Dietary Supplements Used for Controlling Gout

Dietary Supplements Used for Controlling Gout

6 minute video from Dr. Shikhman describing gout and natural remedies you can take to control gout.

Gout is a form of arthritis which is associated with uric acid overload and deposition of uric acid salts (urates) in the affected joints. Uric acid is created in the liver when the body breaks down purine nucleotides. Normally, uric acid is eliminated via kidneys and bile secretion into the gastrointestinal tract. The causes of uric acid elevation can be classified into three functional types: increased production of uric acid, decreased excretion of uric acid, and mixed type.

Causes of increased production include high levels of purine in the diet. Causes of decreased excretion include kidney disease, certain drugs, and competition for excretion between uric acid and other molecules. Mixed type causes include high levels of alcohol and/or fructose in the diet, and starvation.

Urate deposition in the joints or, acute gouty attack, is a very painful condition which typically happens abruptly and lasts for days and possibly weeks without appropriate therapy. In contrast to the common belief that gout exclusively affects the big toes; the disease can affect any joint in the body. Joints frequently affected by gout include: base of the toes, ankles, elbows, wrists, shoulders and 2nd and 3rd knuckles. Recurrent gouty attacks can cause joint destruction and deformities. In addition to joint damage, urate crystals can form kidney stones and large tumor-like soft tissue lesions.

Typically, controlling gout is divided into therapy during acute gouty attacks and maintenance therapy between the attacks.

The traditional therapy of acute gouty attacks is mainly focused on pain and inflammation control, and incorporates potent anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids (prednisone and methylprednisolone), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs (indomethacin, diclofenac, naproxen, ibuprofen etc) and colchicine.

The traditional maintenance therapy for controlling gout is a long-term therapy (frequently, life-long therapy) focused on reducing uric acid overload. Two drugs–allopurinol and febuxostat inhibit the production of uric acid in the liver. Probenecid accelerates the elimination of uric acid via your kidneys. The ultimate goal of the therapy for gout is to keep your uric acid level below 5.0 gram per deciliter and eliminate uric acid crystals from the joints.

The best diet for controlling gout is to follow a low purine diet. This means eliminating high purine containing products such as:

  • Meat: beef, mutton, veal, pork, venison, chicken, duck and turkey
  • Sea foods: cod, crab, lobster, snapper, salmon, tuna, trout, sardines and anchovies
  • Vegetables: cauliflower, asparagus, peas, spinach, lima beans, navy beans and lentils
  • Oatmeal
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Yeast containing products

Although a low purine diet may benefit gout, traditionally compliance with the diet is extremely difficult. An alternative therapy to drugs and diet restrictions can be found in food supplementation.

For acute gouty attacks incorporate food supplements and herbs with anti-inflammatory activities such as:

For gout maintenance (between acute attacks) includes:

Gout can be efficiently managed with both traditional and nontraditional therapies. The direction and supervision of therapy should be guided by a knowledgeable physician. Do not postpone the administration of the therapy, since it can efficiently prevent irreversible joint damage and disability.

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