Arthritis is a chronic pain condition that affects the body’s joints. Some types are caused by inflammation in the joints, while others result from worn joint surfaces. All types have one thing in common: chronic pain. While the role of citric acid in treating arthritis is still being researched, many swear by its use. Before trying any supplement for arthritis pain, discuss the risks and potential benefits with your doctor.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Arthritis and Uric Acid
Certain types of arthritis increase your body’s levels of uric acid, which is a waste product that usually leaves the body by way of urine. According to DukeHealth.org, both osteoarthritis and gout, another type of arthritis, may cause increased uric acid levels in the body 2. High levels of the substance are often an indicator of arthritis. Uric acid accumulation may contribute to some of the pain and inflammation associated with both types of arthritis. Avoiding foods that increase uric acid in the body, as well as taking medications that reduce uric acid, may help.
Potassium Citrate and Vitamin C
Potassium citrate is a citric acid supplement commonly used to prevent and treat gout flare-ups 1. While potassium citrate can be purchased over the counter, you should not take it without first talking to your doctor. The supplement may interfere with certain medications. A more common source of citric acid is vitamin C, which may also keep your uric acid levels under control. According to MayoClinic.com, however, vitamin C’s effect on arthritis has not been thoroughly researched. Too much vitamin C may make symptoms worse, so be sure to discuss the supplement first with your doctor. As an alternative to both supplements, follow the advice of MayoClinic.com and simply get more citrus in your diet.
Speaking of citrus, here’s a home remedy for arthritis pain: diluted lime juice made from one fresh lime and water. According to Online-Family-Doctor.com, lime juice taken in the morning may keep some arthritis symptoms at bay 3. The website recommends lime juice specifically over other citrus fruits, as it contains a particular solvent that breaks up uric acid. While there is no scientific research to support this home remedy for arthritis, there is little harm in trying it.
While it may or may not be effective, it is generally safe to add fruits and juices to your diet for their citric acid benefits. However, citric acid supplements are not a substitute for your usual arthritis medications, and they may not be safe. Alternative remedies are rarely researched to the same degree as more traditional medications, and their claims are not regulated by the FDA. Even vitamin C supplements can be harmful if taken inappropriately or if combined with certain drugs. Always talk to your doctor before trying any home remedy for arthritis, including any over-the-counter supplements or vitamin products 3.
- Tuckraider/iStock/Getty Images