If you’ve ever met someone who has suffered from gout, you’ve probably heard horror stories about sudden severe pain in the big toe or crystal formation on the top of the ears, along with painful and swollen joints. Gout can appear anywhere on the body and usually lasts 3 to 12 days. It is estimated that between 2 and 5 million people suffer from Gout, a condition that in most cases can be alleviated and prevented by natural means. Gout accounts for about 5% of all types of arthritis and is most common in men over the age of 40. Once it is relieved, it can take months or even years to reappear, and each time it does, it could get worse. Simple lifestyle and diet changes and other natural remedies can help gout sufferers, as well as help prevent it.

Gout is an arthritic type characterized by pain and inflammation in the joints. It occurs when uric acid levels rise in the blood and is called hyperuricemia. Gout is primarily caused by a higher dietary intake of foods rich in purines, such as red meat and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Studies show that 75% of those with gout will experience sudden redness, swelling, and sudden pain in the big toe, caused when uric acid crystallizes in the joints. The body then causes inflammation of the tissues to protect the joint, which ultimately leads to excruciating pain for many people. When uric acid levels rise in the body, other health conditions can develop, such as high cholesterol, hypertension, kidney stones, heart disease, and diabetes.

The most effective natural way to get rid of gout is to modify your diet. This includes lowering blood sugar, which can significantly reduce inflammation levels in the body. Studies suggest that simply by lowering blood sugar, the risks of gout can be lowered by as much as 85%. Recent research has indicated that men who drink 1 to 2 sugary drinks a day are 85% more likely to develop gout than those who drink 1 sugary drink a month. The best way to reduce sugar is to eliminate HFCS from your diet, which includes all sodas and sugary drinks. Replace with 10-12 glasses of water per day and feel free to add a little lemon juice to it. By increasing hydration and water intake, this will help flush uric acid in the body. Add in more exercise, as this allows circulation to increase, and again uses the body’s natural circulation talents to stabilize insulin levels. Research has also shown that exercise helps boost your immune system, blood flow, and can lower risk factors for diabetes.

Sorry folks, but alcohol can contribute to gout, and it is imperative to eliminate red wine and alcohol. Although red wine has many health benefits, this is a case where it is best to avoid its consumption. Alcohol causes dehydration and, for those with gout, can raise insulin and uric acid levels, which can contribute to diabetes and gout.

Two great ways to counteract and prevent gout are to increase your intake of Persian cherry juice, or “tart cherries,” and consume celery seeds. These cherries contain powerful phytochemicals called anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, which help prevent arthritis and gout, and can be found in most organic food stores. Persian cherry juice is very pure, contains up to 50-60 cherries per ounce, and contains less sugar. Celery seed helps remove toxins and uric acid crystals from the body and is an exceptional anti-inflammatory. Celery seed also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Both can be found at your local organic food store. If one wanted, strawberries, a variety of other berries, and nutmeg have also been shown to have helpful anti-inflammatory properties for gout.

Many conventional medications and over-the-counter NSAIDs have been shown to help gout sufferers. The only caveat is that many prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause a variety of side effects, including gastrointestinal problems and bleeding, diarrhea, nausea, headaches, rashes, dizziness, weight gain, fatigue, breathing problems, problems kidney and liver, among many. others. Because gout can continue throughout life, many people choose to take natural routes for prevention and relief, rather than taking gout medications throughout their lives.

Gout can be a painful and debilitating condition, and there are five great ways to prevent and relieve these symptoms. This includes 1) increasing exercise, 2) eliminating high fructose corn syrup, fructose, sodas, sugary drinks, desserts, breads and other sugary foods, 3) eliminating foods rich in purines such as red meat, sardines, diet anchovies and yeast, 4) reduce the consumption of alcohol from beer, red wine and other alcoholic beverages, 5) increase the intake of tart cherries, strawberries, Persian cherry juice, other berries and celery seeds, and 6) increase water intake to eliminate uric acid. By making healthier choices throughout your life, many of these adverse health conditions can be avoided. So goes the famous saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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