Gout is a recurrent painful type of arthritis that conventional medicine can’t cure.
But there are natural ways you can use to escape these pains.
Gouty arthritis strikes when uric acid crystals abnormally form in the joint of the big toe. Sometimes, though, it can take place in the heel, knee, wrist or fingers.
During a gout “flare,” the condition causes extreme pain, heat, redness and swelling. The pain comes on over a two- to four-hour period, usually during the night when the body temperature is lower. But it can also be brought on by a high fever or fatigue.
Elevated levels of uric acid in your bloodstream lead to crystals of uric acid that precipitate in these joints.
What causes elevated levels of uric acid in the blood? Uric acid is normally formed from the natural metabolic products of proteins in human tissues called purines. If you are genetically prone to gout, then you need to know the conditions that promote uric acid to form in your blood and then in your joints.
Let’s look at these:
Contributors to high uric acid in blood and joints
The factors that cause uric acid to increase in your blood or precipitate in your joints causing a gout flare-up include:
- Consuming excess alcohol (beer and spirits are much worse than wine).
- Eating foods high in purine proteins like animal meats and seafood.
- Eating acidifying foods like refined sugars (e.g. fructose) and refined flour products.
- Taking drugs like aspirin, certain diuretics (to lower blood pressure), cyclosporine and tacrolimus (immunosuppressant drugs), and levodopa (Parkinson’s disease drug).
- Taking niacin (a B vitamin).
- Gaining enough weight to be obese (having a body mass index over 35).
- Being exposed to lead.
- Being dehydrated.
- Entering a high-acid state (from infections, surgery, injury, the Atkins diet).
Prescription medications for gout
There are medications routinely prescribed by doctors for gout that do more than just block acute pain; they actually provide long-term prevention. These include allopurinol and probenecid. Allopurinol (Zyloprim®) slowly reduces the formation of uric acid in the blood (keeping it from precipitating into joints or creating kidney stones). This medicine is quite safe because it is an isomer (look-alike molecule) of your body’s own natural purine proteins. It blocks the enzyme xanthine oxidase that is responsible for uric acid formation.
Probenecid is a medication that increases the urinary excretion of uric acid, thus reducing the blood concentration of uric acid. If you are prone to kidney stones, you should just preferably use allopurinol.
Be aware that allopurinol and probenecid could make gout symptoms worse at first, so it’s best to wait a week after an acute gout attack to start these and use prescription colchicine or ibuprofen (an NSAID) to control pain. You can expect allopurinol and probenecid to reach their effectiveness after six months of use.
Natural ways to reverse gout
It is interesting to note that there is a very high association of gout with metabolic syndrome.
One in every four Americans now has metabolic syndrome due to our lifestyle and diet.
You have the syndrome if you are obese, have high blood pressure, are insulin-resistant and have high cholesterol (lipid) levels. All of these conditions are reversible if you eat a nutrition-filled diet and lead a healthy lifestyle.
In a large retrospective study of 8,669 participants from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 1988 to 1994 (NHANES III), 70 percent of subjects with elevated uric acid levels (10 mg/dl and above) had metabolic syndrome. That tells me that gout can be treated and reversed through natural means, primarily diet.
Here is a quick list of things to do naturally to prevent gout attacks:
- Go on a liquid cleanse for three to 10 days, with a careful return to solid foods to include primarily whole foods with half of them being raw foods. I believe this is the most powerful way to deal with gout. You should also drink coffee; it has been associated with lower gout risk in susceptible people.
- Drink detoxifying and cleansing herbal teas daily.
- Take vitamin C at 1,500 mg daily (shown to decrease gout risk by 45 percent).
- Use bromelain (a digestive enzyme) with meals and proteolytic enzymesbetween meals. These are proteases are safe and an effective alternative to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin) for osteoarthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis proteolytic enzymes can protect and preserve joint cartilage even better than NSAIDs. Systemic proteolytic enzymes improve every form of arthritis, including gout. They have also been extensively studied in Germany by the company that manufactures Wobenzym® N and Wobenzym® PS. There are many companies now manufacturing them from animals (trypsin, chymotrypsin), plants (bromelain, papain), bacteria (serrapeptidase), or fungi (Serrazimes®).
There are some great options for medical as well as natural treatments for gout. In my next article I’ll take a close look at neuropathies and neuralgias of various types; their causes and natural treatments.
To feeling good in life,
Michael Cutler, M.D.
Easy Health Options
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