning and inherited metabolic disorders.
When uric acid levels are high or, strangely enough, dramatically drop, a gout attack occurs.
Dietary and lifestyle changes must be immediately put in place. Consult your doctor.
- Lose weight.
- Flush out toxins by drinking water.
- Try coconut water, too.
- Avoid foods rich in purines (protein components which convert to uric acid).
- Do not eat liver, beef, lamb, veal, shellfish, yeast, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring.
- Do not go on a starvation diet because it also increases blood levels of uric acid.
- Take 10,000-40,000 micrograms of folic acid, a B vitamin that inhibits xanthine oxidase, the enzyme responsible for the production of uric acid. Check with your doctor.
- Stop all alcoholic intake.
- Eat an anti-inflammatory fruit like cherries. Or any dark berries like maqui from Chile and acai. Try fresh maqui juice mixed with acai and blueberries. It is now available in the Philippines. Call World of Wellness, tel. 9289969.
- Take vitamin E.
- Avoid taking vitamin C and niacin in excess. Both increase uric acid levels.
- Aspirin in low doses also aggravates uric acid levels.