Gout has many causes and is currently not curable, but it can be controlled and the effects can be curtailed significantly thanks to advances in our understanding of how gout attacks occur. There are countless home remedies being touted on the internet from calcium to herbs that have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The validity of vitamins and herbs for the treatment of gout has plenty of anecdotal evidence. But how does modern science view the use of vitamins, minerals and herbs for the treatment of gout?
Gout is caused by the inability of the kidneys to clear uric acid out of the bloodstream. The function of the kidneys is to clear away waste products such as uric acid out of the blood and send the waste to the bladder where it is passed out of the body. In the case of gout, too much uric acid is produced and the kidneys cannot clear enough of it from the body.
When too much uric acid is present, it will settle in the lower parts of the body such as the joints of the toes, feet, ankles and knees. The uric acid finds it way into the joints and begins to crystallize. This hardening process causes the joints to swell and become less mobile. In addition, an attack of gout can cause a great deal of pain, especially if it is located in the feet and toes.
While gout cannot be cured, the attacks of gout can be controlled to a great degree by combining prescription drugs, drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet. The basic means of combating gout is to rid the body of excessive uric acid, thereby preventing the buildup and crystallization process in the joints before they begin.
Vitamins and herbs can be a part of combating the effects of gout in an indirect way by helping a person maintains a healthy diet and the right weight for their body structure. Obesity can place an additional strain on the joints affected by the crystallization of uric acid. Certain herbs such as ginger for example act as a natural anti-inflammatory agent which reduces the potential swelling of joints that may be affected by uric acid buildup.
Consuming plenty of water is also a vital part of reducing the effects of gout. Additional water in the body dilutes the uric acid and makes it easier for the kidneys to remove it from the blood. While vitamins themselves may not have a direct effect on gout, a person should avoid the vitamin niacin as it may help contribute to the retaining of uric acid in the blood. Otherwise, a healthy supply of vitamins and herbs along with a proper diet can be effective when treating the symptoms of gout.
In some cases, gout can be caused by the consuming too much alcohol over a long period of time. In these cases, greatly reducing if not eliminating alcohol along with the consumption of water, vitamins and herbs may help reduce the symptoms of gout.