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That humble glass of lemon juice can help you manage gout amidst lockdown

Normally, doctors recommend anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medicines among others to tame sudden bouts of gout pain. @Shutterstock

Weight gain is one of the many aftermaths of COVID-19 lockdown. This, in turn, can intensify symptoms gout, a common form of arthritis. But lemon juice can be your saviour amidst the quarantine.

Written by Saswati Sarkar |Updated : May 29, 2020 11:55 AM IST

Gout, one of the most common forms of inflammatory arthritis, afflicts millions all over the world. In fact, this debilitating joint disorder was once considered as the fate of the affluent. Manifesting itself through excruciating pain in your joints, especially the big toe, gout is the result of overproduction of uric acid in your blood. This acid leads to the formation of sharp crystals that accumulate in the big toe among other joints. According to experts, men are more at risk of gout than women. However, menopause increases the risk of the female population too. There are many other risk factors behind this type of arthritis apart from gender. They include genes, kidney stones excessive alcohol intake and obesity.

WEIGHT GAIN AND GOUT: WHAT'S THE LINK?

Several studies have associated excessive body weight with high levels of uric acid, the trigger behind gout. A research published in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy found a direct link between our waistline and the high risk of this form of arthritis. The study authors observed that research volunteers with high levels of abdominal fat had 47.4 per cent risk of a flare-up (sudden attack of pain) while those with a lean body were vulnerable to it by 27.3 per cent.

KEEP GOUT FLARE-UP AT BAY WITH LEMON JUICE

Normally, doctors recommend anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medicines among others to tame sudden bouts of gout pain. However, a very simple kitchen ingredient like lemon can help you manage this condition at home amidst the lockdown when you have limited access to treatment and doctors. Research indicates that juice made out of freshly-squeezed lemons will bring down your uric acid levels and help you prevent gout flare-up. A six-week study featured in Elsevier, a Dutch publishing and analytics company, found that drinking fresh lemon juice every day brought down uric acid levels in adults. This research also experimented with lemon fruit extract on mice with high levels of this acid. There also, the results were positive. Another study published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Disease also found that lemon juice was able to decrease the levels of uric acid in adults. This was also a six-week research conducted on people with gout, those with high uric acid sans any gout symptom and adults without gout or uric acid.

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HOW DOES LEMON JUICE HELP?

This natural remedy for gout works by making your body and urine more alkaline, meaning, it escalates the pH level of your blood and other body fluids. A research published in the British Medical Journal explains why this happens. According to the authors of this study, lemon juice helps in the production of calcium carbonate in the body. It breaks down uric acid into water and other compounds.

BEST WAYS TO HAVE LEMON JUICE

There are several ways of including. You can squeeze fresh lemon in a glass of warm water and have it in the morning in an empty stomach. The warm temperature of the water brings out vitamin C from lemon in the best possible way. You can also add half a tablespoon of baking soda to one glass of lemon juice. It will enhance the alkaline effect of this drink. However, don't overdo it as baking soda is high in sodium. Squirting a few drops of lemon in your tea or adding lemon juice to your salads, soups, dips, vegetables and curries can also be good options.

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