Gout: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
What is Gout?
Many people are unaware that gout is a type of arthritis and, in the same way, can be caused by too much inflammation. Unfortunately gout can be very painful and uncomfortable. There is a fine line between enough inflammation in the body and too much. Everyone needs a certain amount of inflammation because, if you have an injury or infection, it is there to help protect and heal. But too much and you can be faced with a chronic condition like gout, asthma, skin rashes, arthritis and mood swings .Gout is becoming more and more common with up to five million American sufferers. While men in their forties and fifties are more likely to have gout, the numbers in women (after the age of sixty) do rise to almost equal those of men.
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Causes & Symptoms of Gout
Gout has been found to be caused by excessive uric acid that crystallizes in the joints, occurring when the metabolic process that controls the amount of uric acid in the blood breaks down. Gout is a type of arthritis with the symptoms of pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joints. Your doctor will probably prescribe conventional pharmaceutical medications to treat and relieve the pain and discomfort of gout but it is important to be aware that there are also more natural ways to relieve, treat and even prevent gout.
Some of the main symptoms include:
- A buildup of uric acid (because of diet, lifestyle, disease or medication) can cause small crystals to form in a joint.
- Gout is a type of arthritis. You can understand this because the joints are affected by pain, stiffness, and inflammation with symptoms being mostly acute. These symptoms can flare up without warning and often at night. Putting even the slightest pressure on the affected areas, such as covering them with a sheet at night, can sometimes be unbearable.
- There can be severe pain in the joints of the ankles, hands, wrists, knees and feet with the big toe being especially affected with red, tender and swollen joints.
- Affected areas can feel warm or hot with the skin taking on a red or purple color or becoming very sensitive.
- A fever.
- The appearance of nodules in the elbows, hands or ears.
- Reduced flexibility and movement in the joints.
Natural Treatment of Gout
Fortunately, you can avoid expensive and often toxic pharmaceutical drugs for treating gout by changing your lifestyle choices and embracing natural home remedies.
- Drink plenty of water to flush out the uric acid.
- Make yourself a beverage using organic apple cider vinegar. Just mix two tablespoons into an 8 oz glass of water and sip throughout the day whenever you need to reduce the pain and discomfort of gout.
- Another natural remedy is to add the juice of 1/2 lemon to a glass of water and drink it three times a day.
- Fresh cherries will reduce uric acid so make the most of them when in season by eating ½ a cup daily. Look for local organic cherries at natural stores. Out of season, you can get cherry concentrates and cherry extracts from a variety of companies. Even cooked cherry juice will work just as well as raw cherries.
- Beets are available year round so it is easy to prepare beet juice as a way to help prevent acidosis (excess of uric acid) and stimulate the liver to cleanse bile ducts at the same time.
- Along with its health benefits, extra vitamin C helps to reduce uric acid. While lots of fresh fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, we really cannot have too much of a good thing so a slow release vitamin C supplement is helpful and good value for money.