Gout, an extremely painful form of arthritis, occurs when a high concentration of uric acid is found in your body. The accumulation of uric acid can result in the following:
Kidney stones, due to uric acid crystals accumulating in the kidneys
Uric acid crystal sediments in joints, frequently in the big toe
Collections of uric acid underneath the skin resembling lumps
Uric acid originates from purines breaking down. Purines are contained in your body’s tissues and are also found in many foods, including peas, dried beans, anchovies, and liver.
Causes of Gout
Uric acid normally dissolves in the blood, passing through the kidneys and out of your body through the urine. High uric acid levels in the blood lead to hyperuricemia. While many people with hyperuricemia do not develop gout, if uric acid crystals form in your body, gout can result.
However, uric acid can accumulate in your blood when:
Your body increases the amount of uric acid it produces.
Your kidneys cannot flush out enough uric acid.
You eat an abundance of foods high in purines.
Other serious health risks are linked to gout, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease.
Symptoms and Warning Signs
The first symptom of gout for many people is swelling and unbearable pain in the big toe, usually following trauma, such as an injury or illness. Gout may also appear in different lower-body joints, such as the knee or ankle. Before becoming chronic, subsequent attacks may happen randomly in various joints, primarily those of the foot and knee. Symptoms and early warning signs include:
Itching and peeling of the skin around the affected joint as gout improves
Warmth, swelling, pain, and severe tenderness in a joint
Purplish or red skin around the affected joint
Limited mobility in the affected joint
Gout ordinarily attacks one joint at a time, but if not treated can affect multiple joints, resulting in excruciating pain that would normally end in a week becoming a constant, mild pain. Untreated gout can create additional issues, including the formation of disfiguring crystal uric acid lumps under the skin around joints.
Complementary and Alternative Therapies and Treatment Options
Sometimes doctors prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in small daily doses to prevent future flare-ups. Medications can also lower uric acid levels in the blood. In addition, specific foods and some vitamins, including vitamin C, have been found to be effective preventing gout attacks.
A combination of supplements and herbs may be beneficial for some people. They can be highly effective at decreasing the length and frequency of attacks. When choosing alternative and complementary therapies for gout treatment, make sure to work with a knowledgeable provider.
Vitamin C and Gout Prevention
Vitamin C, which is best known for fighting colds, may also be effective in preventing gout. In fact, researchers recently found men who had the highest vitamin C intake from supplements and food were up to 45 percent less likely to develop gout than those who had the lowest. Found naturally in broccoli, citrus fruit, and other vegetables and fruits, vitamin C is often taken in supplement form. The top seven ways that vitamin C from Purmedica helps reduce the risk of developing gout include:
1. Vitamin C enhances uric acid excretion in the urine. While the exact mechanism is unknown, it is considered to be the way the kidneys eliminate it. In essence, improving elimination of uric acid may be more important for you than reducing its production.
2. Taking vitamin C as a dietary supplement for gout works best in a product containing added citrus bioflavonoids. Also, make sure to take vitamin C twice daily because it is excreted quickly. To circumvent lower pH levels and excess acidity, it is a good idea to take alkalizing minerals or another alkalizing agent as recommended by your physician.
3. Individuals with greater intakes of vitamin C have lower serum levels of uric acid, which can help prevent gout flare-ups.
4. Men who receive excess vitamin C may increase their resistance to this painful joint disease.
5. Vitamin C appears to reduce levels of uric acid in the blood. A build up of this naturally occurring compound can form crystal deposits in and around joints, leading to the pain and swelling associated with gout.
6. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant when taken in large doses, which is associated with a lower risk of gout.
There is a link between vitamin C and gout. Vitamin C is an essential human nutrient, and research shows that individuals with higher vitamin C consumption have a consistently lower risk of developing gout.
Although it's true that most vitamins and minerals are best acquired from foods that naturally contain them, manufactured vitamins ensure that you get the proper gout vitamins you need in the amounts you require regardless of what is occurring with your gout diet.