Avoid This Hidden Cause of Joint Pain
Do you have achy joints, especially in the winter? If so, you may blame it on aging, or arthritis, but it could actually be something much more simple.
It could be that your uric acid levels are high. Unless you have been diagnosed with gout, you may never have heard of uric acid, but it is created when your body digests certain forms of protein. If everything is functioning well, your body will normally eliminate excess uric acid with no problems.
But, depending on your genetics, diet, and the health of your kidneys, sometimes uric acid levels can begin to build up over time, and that’s when problems occur.
Uric acid crystals can begin to accumulate in your joints, causing swelling and tenderness. When the issue becomes more severe, pain can increase dramatically, and this is when your doctor may diagnose you with gout. Long-term excess uric acid can also cause kidney and blood sugar problems, so it’s important to take steps to control it early on.
While there are drugs for gout, they can have negative side effects, and it is actually relatively easy to prevent in the first place just by making a few simple dietary changes.
If your joints have been aching lately, you may want to try making these adjustments, particularly if anyone in your family has gout or kidney problems:
Food fixes to tame uric acid levels
A team at Mass General Hospital and Harvard University found that a number of foods can affect your UA levels.1,2
- Eating lots of meat and seafood tends to INCREASE UA levels.
- Low-fat dairy products appear to encourage LOWER levels of uric acid.
- Beer is linked to HIGHER UA levels.
- Liquor also RAISES UA, but less than beer.
- Moderate wine intake appears to have NO effect.
More recently, researchers in British Columbia added soft drinks sweetened with fructose to the list of foods that raise UA levels.3
Besides dairy, getting more fiber, vitamin C and folate – a B vitamin – have all been linked to lower levels of UA.4
For a tasty treat that does double duty, try tart cherries. Not only do they help your body get rid of excess UA, they promote greater joint comfort.5
High blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity have also been linked to increased UA levels.6 So taking care of these problems may also help.
Uric acid build-up is fairly common. But it’s often overlooked. Your doctor can tell if you have a problem with a simple blood test. If your uric acid is high, a combination of these safe, natural steps could bring you quick relief.
You can find the full article at HealthierTalk.com.