Water Education - Water and Health

Water and Gout

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Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, in excruciating pain from a throbbing big toe. This could be a sign of your first gout attack.

Gout is a painful disease that is caused by deposits of uric acid crystals in the bloodstream, ending up in the joints of the body. It is characterized by pain, swelling, redness, and heat/inflammation as well as stiffness in a joint or joints. Gout is also a form of arthritis, or inflammation of the joints, and is most common in men. Gout was once thought of as a disease that only affected the rich and famous, as drinking lots of alcohol and eating rich foods are a cause to the disease. But we know in the current society in which getting nutritious food and variety of alcohols are more and more convenient, the gout not just for the stars!


How gout happens is this: The body produces too much uric acid, or does not excrete it with the urine. The excess uric acid may not be able to be removed by the kidneys, which then builds up and may form crystals in bloodstream, which find their way to their final destination- the joints. Causes of crystal formation include drinking too much alcohol, taking medications that may increase the uric acid concentration, eating foods that are high in purines (liver, peas, beans) and being overweight. Experts say that while alcohol is a key factor, metabolism has more to do with it, so weight is important to take into consideration.

Gout begins with an attack, usually in the middle of the night, with extreme swelling and throbbing in the joints, and most commonly in the big toe. Gout is in fact a recurring disease. People who have gout may have a few very painful attacks in one or two joints, usually the big toe, foot, ankle, or knee joints. The attack can last a few days or as long as several weeks, and then the symptoms can totally disappear, not to return for months or years. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious forms of arthritis.

Natural Home Remedies

Water is one of the best home remedies for gout. For starters, since water can serve as a joint lubricant, one who is at risk for gout should be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Also, being that gout can be caused by frequent alcohol intake, it can leave people dehydrated. Beer is the worst type of alcohol to drink in terms of getting gout, as in contains more purines than any other alcoholic beverage.

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