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Gout and Herbal Remedies

Posted Oct 05 2009 10:03pm

Herbal remedies for Gout have become very popular in recent years. Two of the most asked about herbal remedies for gout are Vitamin C and Black Cherry Juice. The main reasons for the popularity of natural/herbal remedies is that traditional Gout medications may not be effective, and they have serious side effects. 

Gout is a very painful arthritic-like disease. It is caused when uric acid crystals deposit in tissues and joints of the body. Many of the foods we eat contain purines, which the body breaks down into uric acid. People with gout are unable to properly secrete the uric acid, so it builds up in the body and eventually crystallizes. Having excessive uric acid in the blood is called hyperuricemia.

When the uric acid crystals start to build up, the body will attack them with white blood cells. This will worsen the condition. The white blood cells will surround the crystals, which leads to more inflammation, pain and redness.

Causes of Gout:
Although the exact cause of gout usually cannot be determined, the following factors can cause an increase in the levels of uric acid in the blood:

• Heredity - some people inherit the inability to properly secrete increased levels of uric acid in the blood.

• Obesity - overweight people are more likely to suffer from gout.

• Alcohol - excessive alcohol consumption causes an increase in the uric acid levels. Many people suffer gout attacks right after drinking.

• High blood pressure and heart disease are known to increase uric acid levels.

• Drugs - certain drugs can increase uric acid levels. These include: low dose aspirin, diuretics, pyrazinamide, ethambutol, etc.

• Consumption of foods with high levels of purine. These include: shellfish, red meat, organ meats such as liver, mushrooms and creamy sauces.


The herbal remedies for gout outlined below are excellent for lowering uric acid levels. 


Symptoms of gout:
Although the most common place for gout pain is the big toe, it can also occur in other places such as the feet, ankles, wrists, fingers and elbows. Symptoms of gout include:

• Severe pain that comes on suddenly. Many people with gout in the big toe have difficulty walking, or severe pain from having bed sheets covering their feet.

• The affected joint becomes very painful, turns reddish, swells and feels warm.

• Attacks usually last a few hours to a few days. In rare cases, it can last a few weeks.

• The joints can swell, leading to bursitis.

• During an attack, some people get chills, fever, and a general ill feeling.

• If left untreated, the symptoms will worsen and can lead to deformities.



Prevention

An anti-gout diet includes: 

• drinking lots of water

• eating foods low in purines

• maintain a proper healthy weight

• avoid alcohol 

Foods known to be good for Gout sufferers include blueberries, cherries, soybeans, tofu, salmon and olive oil. Regular exercise will help reduce symptoms and improve the overall condition. Supplements that are good for gout include Folic Acid and Vitamin C. 

It is also important is to treat the symptoms as soon as possible. Immediate treatment will not allow the disease to progress, and the symptoms to worsen.  

Treatment

There are many treatment options available for Gout. The problem with most Gout medications though is that they do not work very well, are not safe to use long-term, or they have severe side effects. For example, NSAID’s (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs) can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, high blood pressure, skin rashes, etc. COX-2 inhibitor drugs can adversely effect the kidneys, increase bleeding, increase the chances of heart attacks, and cause hallucinations. Steroids are not safe to use long-term and can have even more severe side effects.

For these reasons, many medical professionals believe that herbal remedies for Gout are the best option. These natural treatments have no side effects, and for many people is the most effective treatment.

Recommended Herbal Remedies For Gout

Herbal treatments that have shown some success include:

• Vitamin C - Taking supplemental amounts of Vitamin C helps some people to reduce the uric acid in their blood. The exact relationship between Gout and Vitamin C is still unclear.

• Black Cherry Juice - Taking 2-3 teaspoons of Black Cherry Juice a day helps some people. Why the Cherry Juice Gout remedy helps some people and not others is not entirely understood.


LNH


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