About 3 years ago, when my friend woke up to go to the bathroom, he discovered that he could not even place his left foot down on the floor. There was a sharp intense pain. He discovered that joint behind his big toe was swollen and red. He went to the doctor who upon examining said that it was gout. Blood analysis showed that his uric acid levels are elevated.
Gout is recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joints. It is caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. The uric acid crystallizes, and the crystals deposit in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues. The small joint at the base of the big toe is the most common site for an attack. Other joints that can be affected include ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows. It may lead to kidney stones or urate nephropathy (caused by deposition of uric acid crystals within the kidney tubules).
Factors that may cause elevated uric acid levels in blood include:
- Diuretic medications (water pills)
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Genetics (inherited tendencies)
- Immune-suppressing drugs
- Niacin, or vitamin B-3
- Purine-rich diet – liver, game meat, anchovies, sardines, gravy, dried beans and peas, mushrooms, and other foods
- Renal insufficiency – inability of the kidneys to filter waste
- Tumor lysis syndrome – a rapid release of cells into the blood caused by certain cancers or by chemotherapy for those cancers
Things to avoid in high uric acid and gout condition:
- Avoid red meats and fishes specially anchovies.
- Limit alcohol to 1-2 drinks per week. Avoid beer completely.
- Go moderate on spinach, cauliflowers, mushrooms, dried peas.
- Avoid tofu, soymilk and other soy products.
- Avoid high sugary beverages (especially sweetened with high fructose corn syrups, e.g. sodas and fruit drinks). They stimulate body to produce more uric acid.
Things which help to alleviate gout effects:
- High Vitamin C foods: Vitamin C helps in excretion of uric acid from kidneys. Foods rich in vitamin C are:
- Citrus fruits: They are rich in vitamin C like oranges, papaya, kiwi, strawberries, lemon, pineapple, guavas, apricots, and grapefruit.
- High Vitamin C veggies: Bell peppers (capsicum of all colors), broccoli, onion, okra, potato, tomatoes, and radishes. Many of these can be used as salads or should be lightly cooked to prevent Vitamin C from being destroyed.
- Drink least 12-16 cups of fluid of which water should account for at least half of it.
- Include omega 3 rich foods in diet like flax seeds (powdered form), fish oils, walnuts; it helps reduce the inflammation.
- Apple cider vinegar: is a mild acid that helps the body create an alkaline-forming environment, which prevents uric acid from crystallizing in the joints. Apple cider vinegar may be included in your diet in several ways. Sprinkle it on salads, use it in place of other vinegars in recipes and make pickles using this delicious vinegar.
- Tart cherry juice: Tart cherry juice is high in anthocyanins, which provide anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain and swelling during a gout attack. Add a glass or two of cherry juice to your daily diet to manage your gout pain.
Therefore eat right and live happily.