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Stay Out, Gout! Reduce Your Risk

Stay Out, Gout! Reduce Your Risk

By Andrea Bartels CNP NNCP RNT
Registered Nutritional Therapist

21 Apr 2020

Stay Out, Gout! Reduce Your Risk

Here's how it happens. In the right circumstances of dietary excess, dehydration and genetic susceptibility, high levels of uric acid accumulate in the blood until they reach the point when it's so concentrated that it can no longer stay dissolved. Instead, it forms thousands of tiny, pointy, needle-like crystals of monosodium urate that settle into a joint, causing a lot of swelling and pain.

Let's look at some of the lifestyle choices that make one more vulnerable to gout.

Alcohol consumption

You knew it was bad for your liver and your brain, but did you know that alcohol consumption is the biggest dietary risk factor for gout? No matter your preferred poison, beer and distilled hard liquors (but not wine!) are associated with higher risk of gout if you drink more than 2 servings in one sitting. Why? The answer may be dehydration. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it causes the loss of water and protective, acid-buffering minerals upon urination. Start substituting non-alcoholic beverages more often, stay hydrated with water between meals (and beers) and this could make a big difference.

Fructose consumption

Of all the kinds of sugars we consume, fructose is the one with the highest association with gout risk. Fructose is found naturally in many fruits, but of more concern is the fructose present in the commercially packaged foods and sweetened drinks that have filled our grocery stores and vending machines for the past few decades. Consider that even if you don't drink sweetened beverages, you may be consuming fructose in your frozen prepared meals. Some of these entrees and appetizers are accompanied by some very sweet sauces made with fructose. Also, choose North-American-style Chinese food carefully, avoiding those with sticky, sweet and colourful sauces!

Purines

Consumption of foods rich in certain protein-based compounds called purines has long been associated with increased serum uric acid and incidence of gout. The highest food sources of these purines are seafood and fatty red meats. What's interesting is that although many dairy products also contain purines, milk product consumption is not correlated with gout attacks. Neither is coffee, nor high-purine vegetables or legumes-suggesting that these foodstuffs may actually assist in uric acid excretion via the urine before it can accumulate to levels at which it can crystallize.

Alkaline Minerals to the Rescue

If uric acid needs to be of high concentration in the blood in order to crystallize and cause gout, then it makes sense to reduce acidity with alkaline therapy in addition to diet and lifestyle adjustments.

Complete resolution of an acute gout attack within 2-3 days of starting alkaline therapy has been observed with AlkaPure pH, which suggests the acute inflammation has resolved. However, it's important to realize that diet and lifestyle changes should naturally be implemented and ongoing alkaline therapy with AlkaPure pH maintenance should be considered to allow the body to effectively excrete uric acid. This reduces the chance of further uric acid accumulation and recurring inflammation.

Pure Lab Vitamins' AlkaPure is an acid-buffering formula of minerals that may provide the support needed by those prone to hyperuricemia (high uric acid) and/or gout. Not only that, but the formula can also be beneficial for individuals with chronic tendonitis, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, and GERD-problems often seen in gout patients-many of whom are overweight.

Measure your pH

Our bodies are acid factories, generating all kinds of metabolic waste products that must be excreted via the bowel or kidney. It's the kidneys that play the biggest role in urinary pH and mineral re-absorption and excretion. Checking your urinary pH can help you find out what effect your diet and lifestyle are having on your mineral stores. Remember that urine is a waste product, so therefore one should expect it to be acidic--- but keep in mind that individuality determines just how acidic. On the other hand, if urine is chronically alkaline, then you may be dumping minerals from your bone and muscle stores to buffer excess acids-and losing some of the potentially protective factors when it comes to gout prevention.

One's urinary pH target is 6.6 to 7. However, some say salivary pH testing is more reflective of the situation in the tissues, with a target range of 7 to 7.4. If choosing the salivary method, it's important to always test away from meals and drinks.

Be aware that one single test is just a snapshot of your pH situation throughout the day. For first time tests, it is important to test 3-4 times a day for 3-4 days, gather more information, add up all test results and divide by the number of tests and use this average pH result as your baseline.

Whichever method you choose, be consistent with testing either urinary or salivary pH-do not mix them from day to day if you want meaningful data.

AlkaPure pH can be used to buffer acids and replace lost minerals in those vulnerable to gout, optimizing salivary and urinary pH, while enabling tissues to stay in their optimal, neutral pH range.

References

Kedar, Eyal and Peter A Simkin. A Perspective on Diet and Gout. Adv Chronic Kidney Dis Nov 2012: 19 (6), 392-7.

Nickolai, Beat and Caroline Kiss. Nutritional Therapy of Gout. Ther Umsch 2016:73 (3), 153-8.

Li, Rongrong, Kang Yu , Chunwei Li. Dietary Factors and Risk of Gout and Hyperuricemia: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2018:27 (6), 1344-1356.

Ryu, Kyoung A. et al. Comparison of Nutrient Intake and Diet Quality Between Hyperuricemia Subjects and Controls in Korea. Clin Nutr Res Jan 2014: 3 (1), 56-63.


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