Gout is common type of arthritis that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the blood, tissues, and urine. Uric acid is the end product of the metabolism of a class of chemicals known as purines. In people with gout, the body does not produce enough of the digestive enzyme uricase, which oxidizes relatively into a highly soluble compound. As a result, uric acid accumulates in the blood and tissues and, ultimately, crystallizes.
When it crystallizes, uric acid takes on a shape like that of a needle and, like a needle, it jabs its way into the joints. It seems to prefer the joint of the big toe, but other joints can be vulnerable as well, including the mid-foot, ankle, knee, wrist, and even the fingers. Acute pain is usually the first symptom. Then the affected joints become inflamed, almost infected-looking red, swollen, hot, and extremely sensitive to the touch.
Uric acid is a byproduct of certain foods, so gout is closely related to diet. Obesity and an improper diet increase the risk of developing gout. Gout has been called the rich man’s disease, since it is associated with too much rich food and alcohol. But in fact it affects people from all walks of life, most commonly men between the ages of forty and fifty. It may be inherited or brought on by crash dieting, drinking, certain medications, overeating, stress, surgery, or injury to a joint. Approximately 90 percent of the people who suffer from gout are male. Uric acid kidney stones may be a related problems.
When an attack of gout strikes, eat only raw fruits and vegetables for two weeks. Juices are best. Frozen or fresh cherry juices is excellent. Also drink celery juice diluted with distilled water use distilled water only, not tap water cherries and strawberries neutralize uric acid, so eat lots of them. Also include grains, seeds, and nuts in your diet.
Maintain a diet low in purines at all times. Purines are organic compounds that contribute to uric acid formation purine-rich foods to avoid include anchovies, asparagus, consommé, herring, meat gravies and broths, mushrooms, mussels, sardines, and sweetbreads.
Consume plenty of quality water. Fluid intake promotes the excretion o f uric acid.
Consume no alcohol. Alcohol increases the production of uric acid and must be eliminated from the diet.
Do not eat any fried foods, roasted nuts, or any other foods containing (or cooked with) oil that has been subjected to heat. When heated, oils become rancid. Rancid fats quickly destroy vitamin E, resulting in the release of increased amounts of uric acid.
Avoid rich foods such as cakes and pies. Leave white flour and sugar products out of your diet.
Avoid the amino acid glycine. Glycine can be converted into uric acid more rapidly in people who suffer form gout.
Limit your intake of caffeine, cauliflower, dried beans, lentils, fish, eggs, oatmeal, peas, poultry, spinach, and yeast products.
If you are overweight, lose the excess pounds. Losing weight lowers serum uric acid levels. Avoid very restricted weight loss diets (crash diets), however. Abruptly cutting back on foods or fasting for longer than three days may result in increased uric acid levels.