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GOUT

Gout is a serious illness that is caused by abnormal uric acid levels in the body, particularly in the joints. This condition usually affects the big toe of an individual. It occurs in two ways: one is when the liver secretes abnormally high levels of uric acid than what the body can excrete in the urine; the second reason for the high levels of uric acid inside the body is when an individual consumes purine-rich foods (such as red meat and red wine) than what the kidney can strain from the blood which ultimately leads to accumulation.

A person having gouty arthritis, as it is commonly known, experiences a severe pain felt on the affected body part. This condition could also possibly disable a person who has it, and can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. Unfortunately, most people do not take gout seriously. This is a severe matter to think of. Aside from that, the prevalence of this condition is quite high. In fact, there have been reports stating that about 840 individuals out of 100,000 individuals are diagnosed with this disease.

Another concern among individuals who have gout is the presence of “gout attacks”. Gout attacks occur irregularly. Although some people experience gout attacks between months or years, this can happen frequently, overtime. When left untreated, frequent gout attacks can damage your joints permanently that can lead to disability.

Common Signs and Symptoms

If you are unfamiliar with this condition, it would be important to know its signs and symptoms. This will help you understand and easily determine whether you are already experiencing a gout attack or not. One of the most common signs of gout is the appearance of a swollen, hot and reddish joint. This usually affects your big toe. However, almost all joints can be affected with this condition.

Other symptoms of gout include inflammation, swelling, redness, stiffness and pain on any joint in your body. Usually, people experiencing a gout attack feel tremendous pain on the affected joint. In fact, even the slightest movement of the affected joint can be excruciating. The interval of gout attack varies. However, initial gout attack usually occurs between months to a year.

Polyphenols – Reducing Gout Risks

A research study conducted at Japan’s Hyogo College of Medicine discovered that the branded form of polyphenols (Oligonol) can radically lower the excretion of uric acid in just a matter of an hour, accompanied by a decrease in uric acid concentration found in the serum. This study was published in the Journal of Functional Food.

Polyphenol is a substance found in most plant foods that exhibits anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-microbial properties. However, there have been no studies dedicated in determining polyphenols’ effects on uric acid metabolism in vivo.
The current study led by Yuji Moriwaki and other research experts aimed to determine whether Oligonol, a phenolic substance extracted from lychee that has extremely high bioavailability as compared to typical polyphenols, can decrease uric acid excretion and serum concentration. Aside from reporting a significant reduction in uric acid excretion and decreased serum concentration, Moriwaki and fellow researchers also reported that polyphenols could also withdraw xanthine oxidase activity. This is an enzyme that can catalyze xanthine oxidation to uric acid.

In conclusion, the researchers have concluded that Oligonol can effectively lower uric acid production as well as the serum concentration in uric acid. However, the exact method as to how this happens is still unknown. The researchers further recommend that more studies should be conducted in order to determine whether long-term consumption of Oligonol could help prevent the development of gout in individuals.

Natural Ways of Preventing Gout Risks

There are different medications that can help treat and prevent gout risks. Unfortunately, these medications can have some side effects. This is the main reason why the use of natural methods to prevent gout is highly recommended. Aside from preventing gout risks, these natural methods are also proven to have no side effects.

  • One way of preventing gout risks naturally is to change your diet. Having an anti-gout diet is essential in helping you avoid gout risks. Avoid foods that may increase your uric acid level such as fish eggs, haddocks, sardines, herrings, anchovies and cod. Scallops, lobster, shrimp, and tuna are also linked with gout risks.
  • Eating fruits that have anti-gout properties would also reduce your risk of developing one. Cherries and strawberries are said to be examples of these fruits.
  • You should also avoid foods high in purine. These kinds of foods can also increase your uric acid level. Examples of such foods are those that contain high amounts of purine such as organs like brain, kidney and liver as well as meat products like lamb, pork and beef.
  • Avoid consuming too much alcohol since this could also help prevent gout risks.
  • Drinking plenty of water is important. It helps cleanse your kidneys and at the same time, helps reduce the uric acid level on your body.
  • Vitamin C is also proven to prevent gout. The role of Vitamin C is that it helps excrete uric acid through your urine. At the same time, it also reduces the levels of uric acid present in the bloodstream. This means that Vitamin C does not only help you prevent gout risks but it also helps you manage gout attacks.
  • Eating pineapple can also help reduce your chances of developing gout. Pineapples have a substance called bromelain that is an anti-inflammatory enzyme. This property helps reduce the inflammation caused by gout.

Once a gout attack has occurred, the accompanying pain can cause one to miss work, or may hinder one from performing activities of daily living. But know that more options are available from you aside from taking pharmaceutical drugs – generally effective, and safer options. There are ways in order to help you deal with the pain. For example, placing an ice pack on the affected area for 10 minutes can help soothe the pain you are feeling.  You may then apply it alternately with a hot, moist towel compress. Other means include the use of spearmint, Mullein leaves, apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper.

 

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