Natural Ways to Lower Uric Acid Levels
Uric Acid is an end product of purines and damaged or dead cells. It is synthesized in the liver and the intestines. The dead or damaged cells have nucleic acids, guanine, and adenine which degrade and form uric acid. An elevated level of uric acid in the body is a causative agent for various pathological conditions of which the most common is gout. It is also responsible for causing inflammatory arthritis and aids in progression of metabolic syndrome.
All this said, uric acid is the best antioxidant that is naturally available in the body. It helps in protecting the body against various infectious and even neurological conditions. Studies also suggest that uric acid prevents the body from various blood borne diseases although this property of uric acid is still being researched.
When the levels of uric acid are extremely high, they form into crystals and settle in the joints. This results in extreme pain and swelling of the joints. This in medical terms is called gout. Majority of people prefer to treat gout with medical intervention even though lifestyle modifications and dietary changes are also quite effective.
Lowering uric acid levels does wonders for people suffering from gout and other arthritic conditions. This article highlights some of the natural ways to lower uric acid levels in the body.
Natural Ways to Lower Uric Acid Levels
Restricted intake of Purine Rich Foods: As stated above, purines is one of the ingredients of uric acid. There are many foods which have purines in abundance. Thus identifying and restricting them is the way to go in lowering uric acid levels naturally. Some of the food products that are high on purines include fishes like tuna and sardines.
Red meat, bacon, and some dairy products are also high on purines and aid in elevating the levels of uric acid in the body. Ham and beef is yet another food that is high on purines and should be restricted if not avoided completely. Seafood like lobster and crab are also extremely high on purines.
Medications: There are certain medications which also increase uric acid levels in the body. These medications include diuretics like Lasix, aspirin at a low dose, and immunosuppressants which are normally given before and after a transplant. If an individual has elevated uric acid levels and is on some of these medications then a consultation with a physician is required to change the medication or adjust the dosage.
Healthy Body Weight: Maintaining a healthy body weight is also essential for lowering uric acid levels naturally. If an individual is overweight and obese then shedding off extra weight through healthy means is the need of the hour. Having a close to ideal body weight not only keeps a tab on the uric acid levels but also calm down arthritis and gout flares.
Obesity is a big risk factor for conditions like gout and arthritis. In the same way, if an individual has rapid decline in weight then also the levels of uric acid increase. Thus care should be taken to neither gain too much weight nor lose too much of it. Exercising, eating a balanced and healthy diet, and avoiding saturated fats is the best way to maintain a healthy weight and reduce uric acid level naturally.
Alcohol and Soda Avoidance: Both alcohol and sugary drinks increase uric acid levels if taken in excess. This increases the risk of the individual developing gout. Additionally, these drinks also add unnecessary calories and aid in weight gain. Thus it is important to drink alcohol or sugary drinks in moderation or completely stay off of it if possible to control uric acid levels.
Coffee: There has been some research data available that suggests that people who have a habit of drinking coffee are less likely to develop a condition like gout. This data comes from a study done in 2010 where a nurses’ health study was conducted
It showed that females who consumed about 3 cups of coffee every day had about a 20% decrease in the risk of developing gout when compared to females who did not drink coffee. Similarly females who drank more than 4 cups had a staggering 50% less risk of developing gout than females who did not drink coffee
Cherries: Research has shown that cherries can reduce the risk of gout even in people who have had a history of this condition. It does this by lowering the uric acid levels naturally. A study done in 2012 in people with gout found out eating cherries for just a couple of days decreased the chances of a gouty flare by almost 35%. This percentage was maintained even with presence of risk factors like age, gender, and use of alcohol
In conclusion, the main complication of elevated uric acid levels is the development of gout which is a painful condition affecting the joints of the body. While there are lifestyle modifications that can help somewhat with gouty flares, these measures are not sufficient for a definitive cure. Controlling the levels of uric acid is the key to decrease gouty flares. Following the above tips can help in lowering the uric acid levels in the body through natural means