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Herbs to help with gout
Last review: 08/12/10  Anonymous
Question : I WAS told by my doctor recently that I have gout. My uric acid level is high. Since this may be at an early stage as I just had the pain attack, how can I manage it? Are there any supplements that can help?

Answer : GOUT is a common type of arthritis caused by an increased concentration of uric acid, a by-product of protein metabolism in the liver. It affects more men than women. Sudden attacks of severe joint pains occur when sharp crystals of uric acid (monosodium urates) form in the fluid surrounding a joint due to an elevated level of uric acid in the blood.

Foods that contain a high level of purine should be avoided, and these include red meats, organ meats and shellfish.

There are several herbs that have proven benefits for painful joints. Celery seed and guaiacum are two very popular ones. These are usually combined with other herbs such as ginger, capsicum and sarsaparilla for better synergistic effect.

Celery seed (Apium graveolens) helps the kidneys dispose urates and other unwanted waste products as well as working to reduce acidity in the body. The seeds are also a carminative, with a mild tranquilising effect. Guaiacum is used in Europe, especially in Britain, to help with arthritic and rheumatic conditions. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce muscle aches, joint pains and swelling. It is also diuretic and speeds the elimination of toxins, which makes it valuable for treating gout.

To maintain healthy joints, you need to refrain from the consumption of rich fatty foods, refined carbohydrates and alcohol, as they can be converted by the body into inflammatory substances that can aggravate the condition.

Increase your intake of foods high in dietary fibre (vegetables, fruits) and complex carbohydrates (oats, barley, bran). Reduce or avoid alcohol and caffeine consumption. Wheat, dairy products, corn, beef, tomato, potato, eggplant and peppers can aggravate arthritis. Light exercises like brisk walking help to keep the joint cartilage lubricated. Being overweight can burden the joints, especially the knees, thus aggravating the pain. Losing some weight will be of benefit.

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