Have you experienced a sudden severe pain in your big toe or in your knees, wrists, and even in your elbows to the point you feel like you may have broken them?
Are your fingers starting to curl up like claws? Are your joints hurting so much that you can’t even bear the bedclothes touching your skin?
Do you feel that these flare-ups keep returning overtime?
These may be symptoms of gout.
Gout is a metabolic disorder that causes extremely painful attacks of arthritis. It occurs when there is an accumulation of uric acid that migrates into the tissue surrounding the joint, usually at the base of the big toe.
The acid causes needle-shaped crystals to form in the joint, inflaming the tissues and nerves in the area. Uric acid is a byproduct of protein and purine metabolism and must be excreted through the kidneys in the urine.
If the kidneys are not filtering properly or if foods high in purines are over-consumed, the blood becomes saturated with uric acid and starts to crystallize in the joints. (Source: Build a Better You, Dr. Richard Brouse)
According to NHANES, gout affects 8.3 million Americans, roughly 3.9% of the U.S. population.
Gout is a form of arthritis—in fact, the 2nd most common form of osteoarthritis. And it’s a growing problem.
“The prevalence of gout more than doubled nationwide between the 1960s and 1990s, and the increases have continued into the 1990s and 2000s,” says Dr. Hyon Choi, a physician who studies gout at Boston University School of Medicine.
“If it’s left untreated, gout can eventually lead to damage and deformity of the joints—a condition called chronic gout,” says Choi.
In chronic gout, uric acid crystals can accumulate in the blood vessels of our brains and kidneys. This can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, kidney stones and/or kidney failure if left untreated. “In general, chronic gout arises only after many years of suffering.”
What are other symptoms of gout?
- Joints that are swollen, stiff, and hot to the touch.
- A fever of up to 102.2F, with or without chills.
- Joints that are inflamed and tender accompanied by decreased mobility.
- Lingering discomfort as the joint pain and inflammation can last for days or weeks.
- Hard lumps or bumps at the joints.
- Noticeable discoloration in the joints; they may become deep red or even purple at onset, and change color through the attack.
What increases your chances of gout?
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following make it more likely that you will develop hyperuricemia, which causes gout:
- Being obese.
- Physical or emotional stress
- Having certain health conditions—congestive heart failure, hypertension (high blood pressure), insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and poor kidney function.
- Using certain medications, such as diuretics (water pills).
- Drinking excessive alcohol.
- Lack of fluids.
- Regular use of low-dose aspirins.
- Low thyroid or lack of coenzyme Q10 production.
- Eating or drinking food and drinks high in fructose (a type of sugar).
- Having a family member with gout.
- Having a diet (meat and seafood) high in purines.
- Decreased elimination of uric acid by the kidneys caused by lack of digestive enzymes
As gout is believed to be caused, at least in part, by certain foods, changing your diet may help to reduce gout symptoms and prevent future attacks. In addition, natural gout remedies can help speed the healing cycle, providing relief.
Here’s a list of foods to eat to ease gout:
High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds that are high in fiber which can help reduce uric acid.
Foods high in potassium like avocado, raw cultured dairy, coconut water, salmon, squash, bananas, and apricots can help balance intracellular fluid relieving gout.
Fresh berries and cherriesBerries and especially cherries can help neutralize uric acid.
Wild-caught fishOmega-3s help reduce inflammation and can help overcome gout pain.
Water. Drink plenty of water, at least 8 oz every 2 hours to flush uric acid out of your system.
You can also try consuming the following all-natural gout remedies that may help you get rid of gout pain for good.
Celery Seed Extract
Consuming celery seed extract and celery juice has been shown to decrease uric acid buildup in the body. Researchers have identified over a dozen different types of antioxidants that are responsible for the benefits of celery, making celery useful for treating a wide range of conditions including gout.
Cherries and Cherry Extract
A study published in the Journal of Arthritis & Rheumatism evaluated 633 individuals with gout who were treated with cherry extract over a two-day period.
This cherry treatment was associated with a 35 percent lower risk of gout attacks. When cherry intake was combined with the pharmaceutical Allopurinol, the risk of gout attacks was 75 percent lower.
A review of commonly used herbal remedies, including nettles, published in the Journal of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, relays the standing of nettles as an anti-inflammatory food great for getting rid of gout.
Gout should not be left untreated. Over time, microscopic crystals of sodium urate can damage organs, particularly the heart and kidneys. Increased uric acid levels can also increase the risk of kidney stones.
Luckily, modest dietary modifications and a carefully planned supplement program can often lessen the pain and suffering related to gout attacks.
In his book Build a Better You, Dr. Richard Brouse, widely recognized authority in the fields of nutrition and prevention of chronic degenerative diseases, mentioned Shaklee products that could help with gout.
Shaklee Products that Can Help Ease the Symptoms of Gout
Shaklee Fiber Plan
A high fiber diet helps reduce uric acid which is a must-do when dealing with gout. The recommended intake of fiber is 20-35 grams of fiber per day, but Americans typically consume only half that amount and you need a higher amount of fiber than the recommended amount. Shaklee Fiber Plan Tablets or Fiber Plan Powder can help you get your daily fiber intake.
A natural body cleanser a diuretic, and anti-inflammatory to help alleviate the arthritic properties of gout. Alfalfa is known as the Father of All Foods, as its roots grow deep into the soil to bring a wide variety of nutrients and trace minerals.
The symptoms of gout, as with many other health challenges, may be alleviated with the addition of a solid nutrition program, a healthy lifestyle and appropriate supplementation.
Give the above natural solutions a try to help reduce gout’s painful symptoms. Then make the change in your diet and lifestyle permanent and supplement your diet with these Shaklee products to help prevent future attacks and to lessen their severity and length.