‘Gout is an old persons disease.’ Well that is not the case any longer and it is back on the rise. This past month I joined a group on Facebook and found it kept coming up in discussion so I’m getting some wellness practices out there for all of you to keep in your back pocket. If you have any questions be sure to jump over and chat with us in our Facebook Group.
Brief overview of what gout is for you. It is generally an accumulation of uric acid, sometimes as crystals, in the joints. It usually ends up feeling like arthritis and it is common to feel in smaller joints like the toes. Usually uric acid is removed through the body in the urine but not always efficiently enough and it builds up.
There are two kinds of gout. In primary gout there is a genetic component stimulating extra uric acid production, overwhelming the kidney’s capacity to remove it from the body. Secondary gout is often due to rapid cell die off due to chemotherapy or a reduction in the bodies ability to excrete it (chronic renal insufficiency). Some individuals may also experience gravel and stones and approximately 20% of people who experience chronic gout die of renal failure. This problem is no joke.
When it comes to wellness practices to help out gout I hope the first one you are thinking about is making sure you are well hydrated. When you increase your fluid intake, it will help to increase your blood volume and put more pressure on your kidneys to remove more uric acid from your blood stream. Now for some individuals with more damaged kidneys extra fluid may be more detrimental so be sure to listen to what your doctor says depending on your specific gout experience.
Other than hydrating, keeping the uric acid from settling into your joints is very helpful to reduce the constant pain associated with the crystal formations. Making sure you are getting lots of movement and wiggling into your daily life is the way to do this. Not only will this keep your blood flowing and your muscles working it will also encourage your lymphatic system to clear stagnant particles more effectively.
Avoiding purines in your diet is also super important. Purines are high in foods like beer, organ meats, red meats (not your white meats), and more oily seafood. Having a meal plan that focuses on fruits and vegetables is important. Dairy products should also be considered as they may help to reduce gout symptoms.
Now none of these are curative measures at all but they can help reduce some of your symptoms. With pain being a common symptom you may also want to be treating gout as you would the pains of arthritis. While individual herbs can be nice I usually sent individuals to my warming salve for the relief from pain they are looking for. My experience recommending this product to individuals with arthritis has showed me that the relief from pain is enhanced by increasing movement making this an excellent product to encourage you to continue your wellness practices.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. Join her for live classes and The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online for more learning opportunities.