If you do not suffer from gout, then you have probably never thought about the symptoms associated with this condition. For those suffering from the disease, the symptoms are all too real. Gout is a medical condition that develops due to abnormally high levels of uric acid in the body. This can occur when the body produces too much uric acid or is unable to excrete it properly. The uric acid forms crystals that build up in the joints such as the toe, knee, ankle or wrist. It is characterized by extreme pain, swelling and redness in the affected joint. The attacks can come on suddenly and are sometimes so painful that the individual may be unable to function normally until the attack subsides. For some people, an attack can last for several days so it can be a very debilitating illness.
So what do cherries have to do with gout? This fruit has been associated with gout treatment since the 1950s. During this time period, a medical doctor suffering from gout discovered, purely by accident, that eating a bowl of cherries significantly alleviated his painful symptoms. He continued to eat just a few each day and did not suffer from any more gout attacks. Studies on other patients also reported similar results. Cherries and cherry juice are known to help reduce the level of uric acid in the body and they can help to alleviate the symptoms of gout in several ways. First, they contain high levels of Vitamin C, which helps to break down the uric acid so it can be excreted from the body. They also contain potassium that helps to neutralize uric acid and help the kidneys to eliminate it through the urine. Thirdly, fruits that are dark in color contain antioxidants that are also known to help reduce uric acid levels.
So did our 1950s medical doctor discover a cure or a gout treatment? His findings showed that when he stopped eating cherries, his symptoms returned. Although it was clearly a very effective gout treatment, the condition did not go away completely. An individual suffering from gout should consult their medical health practitioner to determine what is causing the uric acid to build up in their body so they can take steps to try and cure the condition rather than just fight the symptoms. Some of the foods we eat can contribute to the cause of gout, as well as consuming too much alcohol or being overweight so a change in diet and lifestyle may be recommended. Exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water and avoiding foods that can increase uric acid levels are also effective ways to help reduce the frequency of gout attacks.
Despite the fact that cherries are not necessarily a cure for gout in and of themselves, it is a significant discovery to find an effective gout treatment that consists of something found on the shelves of your local grocery store. Anyone suffering from this condition will tell you what a relief it is to have something readily available that works so well to prevent the painful gout attacks.