Gout has been known as the “emperor’s disease” since ancient times, and many people suffer from gout attacks after eating large amounts of meat. The reason is thought to be the consumption of meat, seafood and other high purine foods, which causes a spike in uric acid in the body, leading to the onset of the disease.

A gout attack is a terrible thing. It comes fast and furious, like a pin in the bone, and it’s painful.

Gout attacks are associated with high uric acid in the body, which precipitates and turns into crystals in the joints, so hyperuricemia is considered a risk factor for gout.Uric acid is a product of purine metabolism. About 80% of purine in the body comes from the body’s breakdown metabolism, and the other 20% comes from food. In general, two-thirds of uric acid in the body is excreted by the kidneys and one-third by the intestines.

However, scientists have found that uric acid and gout do not have a positive relationship. Some people who do not have high uric acid in their blood still develop gout, but others with higher than normal uric acid concentrations do not have attacks.

The key to a gout attack or not is whether the uric acid will precipitate or not, and some people’s uric acid will not precipitate and crystallize, so it will not trigger gout, according to Chen Junxu, director of DCNHC Natural Medicine Clinic in the United States.
He explained that this is related to the principle of acid-base neutralization. Acidic substances tend to crystallize in acidic solutions, but will be neutralized in alkaline solutions and will not form crystals. A review by the New York University School of Medicine pointed out that the formation of uric acid crystals involves a variety of factors, including an acidic environment.

However, the blood must be weakly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. If it is below 7.35 (acidosis) or above 7.45 (alkalosis), the person has been sent to the emergency room for emergency treatment.And the cells are also usually weakly alkaline, so where does the acidic environment come from? Chen Junxu said it lies in the acidity and alkalinity of the joint tissue fluid.

When the tissue fluid in the joints is acidic, even if the uric acid is not high, uric acid tends to precipitate and crystallize there, causing gout attacks. If the tissue fluid is alkaline, even if the uric acid is a little high, it will not precipitate because it will be neutralized.

How do I know if the tissue fluid is acidic or alkaline?

Tissue fluid, also known as interstitial fluid, exists between interstitial tissues and is the medium for the exchange of substances between blood and tissue cells. Chen Junxu pointed out that the blood has to maintain the pH value and must discharge acidic metabolites into the tissue fluid, causing the pH value of the tissue fluid to be more unstable.

Yoshinori Marunaka, professor emeritus of Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine and president of the Japanese Physiological Society, mentioned in his research that the pH buffering capacity of tissue fluid is very small, and even if the pH of cells and arterial blood remains normal, the excessive production of acidic metabolites can lower the pH of tissue fluid and make it acidic.

In addition, a study in BioMed Research International points out that when tissue fluids become acidic due to acidic metabolites, the balance of cellular metabolism is disturbed, leading to metabolic diseases.

Obese people and people with abdominal obesity also tend to have acidic tissue fluids because of poor metabolism. The risk factors for gout include obesity and the metabolic syndrome characterized by abdominal obesity.

How do you know that the tissue fluid is acidic? Chen Junxu points out that saliva can be measured. Saliva is weakly alkaline, with a pH of 7.2 to 7.4. If it is weakly acidic, it is likely that the tissue fluid in the joint is also acidic. If a gout patient comes to measure saliva, the pH may have dropped to 5.5 when the gout attack occurs.

What foods can be eaten in the daily diet to treat gout?

According to the above theory for the treatment of gout, uric acid is slowly dissolved when the tissue fluid is made weakly alkaline.

In clinical treatment, Chen Junxu focuses on having patients supplement with alkaline minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. These are minerals that are abundant in the body, but that people tend to be deficient in.

To get the tissue fluid back to weak alkaline, more severe patients need to supplement with 1,000 mg of calcium and 500 mg of magnesium a day. When the patient takes calcium and magnesium supplements and avoids fried and processed foods, along with weekly visits, the gout slowly clears up after about a month. At this point, saliva is measured and the pH usually returns to 7.2.

Milder patients and people in general can consume green vegetables with high calcium and magnesium content. Examples include spinach, kale, red amaranth, chard, green jiangcai, groundnut leaves, okra, etc.

In another of his studies, Yoshinori Marunaka mentioned that fruits and vegetables are classified as low potential renal acid load (PRAL) foods, which induce alkaline body fluids, while animal foods have higher PRAL levels. In addition, natural foods such as fruits and vegetables have a variety of bioactive factors that may have potentially alkaline functions and promote pH balance in the body through various mechanisms.

Spinach, celery, eggplant, tomatoes, green beans, raisins, black currants, bananas, apricots, oranges, apples, and other fruits and vegetables can lower PRAL and reduce systemic acid load.

When the body’s tissue fluid is adjusted back to alkaline, in addition to the gout will not attack, there is another change: body odor, oral taste improved.
Chen Junxu said that when the body is acidic, the body odor and oral taste is more unpleasant, you may not be able to smell it, but the next person can smell it. When the body function is restored, the acidic metabolic waste can be excreted normally, the body taste will become better.

However, if you start to eat and drink indiscriminately again, or even stay up late, the tissue fluid will become acidic again, and gout will recur.

To avoid another gout attack, the following is recommended:

  1. you can eat seafood, meat and other foods high in purines in normal and moderate amounts, but vegetables should make up nearly half of your diet.
  2. Drink more water to promote metabolism. There is no need to drink alkaline water, it is not very helpful.
  3. non-severe gout patients, usually if you want to take calcium and magnesium supplements, calcium for a few hundred milligrams, magnesium as long as half of the calcium.
  4. appropriate regular exercise helps the body metabolism, but avoid too intense exercise, fasting. Intense exercise is easy to hurt the joints, stimulate uric acid precipitation and induce gout.
  5. start losing weight, weight loss can help prevent and treat gout.
  6. maintain good living habits, avoid drinking alcohol and staying up late.

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