Just about anyone who suffers from gout knows that they should be drinking a lot of water every day. I will come on to why in a moment but first, for any gout sufferer who does not know the basics, here they are.
A natural gout remedy, as with all gout treatments, requires the reduction of uric acid levels. The normal clinical target is a serum (blood) level of 6 mg/dL for men, less for women. Reducing uric acid to these levels often dissolves the MSU crystals which are mainly formed from uric acid. (The immune system's reaction to these crystals is the immediate cause of pain and inflammation). Drugs such as Allopurinol (generic name) are xanthine oxidase inhibitors -- Allopurinol inhibits the enzyme which is needed for a major part of the process of converting purines into uric acid in the liver, and so less uric acid is produced. Drugs such as Probenecid (generic name) and Sulfinpyrazone (generic name) aid its excretion.
Therefore, the ''trick'' in curing gout is to remove uric acid. However, there are other natural ways of assisting the removal of uric acid, and just about the most popular, to judge from views of online polls I have seen, is drinking water. How does water work? Simply because a hydrated body will dilute uric acid and diluted uric acid is more likely to be excreted. This is the first reason why water use in gout treatment is so important.
Will any water do? Yes, but some kinds are better than others are. Hard water is better than soft water because it contains more minerals. So too does mineral water. Minerals help maintain the body pH at 7.0 or greater. What is pH? This is a measurement of the acid/alkaline balance of the body. A pH of 7.0 or higher means a more alkaline body; below 7.0 and its more acidic.
Water itself has a pH of 7.0 so it helps to raise the body pH to 7.0, or more when used in conjunction with other alkalizing agents. Occasionally you will see bottled water labels state this 7.0 value, just about the only product in the supermarket that states its pH value. Foods do have a pH value which means that some foods make the body more alkaline and some more acidic.
Why is a higher pH desirable for gout sufferers? Because at a higher pH (i.e. the body is more alkaline) more uric acid is likely to be excreted too. This is the second reason why gout sufferers need to drink lots of water.
There are other ways of raising pH (a diet containing lots of alkaline effect foods and less acid effect foods, alkaline water, baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), but water is just about the cheapest.
How much water a day? The quoted amount varies from 8 to 12 of 8 fl.ozs glasses a day. But perhaps the true amount for you is the amount of water you need to raise the body pH above 7.0. How can you know your pH level? pH test strips can be purchased online and delivered by mail. Type '' pH test strips" or "pH test stix" into a search box. Make sure you follow precisely the manufacturers' instructions in the accompanying leaflet.
How can you be certain that you have met your daily water target? Counting your score of water drunk every day is boring and prone to memory lapses. So use this tip. Every evening, or early in the morning, fill a jug with 8 x 8 fl.ozs of water (64 fl.ozs). Alternatively, the amount you have decided on, such as two jugs each of 4 x 8 fl.ozs of water and 4 x 8 fl.ozs of juice; or one jug of 10 x 8 fl.ozs of water and so forth. Use this source to make your other water based drinks that count as water intake.
Put the jug the refridgerator. Use only this jug for your drinking water and other relevant beverages. If you are traveling, or drink water at a place of employment, take your water supply in another container only from this jug. When refilling the jug in the evening (or in the early morning) make sure the jug is empty. This means that you drank your daily gout diet requirement without having to count every glass.
Caution! Just as a highly acidic body can suffer from acidosis, an over alkaline body can suffer from alkalosis. This causes muscle cramps and spasms among other problems. So do not over do it. As always when dealing with gout, work with your doctor, or other health care professional.
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