If you experience sudden severe joint pain and persistent discomfort, you may suffer from a type of arthritis called gout. Gout can be caused by high levels of uric acid. Uric acid, a crystal compound, is usually filtered out by the kidneys and removed from your body through your urine. But, if you have high uric acid levels, crystals can form and cause conditions such as gout. This is why it is important to lower uric acid levels and dissolve these crystals. You can do this by taking medication, changing your diet, and exercising. Always talk with your doctor before changing your diet or taking medication. This article will discuss how to reduce uric acid levels from the blood.
How to reduce uric acid levels in the blood
- Examine the risk factors for gout. If you have gout, a type of arthritis with high uric acid levels, crystals can form in the fluid around the joints. Although older men are more likely to receive it, it can affect anyone. No one knows the true cause of gout, but some risk factors include a high-meat and seafood diet, obesity, and chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of gout, or if you are taking certain medications.
Gout causes inflammation and bouts of pain in the joints (usually at night and is felt in the big toe), along with redness, swelling, warmth, and soreness of the joint. The discomfort lasts from several days to several weeks after the end of the attack and can really develop into chronic gout, which leads to impaired mobility.
- See your doctor for an examination. If you have chronic gout, frequent or painful attacks, talk with your doctor about taking medication. Your doctor may conduct various tests to diagnose gout, including a blood test to measure uric acid, synovial fluid (where the needle draws the fluid from your joint), or ultrasound or computed tomography to detect urate crystals. Based on the test results, your doctor will be able to decide whether and what medicine you should start taking.
Your doctor may prescribe medications, such as xanthine oxidase inhibitors, uricosuric drugs, and other, less common medications, such as colchicine, which is intended for acute attacks of gout.
- Take xanthine oxidase inhibitors. These medicines reduce the amount of uric acid your body produces that can lower your uric acid levels in the blood. Your doctor will most likely prescribe these drugs as the first form of treatment for chronic gout. Xanthine oxidase inhibitors include allopurinol and febuxostat. Although these medicines may cause an initial increase in gout attacks, they will ultimately prevent them.
Side effects of allopurinol include diarrhea, drowsiness, rash, and low blood pressure. Be sure to drink at least eight 230 ml glasses of water per day while taking allopurinol.
Side effects of febuxostat include rash, nausea, joint pain, and decreased liver function.
- How to reduce uric acid levels in the blood – try taking uricosuric drugs. These types of medications help your body secrete more uric acid through your urine. Uricosuric drugs prevent your body from reabsorbing urate (urinary crystals) back into your bloodstream, which can lower your uric acid concentration in your blood. You will probably be given probenecid, but not recommended if you have kidney problems. Start by taking 250 mg every 12 hours for the first week. Your doctor may increase the prescription over time but by no more than 2 grams.
Side effects of probenecid include rash, stomach pain, kidney stones, dizziness, and headache. To prevent kidney stones, you should drink at least six to eight full glasses of water per day while taking probenecid.
- Avoid certain medications. Some medications, including thiazide diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide) and loop diuretics (such as furosemide or Lasix), should be avoided because they can aggravate your condition. You should also avoid low doses of aspirin and niacin because they can also increase uric acid levels.
- How to reduce uric acid levels in the blood – eat a healthy, balanced diet. Try to eat healthy, fiber-rich foods and lean proteins. Foods high in dietary soluble fiber can help dissolve uric acid crystals. Fiber helps absorb crystals, removing them from the joints and helping to eliminate them from the kidneys. You should also avoid saturated fats such as cheese, butter, and margarine. Reduce your sugar intake, including high fructose corn syrup and soft drinks, all of which can contribute to gout attacks. Instead, try turning on:
- Whole wheat products.
- Brown rice
- Black beans.
- Cherry can reduce gout attacks. (One study found that eating 10 cherries per day protects people from gout outbreaks.)
- Low-fat dairy products.
- Avoid foods that may increase uric acid levels. The naturally occurring substances in food called purines are converted into uric acid by your body. Studies have shown that eating foods high in purines can lead to an attack of gout within a few days of eating. Avoid high purine foods, including:
- Meat: red meat and organ meat (liver, kidneys).
- Seafood: tuna, lobster, shrimp, mussels, anchovies, herring, sardines, scallops, trout, haddock, mackerel.
- Watch what you drink. It has been shown that drinking from six to eight 230ml glasses of water per day reduces gout attacks. You should also minimize or remove alcohol, as it can metabolize and increase uric acid levels. If you want to drink something other than water, look for drinks that are sugar-free, high fructose corn syrup, or caffeine. Sugar can increase the risk of gout, and caffeine can dehydrate.
You can still consume coffee in moderation (two to three cups per day). Some studies show that coffee can lower uric acid levels in the blood, although studies do not show a decrease in gout attacks.
- Get More Vitamin C. Some studies show that vitamin C can lower uric acid levels in the blood, although studies do not show a decrease in gout attacks. Vitamin C is thought to help your kidneys secrete uric acid. Consider taking 500 mg per day after consulting your doctor. If you prefer to increase your vitamin C through your diet, try eating:
- Fruits: citrus fruits, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, watermelon.
- Vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green and red peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, winter squash.
- Cereals fortified with vitamin C.
- How to reduce the level of uric acid in the blood – exercises. Try to train at least 30 minutes a day. One study found that using 150 minutes per week reduces uric acid levels. It can also lower your risk of heart disease and help you lose weight. Weight loss has been associated with lower levels of uric acid in the blood.
Even lower physical activity is associated with a slight decrease in uric acid levels. For example, if you cannot jog for 30 minutes, try walking fast for at least 15 minutes.
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