Wednesday, April 30, 2008
If you've ever woken up in the middle of the night with gout pain, you know how important it is to have a gout treatments plan that works. The next series of posts are going to be dedicated to specific gout treatments that are known to have beneficial effects on treating gout. First up on the list is pineapples.
How Pineapples Ease Painful Gout Attacks
Pineapples are not usually the first food that comes to mind when it comes to getting rid of gout. So, is pineapple good for gout? Pineapples do have several beneficial properties that can help you when combined with other methods in your gout treatments program. So, what is it that pineapples have to offer that can help you overcome the painful symptoms of gout?
Potassium is very crucial when it comes to providing yourself with effective prevention therapies. Potassium helps turn uric acid into a solution your kidneys can get rid of more easily during urination. As stated in an earlier post on gout treatments, the suggested daily intake of potassium according to the government is 3500mg. While pineapples do not have an overwhelming amount of potassium, 115mg, when combined with the other therapeutic remedies pineapples contain, this is a fruit that is definitely worth making part of a gout treatments plan.
One of the biggest gout remedies benefits of using pineapple in treating this painful disease is that it contains bromelain. As a gout treatments remedy, bromelain is first-class. It is an anti-inflammatory enzyme that helps to digest protein molecules.
This enzyme can be purchased as a supplement. It can also be used effectively for arthritis, swelling from minor traumas, and digestive problems. It is sometimes used to aid in healing from post-surgical procedures. Another benefit of bromelain is that is known to be helpful as an anti-coagulant (blood thinner) which would be useful if you are prone to blood clots. Please remember, seek your physician's counsel before taking this supplement or any supplement prior to using as a treatment for any condition.
As with most things, too much of a good thing can pose risks. While studies have found that moderate doses revealed no notable side effects, higher supplementation can lead to possible heart rate increase, plus nausea and vomiting. Another downside is the likelihood of diarrhea at higher doses. It should not be used in conjunction with other blood thinners such as Coumadin (Warfarin) or Aspirin. Overall, bromelain is considered safe in moderation and is one of the best natural gout remedies available.
Pineapple contains a lot of vitamin C which is very good at getting rid of gout pain. These delicious fruits contain on average 36mg which is 60% of the RDA for vitamin C. How does this vitamin make an efficient gout treatments tool? A study performed by Arthritis and Rheumatism (2005;52:1843–7) showed that 500mg of vitamin C administered over a two month period reduced uric acid levels by an average of 10%. While 36mg is not as potent as 500mg, it is a healthy way to get your vitamin C.
The reason why vitamin C works for gout treatments is it helps the kidneys to excrete greater amounts of uric acid. It also helps prevent purines from breaking down into uric acid. Uric acid in and of itself is not bad for you, in fact, it is very beneficial to your body. The problem arises when the uric acid is not able to be metabolized very well by the body or overwhelms the body. This is where vitamin C can help you in your treatment of gout.
I just thought I'd mention folic acid is present in pineapple, and it has had a reputation of helping with gout. Folic acid combines with folate to make up the vitamin B9. Folic acid is used by some in their gout treatments profile because folic acid helps repair tissue and DNA. While this is very helpful because uric acid crystallization damages your joints, there is very little scientific proof that folic acid is beneficial in gout. It certainly is not harmful, but I would avoid supplementation strictly for a gout treatments remedy.
As you can see pineapple has quite the combination of elements that help ease gout pain. While some of these elements in and of themselves are not in adequate amounts by eating pineapple itself, when you combine pineapple with other gout treatments, you can have a great weapon in your gout treatments arsenal.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Herbal Gout Treatments that Reduce Inflammation
A great way to reduce inflammation when you are having a gout attack is to use herbal gout treatments. An increasingly popular herbal remedy is celery seed. Celery seed is a wonderful antidote in that it is like a multi-pronged attack on this painful disease. On the one hand, it decreases swelling in your joints. On the other, it helps your renal system (i.e. your kidneys) get rid of uric acid through urination while also alkalizing your blood. Celery seed is a diuretic and therefore helps to increase the pace at which your uric acid is flushed from the body.
Celery seed is a good option instead of using NSAIDs. Studies have revealed that every day use of NSAIDs raise the risk of not only liver damage, but also raise the risk of having a heart attack. This potent herb is a diuretic, so you need to have the proper intake of water. We've already discussed in an earlier post that water is one of the most important remedies in helping to cure gout, and it needs to be a major component of your gout treatments program.
Celery seed is sometimes used as a spice in foods, but otherwise, I suggest taking celery seed as an extract. The seeds are bitter when eaten by themselves as I found out during an attempt to find relief during a gout episode a few years ago, so stick with the supplements.
Two Important Notes about Celery Seed ExtractOne serious problem with this herb is for those with allergies to celery. Just as with peanuts, celery seed contains oils that are extremely likely to create anaphalaxis (severe allergic reaction). This can be deadly! My intent is not to frighten you from using celery seed extract, but DO NOT use this remedy if you have these conditions.
Another concern is that even though the majority of people with gout are men, women can have gout. Pregnant women should not take celery seed, whether in a spice or extract form. Properties in the seeds stimulate the uterus, thereby increasing the potential for miscarriage or premature birth.
Recommended Daily Dosage
How much should you take of this supplement? Two tests were used to check the effectiveness of celery seed against gout and in those tests the usage was 30mg and 75mg a day. Both had improvement of symptoms. Some naturopathic physicians have suggested using 150mg a day.
If you are tired of cherry juice or some of the other methods you use to get rid of gout and would like to try something new, this may help you. I have used it, and it does help with gout. Celery seed is just one of several excellent herbal gout remedies.
Friday, April 18, 2008
If you are like me, you have a desire to get off gout medication while still avoiding painful gout attacks. I accomplish this by using gout cures that I have found from natural sources . I am a former user of allopurinol. I decided I no longer wanted to use it when I discovered that one of the possible side effects of allopurinol is possible liver damage. I also wanted to avoid taking Indocin or colchicine whenever I had an episode of gout (hyperuricemia). I began searching for natural remedies for gout I could count on to help me avoid painful gout attacks without the potentially dangerous side effects. The following natural remedies for gout treatments worked for me.
Natural Gout Remedies Suggestions
Yes, I know, pretty much everyone knows about using cherries for gout, but I do want to mention that I do take a cherry juice concentrate as the main supplement in my gout treatments program. I specifically use Michelle's Montmorency Cherry Juice Concentrate. It is a bit costly, but it is like gold to me. I have no affiliation with this product, but I assure you from experience, it works! Michelle's products are from Michigan, not too terribly far from where I live. Michigan is a huge cherry producing state. Needless to say, I take advantage of living near the overabundance of fresh cherries whenever they are in season. As for the Michele's cherry juice products, if you prefer, you can get this product in capsules versus the concentrate. These are naturally produced products and you can usually get them at your local holistic food store.
Potassium rich foods
Potassium-rich foods are great natural remedies for gout that are critical to overcoming your battle with this painful disease. Potassium helps to liquefy uric acid making it easier for the kidneys to eliminate the uric acid during urination. The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for potassium is 3500mg a day. So, what are a few of the foods rich in potassium?
Baked Potatoes, with the skin
In another post about gout treatments, I mentioned on that if you lose weight, you must lose it slowly or it increases your uric acid levels. One of the reasons for this is that if you lose weight too rapidly, you decrease your potassium levels too quickly which makes it harder for the kidneys to get rid of your uric acid. Go slow!
Gout pain is caused by too much crystallization of uric acid in your joints. Water helps to dissolve those crystals so the kidneys can process them properly. It is for this reason that drinking a lot of water is a important part of any natural remedies for gout plan. If you feel gout symptoms beginning to rear their ugly head, a quick remedy is to drink plenty of water.
I use supplements for this. Occasionally, I will eat salmon, however, salmon is high in purines and must be eaten in moderation. Trout and sardines are also considered high purine foods. Because of the high purines found in these types of fish, I consider fish oil to be part of my natural remedies for gout therapy even though it is a supplement.
Fish oil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, in some scientific studies, fish oil was found to have the same benefit as NSAIDs (i.e. Indocin, Ibuprofen, Aleve) without the potentially harmful side effects. My physician stated we should be taking 5000mg (5g) a day. I recommend using a high grade distilled fish oil as some of the lower quality fish oils have small traces of metals in them.
It is worth noting that fish oil is also recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) as a therapeutic help in the fight against heart disease. Make sure you have a minimum of 300mg of EPA and 200mg of DHA in your fish oil.
These natural gout remedies enabled me to wean myself off of allopurinol. I made my physician part of the process, and I recommend you do as well. These natural remedies for gout have helped me be virtually gout free for three years.
Natural remedies for gout are easy to follow when used wisely. The benefit of the natural remedies for gout method is not only does it help you beat gout, you also lower your weight and decrease your risk for dangerous health issues such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, and heart attack. Give these natural remedies for gout a try.
Monday, April 14, 2008
People who have gout are always looking for cures for gout that work quickly. Even using prescription drugs such as allopurinol doesn't guarantee one will avoid a painful episode. Indomethacin and colchicine usually take at least a day or two to work. So, what is a person to do? I am a fellow gout sufferer. A couple years ago, I'd get an attack approximately every 2-3 weeks. Even after I was prescribed allopurinol I still had painful gout attacks on a regular basis. This in spite of the fact that I don't drink alcohol and I was not eating gout foods such as beef or bacon. I decided I had enough of the pain and I personally did not wish to be on prescription drugs so I began to research different natural cures for gout I could use to eliminate this issue.
I have used each of these steps in my own personal gout treatments plan. They are natural methods and have enabled me to stop taking allopurinol* and have helped me to only have two gout attacks in the past three years, and the two attacks I had were minor compared to the ones I used to have.
How to cure gout
The key to curing gout naturally is prevention. The root cause of this disease is your diet. So you need to eat healthy. Here are some of the foods I ensure are a regular part of my menu so I can try to avoid further pain.
Bananas may come as a surprise to be on a natural gout cures list, but they contain a couple key elements that will help you in the fight to overcome this painful disease. Bananas contain a lot of potassium. Adequate amounts of potassium lowers your risk of having a painful gout attack. Potassium helps tear down uric acid crystals which will allow your renal system (i.e. your kidneys) to eliminate excess uric acid. Any foods high in potassium should be considered when you are considering what type of cures for gout to use.
Another important component of bananas which will help you with your gout treatments strategy is that bananas contain bromelain. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain during an attack. This is a definite bonus when it comes to the treatment of gout. While bananas didn't provide a huge relief to my symptoms, it did help cut the edge off the gout attack.
Blueberries are a favorite snack for my family, and a big help for those who have gout. One of the main causes of gout is inflammation and blueberries go to the root of the problem. Effective gout remedies should contain foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. Blueberries, as well as bananas contain anti-swelling elements. Blueberries contain anthocyanins which are anti-inflammatory. The cause for swelling in affected joints is the formation of excess uric acid crystals and these anthocyanins help reduce the swelling. Not to mention all the other benefits and cancer-fighting antioxidants that blueberries have, you can't go wrong eating these tasty treats.
While not one of the more known natural cures for gout, grapes are also helpful as a supplemental remedy because grapes lower the acidity of your blood as they have a high alkalinity content. This helps in reduction of uric acid levels. As an added benefit, grapes are also high in antioxidants.
Most gout treatments lists consider cherries the king of curing gout naturally. I know this is the one I use the most. I take Montmorency cherry juice concentrate every single day, and I think this is one of the main reasons I have been able to prevent recurrent attacks. From eating cherries when they are in season to taking a concentrate during the winter, cherries are definitely an incredible gout cures food. Cherries have enzymes which neutralize uric acid. Cherries also contain anthocyanins. This makes cherries for gout very potent as they not only neutralize the cause of gout, they're an excellent treatment against the inflammatory side effects of an attack.
Alfalfa is an herbal gout cure that I decided to give a try earlier for this past year. I've probably used it for a total of six months so far and I have to say the results have been amazing! It is quite the herb. I was at a nutritional meeting with some friends and a nutrition expert and the subject of alfalfa was brought up. I was unaware that alfalfa would help with gout. The expert discussed how this potent herb was great for arthritis and it got my mind churning. I decided to give it a try for gout. After all, gout is a form of arthritis.
After a month I actually weaned myself off the cherry juice to see what would happen. I wanted to check alfalfa's potency by itself. To my surprise I think it worked better than cherries. In fact, from time to time I'd take ibuprofen even while drinking cherry concentrate for gout. Usually when I felt a small flare up coming on. It had done wonders to keep an acute attack at bay. However, with alfalfa, I hardly ever have to take ibuprofen.
This is great in the long term, because not only is alfalfa very healthy for you, but I also get the benefit of reducing the risk of long term side effects from taking ibuprofen, not that I was taking it every day with cherries, I was not, but I have cut down ibuprofen usage by my estimates of around 80-90%. I discussed this with my naturopathic physician and she said she was not surprised at all. She believed that alfalfa was much more beneficial to gout than cherries and she was a firm believer in cherries.
I will say that I did have my first acute gout attack a month or so ago and I was not sure why. It was quite puzzling and my attack was quite strong. I had not had an acute bout with this for easily over a year. It was bad enough I had to take a week off of work. I finally figured it out. I was given by a kinesiologist, someone who studies the nerve impulses to the muscles to diagnose health, depending on the literature you read will depend on whether you get a positive or negative feedback about kinesiology. I find it helpful, but not totally conclusive. Anyways, they put me on a diet, which I did need, and had me taking this supplement to help me out. Unfortunately, that supplement contained beef pancreas, and beef organs is one of the worst things you can take. I was prescribed to take 3 pills a meal, so a total of 9 pills a day. Of course, even alfalfa could not overcome this and I had the attack. The attack took about a week go get rid of, and I eliminated that supplement from my diet. Now, I am back to not taking ibuprofen and I still have only been taking the alfalfa. I still do use cherries from time to time, but I try to only use one mostly for costs sake, more than anything.
Bananas, blueberries, grapes, cherries, and alfalfa are just a few of the available natural gout treatments that you can eat to help you greatly reduce your risk of gouty arthritis. These potent fruits not only are great gout cures, they are also great tasting. Combine the benefits of these fruits and enjoy beating gout instead of suffering the agony it causes.
*Disclaimer: While these methods work for me and I believe they will work for you, I am not a physician and you should always consult with your physician before making any changes to your medication usage.
Most gout sufferers who are experiencing the painful symptoms of an acute attack always seem to look for effective gout treatments once it's too late and the attack has already begun. The best way to establish effective gout treatments is to stop an attack before it has a chance to start.
Obesity is one of the main common factors for those suffering from gout. Therefore it makes sense that in order to stop these attacks or at least lessen their occurrence we should strive for gout treatments and therapies that improve our overall health and well being. Not to mention, getting rid of obesity will lead to overall better health. Below are three key elements that must be included in any successful gout treatments program.
1. Weight Loss
As was mentioned earlier, obesity is one of the main factors in those who have gout. Thus one of the most effective gout treatments for gout sufferers is to lose weight. Those who successfully decrease their weight to a healthy level help themselves immensely in the fight to overcome painful attacks.
Losing weight and keeping it off leads to long-term gout relief. While this is probably the most important step in the list of effective gout treatments, moderation is absolutely imperative! Losing weight too fast has all kinds of unhealthy side effects including very painful gout attacks, the very thing we are trying to avoid. When you drop the pounds in a speedy manner you increase your uric acid levels thus making sure you have an appointment with a painful gout attack in the near future. Going too quickly and getting a painful attack will knock you backwards in your gout treatments program and also make it more likely that you will gain your weight back.
What is a good guideline for you to take in losing this weight. Most experts say you can safely lose up to 3-4 pounds a week. Gout treatments are more effective when you have a modest goal of one pound a week. This way you will go slowly, which has a couple of positive side effects. Going slowly reduces the likelihood of increasing your uric acid levels and will increase the likelihood of you staying on the road to long-term weight loss. Not too mention the other benefits of lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower risk of diabetes, and heart disease. While most of us like to have instant success, imagine losing 52 pounds in one year. At the end of the year, I don't think most people would be upset with being able to say they accomplished that kind of feat and it is possible.
2. Proper Hydration
Another significant part of a strong gout treatments program is to properly hydrate yourself. Hydration therapies should be part of your short term and long term gout treatments program. Dehydration is a huge problem among Americans and can lead to many unhealthy problems, most of which are similar to those dealing with obesity. If you need to lose weight, chances are you are dehydrated. Having enough water helps your cells function properly and helps keep high uric acid levels at bay and helps you lose weight, so you get a double benefit. Not only that, drinking plenty of water helps to flush your kidneys which will help to lower uric acid levels to a normal level. Not to mention being hydrated gives you the feeling of being full which will help you reduce your daily caloric intake.
Gout Treatments are enhanced since drinking enough water leads to proper hydration. Proper hydration therapies include more than just drinking-10 glasses of water a day. One of these therapies would be eating water dense foods such as watermelon. For example, eating a normal sized piece of watermelon is equal to one glass of water. Also, eating watermelon with the seeds helps neutralize uric acid, thus helping to give you gout relief and is one of many gout treatments and remedies you can use.
3. Proper Nutrition
Proper nutrition helps make the other two options for gout treatments possible. Without a proper nutrition plan, losing weight and keeping hydrated will be very hard to achieve. One way to helping with proper nutrition is to avoid gout foods. Avoiding foods that cause gout will be the source of another article. High purine foods tend to be higher in fat content or have empty calories. For instance, eating a burger and fries with a soda not only increases your uric acid levels, they increase weight gain and dehydration. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables help you lose pounds, stay hydrated, and either decrease or offset your uric acid levels.
Losing weight, staying hydrated, and eating properly are critical to having a successful gout treatments plan that will not only help you overcome this painful disease, but will also be effective in improving your overall health.