If you have a history of gout, your doctor may have told you that you have an elevated uric acid blood level, while advising that you lower it to help prevent another episode of gout. After experiencing the pain associated with gout you may be quite motivated to do this, but aren’t sure where to start. Although there are effective prescription medications that can lower uric acid blood levels, these medications usually have side effects. Fortunately, there are ways to lower uric acid levels naturally. Here are some natural ways to help bring your uric acid levels down.
Watch what and how much you drink
If you have high uric acid levels, it’s important to stay well hydrated by drinking lots of water. This not only helps dilute the uric acid in your bloodstream, but also helps the kidney eliminate it. Instead of drinking water only when you’re thirsty, make a conscious effort to drink at least eight glasses per day. It’s also important to avoid alcohol since it can raise the level of uric acid in your bloodstream and make it more likely that you’ll experience an acute gout attack. Unfortunately, if you’re headed to a party, you may want to drink the punch instead of the beer or wine since even light consumption of alcohol, particularly beer, has been shown to elevate uric acid concentrations in the blood.
Watch your medications.
Certain medications can elevate uric acid levels. This is particularly true of diuretics used to treat high blood pressure and some types of heart disease. Talk to your doctor about your medications and make sure they’re not making the problem worse.
Watch what you eat.
Uric acid is a breakdown product of purines which can be formed by the body or taken in through your diet. To reduce uric acid blood levels, it’s important to avoid foods that are high in purines. Your doctor should be able to give you a complete list of foods to avoid if your uric acid level is high. Foods that are particularly high in purines that should be avoided include organ meats, certain types of seafood, lentils, and even certain vegetables such as cauliflower and mushrooms. Most green leafy vegetables and fruits are low in purines and shouldn’t raise your uric acid blood levels. Dairy products such as low fat milk may also help to lower uric acid. Be sure to get lots of vitamin C in your diet since studies have shown it helps to increase excretion of uric acid by the kidneys.
Lose those excess pounds.
Weight loss can also help to lower uric acid blood levels, although it should be slow and gradual. Rapid weight loss can actually have the opposite effect and cause uric acid levels to rise. When trying to lose weight, stay away from low-carb diets as there’s some evidence that they can increase uric acid levels.
If these natural ways of lowering uric acid blood levels fail to work, talk to your doctor. It’s important to reduce high uric acid levels not only to reduce your risk of gout, but to decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke. A new study suggests that high uric acid levels may be associated with an elevated risk of both of these diseases as well as a higher rate of mortality. Don’t take any chances with your health!