Gout is a medical condition that is caused by abnormally high levels of uric acid in the blood. When the uric acid level in the blood is high, it forms crystals in the joints of the big toes and feet leading to severe pain and swelling.
To know your uric acid level, all you need is a walk-in blood test in London, and if you do have gout, it can be treated by taking the right medications but eating right, and a healthy lifestyle can also help out.
The risk of having gout depends on several factors other than diet and lifestyle so ensure you talk to your doctor about the best way you can prevent gout especially if you are at a high risk of developing the conditions.
Here are 8 natural ways you can significantly lower your uric acid level.
- Limit intake of purine-rich foods
Purines are chemical compounds that naturally occur in some foods. The metabolism of purine leads to the production of smaller compounds, one of which is uric acid. So the constant break down of foods with high purine content will lead to the accumulation of excess uric acid in the body and subsequently, the development of gout.
Some foods that have high purine contents are healthy, so the aim should not be to remove purine-rich foods from your diet completely but to reduce your intake quantity.
Foods rich in purine should be taken in small quantities including
- Trout, tuna, sardines, mussels, anchovies, haddock, and herring
- Fat-rich foods like dairy products, bacon, and red meat
- Sugary food and beverages
- Wild game such as deer
Drinks with high alcohol contents like liquor and beer are also rich in purine
Foods that contain a moderate amount of purine include
- Deli meats
- Oyster, shrimp crab, and lobster
- Ham and beef
- Increased intake of food with low-purine content
By changing your diet to include more low purine-rich food instead of those with a high content of the compound, you would be able to lower your uric acid level significantly.
Foods with low purine content include
- Peanut butter and other nuts
- Whole grain rice, bread, and potatoes
- Fruits and vegetables
- Low-fat and fat-free dairy products
Having more of low-fat dairy products would prevent not only gout but also prevent flare-ups. Other factors, such as genetics play a significant role in the development of gout. For example, African Americans are more likely to develop gout than whites. Women in their menopause and obese people are also more likely to develop the condition.
- Avoid drugs that increase the level of uric acid in the body
Some medications increase the uric acid level in the body. These medications include
- Low-dose aspirin
- Diuretic drugs such as furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide
- Immune system suppressers especially those taken before or after an organ transplant
Some of these drugs take care of essential health need so ensure you speak to your doctor before you stop taking them.
- Maintain a healthy body weight
Maintaining a healthy body weight has a lot of advantages, including reducing the risk of gout flares and being obese increases the risk of developing gout, especially in young people. If you are overweight, it increases the risk of metabolic syndrome. It also causes your blood pressure and cholesterol level to increase. This, in turn, predisposes you to heart diseases which are dangerous to the health.
Due to the metabolic errors associated with being overweight, you are at a higher risk of having increased uric acid level, which causes gout.
However, a rapid loss of weight, especially during fasting, can lead to increased levels of uric acid. If you intend to lose weight, try to do so healthily and using more sustainable means such as becoming more active and eating healthy.
- Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks
Taking a lot of alcohol and sugary drinks such as sodas and sweetened juices can increase your uric acid level. These types of drinks have a lot of calories in them, causing you to be predisposed to metabolic issues and weight gain.
- Drink coffee
Studies have shown that people who consume coffee are less likely to develop gout. These researches have shown that women who take 1 – 3 cups of coffee have a 22% decrease in the probability of developing gout when compared to those who do not take several cups of coffee. In comparison, women who take more than 4 cups of coffee daily have a 57% decrease in the probability of developing the condition.
Several other studies have found that coffee consumption significantly lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
People who have gout are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, so consuming coffee may help improve their general wellbeing.
However, excessive intake of coffee increases the risk of chronic kidney diseases and bone fractures in women.
- Take vitamin C supplements
Regular intake of vitamin C supplements can reduce the risk of gout. A study in 2011 showed that vitamin C significantly reduces the level of uric acid in the blood. Decreased uric acid level reduces the risk of developing gout. Although, the research linking vitamin C intake to treating or preventing gout has not been confirmed.
- Eat cherries
Some preliminary researches have shown that eating cherries may help reduce the risk of developing gout attacks, especially in those with prior history of the condition.
A study in 2012 showed that the risk level of developing gout in 633 people was reduced by 35% after eating cherries for 2 days. This risk level remained the same, even when the researchers controlled other risk factors like age, sex, alcohol intake, and the use of diuretic or anti-gout medications.
Those who continued to use allopurinol (an anti-gout medication) and cherries had their risk factor for another gout attack reduced by 75%.
Gout is a painful condition that occurs alongside other serious health conditions so for your same-day blood test in London to know if you have gout due to an increased uric acid level, you can contact Private Blood Tests London on 020 71830244 to book an appointment.