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Is Alkaline or Distilled Water Helpful for the Gout Sufferer?
In a desperate search to consume a safer water source than the parasite, dioxin and chlorine ridden tap water, many resort to distilled water. Contrary to popular belief, distilled water is acidic. Distilled water is boiled until it evaporates. This vapor is then condensed back into liquid form. Hypothetically, distilled water should offer us a neutral pH balance around 7.0 to provide an alkaline and purified drinking source. However, carbon dioxide in the air dissolves into the water immediately upon exposure decreasing the pH and turning it acidic. Additionally, the distillation process strips the water of its minerals and could lead to electrolyte imbalances in the body. When you consume mineral free water over a long period of time the body will pull electrolytes from your tissues in order to function properly and eliminate waste.
Did you know that soda and other soft drinks are made with distilled water?
As if soda isn't already bad enough for us, heavy soda consumers are literally stripping and dumping large amounts of vital minerals (calcium, magnesium, and other trace minerals) into their urine. Mineral loss can quickly lead to any number of degenerative diseases including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, arrhythmia, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, hypothyroidism and more. Minerals are essential to our body's pH balance and acidic environments only speed up aging and disease development.
In addition to the above dangers, the loss of calcium and magnesium can also lead to tooth decay. Distilled water also lacks enzymes that are essential to the proper digestion of food and could cause acid reflux, as well as other digestive system complications.
What is the upside to consuming distilled water?
For short term use (no more than a few days to a week at a time), distilled water can be used as a detoxifier to draw toxins and heavy metals out of the body. This is not to be confused with use during a fasting, but rather used to mildly cleanse. Fasting already causes rapid loss of electrolytes and distilled water would be a dangerous combination. Avoid cooking with distilled water as it can also leach minerals from your food.
Some believe by simply adding minerals back into their water, (alkaline water), they'll be able to counter the negative impacts of long-term consumption. Studies have shown supplementation to help, but cannot fully eliminate the deficiency and acidic issues.
Can distilled and/or alkaline water help people with Gout?
The most important word in that question is water. Water is an essential key to uric acid removal, on many levels. Proper hydration can reduce the amount of uric acid flowing through the bloodstream and making its way into the joints. Water can help dilute the concentration of uric acid and help keep it in a soluble form to aid the kidneys in excreting it from the body through the urine and bowels. Close to 30% of uric acid is eliminated through the bowels and dehydration can lead to constipation. Distilled water specifically? Distilled water is absorbed into the bloodstream quicker than others because there aren't any minerals to slow it down. Therefore, it does have the ability to dilute concentrations of oxalate, uric acid, calcium, and sodium faster than filtered, tap, or spring water. In essence, distilled water can reduce the main causes of kidney stones and gout attacks. However, as we've noted above, diseases, including Gout, are reliant upon a healthy pH balance in the body and essential mineral resources to prevent their growth. This is much more important in the long run. Hydration is what truly matters, and that can be achieved with healthier water. Using distilled water for a few days to help quell an ensuing attack would be ok, however, long-term use should avoided.
What should we be looking for as our main water source? Ultimately, our water should not be too acidic or too alkaline, with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. It should be rich in minerals and free of toxins such as bacteria, viruses, and chemicals like chlorine and fluoride. If you have access to a high-quality spring water, that would be best. Water filtered through reverse osmosis can be used, but minerals will still need to be supplemented with this source. It is also safe to install a good home water filtration system and drink that filtered water. A good system can also be installed to the whole house to remove impurities such as chlorine from the water you bathe in.
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