Gouty Arthritis – What is it?
Gouty arthritis is a disease where where crystals form inside a joint. It's most often found in the big toe and in men more than women, but it can also be found in any of the other toes, the ankle or heel, the knee, or even in the wrist, elbow or spine.

Uric acid crystals are the most common ones seen in gout. They are a by product of purine metabolism (an amino acid found in certain foods) and uric acid levels are tightly regulated by the kidneys. Levels can rise with a high protein diet, certain drug therapies (like diuretics or aspirin), high blood pressure, and low thyroid function. People with these conditions are more prone to gout, but anyone can get it. Your chances of getting it increase with age, obesity, a high-protein diet, high alcohol consumption, diabetes mellitus (type II), ischemic heart disease (when the arteries are constricted) and high blood pressure. (As a side note, many of these factors are considered "lifestyle" diseases, and can be controlled with diet and exercise. Click here for information on low glycemic eating, and how it can naturally help decrease inflammation and help you lose unwanted fat weight.

Once gouty arthritis hits, the joint becomes red, hot, swollen and tender to the touch. Even something as simple as a blanket or a sheet on it can cause excruciating pain. Attacks are often brought on by too much alcohol or rich food. Dehydration can also cause it (make sure you drink your water!) as well as diuretics (often used to treat high blood pressure).

If you've seen your M.D. and s/he has prescribed anti-inflammatories, take them as directed to help with the swelling and pain. If you'd like to handle your attack naturally, here are some things to try.

Dropping the overall acidity of your system is a key to helping gout naturally. Decrease your overall calories and cholesterol, stop drinking alcohol (especially beer) and avoid organ meats and red meat.

Foods that help alkalize your system include all the berries, citrus and other foods high in vitamin C, leafy greens, and pineapple (this isn't a comprehensive list, but you get the idea). Complex carbs and low fat dairy are generally OK, too. Most proteins are high in purines, so you should stick with easier to digest ones like lean meats and fish.

Fruit juices like cherry juice and pomegranate juice can be helpful to decrease overall acidity fairly quickly. A green drink is a great way to quickly alkalize your system. Made of lots of green leafy veggies and fruits, it packs a nutritional punch in each serving.

Drinking plenty of water is crucial during an attack, and I'd recommend at least 3 liters every day (96 ounces).

Follow this link for specific recommendations to avoid gout.

And this link will take you to a page that is all about natural remedies for gout.

For information on how natural remedies work, including more info on gout remedies, follow this link. You'll be directed to www.Natural-Remedy-Guide.com.

Pseudogout vs. Gouty Arthritis

If you think you have gouty arthritis, it's important to have a correct diagnosis. Pseudogout is similar in symptoms, but the crystals inside the joint are calcium pyrophosphate rather than uric acid.

If you have Pseudogout, diet changes won't really help your symptoms much, and it's important to make sure you're on the correct treatment plan.

To find out how to use the Arthritis Diet to manage symptoms and lose weight, click here.

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