Shave off pounds to save your joints
Your big toe is red, swollen, and throbbing out of your shoe. When you’ve got a gout flare-up, it’s tough to put your best foot forward… AND figure out which direction to head for relief.
We know that gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in your blood, which can form needle-shaped crystals that become painful daggers when they collect in your joints.
And we also know that certain foods that contain purine, like organ meats and seafood, can send your serum uric acid (sUA) levels sky high.
But according to the latest research, simply avoiding a FEW foods may not be enough to root out gout — because your best bet is actually a diet that helps you shed pounds.
Just this morning, I shared a study with you that showed how maintaining a healthy weight can help you control your blood pressure.
Well, it turns out that’s not all that shedding a few extra pounds can do for your health.
In the meta-analysis published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, researchers evaluated data from 10 studies that looked at the effects of weight loss on gout.
After crunching the numbers, they found that when overweight or obese gout patients lost weight, up to 60 percent of them DECREASED their sUA levels — and, as a result, up to 70 percent of them had FEWER gout attacks.
What’s more, losing more than about 15 pounds led to LONG-TERM reductions in sUA! And if you’ve ever had a gout attack, you know how much you want to reduce the incidence of future flare-ups over the long haul.
The theory is that carrying extra weight — and producing excess insulin as a result of too much fat in your body — slows down the ability of your kidneys to remove uric acid from your blood.
So, if you want to kick those painful toe flare-ups to the curb, it’s time to lighten up.
Now, I know that shaving off those pounds isn’t easy — especially as we age and our hormones and metabolisms aren’t what they used to be.
But there are some simple changes you can make to help that extra weight fall off:
- Go Paleo: The Paleo (a.k.a. “caveman”) diet is an easy way to lose weight without counting carbs or calories. It eliminates the sugars and grains that can pack on pounds in favor of satisfying, fresh foods like meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
- Stay active: Aim for at least a half hour of activity, five days a week.
- Take probiotics: Studies have shown that an imbalance of bacteria in your gut can make it difficult to lose weight, so add some “good” bugs to crowd out the bad guys.
And, as I shared with you just last week, you’ve also got to avoid eating organ meats like liver and kidneys, which can increase your levels of uric acid, and abstain from drinking alcohol, which can block the uric acid from being released in your urine.