As a sufferer of gout I am all too aware of the problems. When Gout attacks it can come during the night so you have no warning until you wake up in great pain and you can’t even leave a sheet covering your foot!
So what is gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that affects the joints. A disturbance in protein metabolism in which production of uric acid is increased, resulting in crystals of uric acid being deposited around the joints. In many people it affects the big toe. Uric acid is a break down product of nucelic acid and found in all cells in the body.
If left untreated gout can cause severe disfiguration as seen in the photo above. Fortunately we have ways to control gout. Strong anti inflammatory pills can help control the severe pain of gout. And we have medication like Allopurinol that can lessen the amount of uric acid your body produces, and therefore makes gout attacks less likely, although when you first start taking medication, you may suffer more attacks initially.
The problem is, medication MAY cause side effects. Some side effects can be serious. Dr’s in today’s world are far too eager to hand out prescriptions for drugs. That’s my opinion. The thing is, it is far easier to do this than to sit down with each patient and explain what they need to change with their diets. Dr’s in big cities especially are over worked and have too little time allocated to each patient. Add this to the fact that when they train, Dr’s spend very little time being taught about real nutrition. Its all about what medication (pharma drugs) treat what condition. This makes little sense.
The old saying “you are what you eat” holds true. The foods we put into our body effect every single cell we are made of. There are reports of people taking gout medication for many years being more susceptible to heart problems, muscle loss and more. I think these are unacceptable for most people, when some simple diet and lifestyle changes can prevent the need for this.
For acute attacks, pain relief is needed ASAP and if I were to have a full blown attack I would still reach for the indometicin. These affect me in negative ways but after weighing up the pro’s and cons, the side effects are worth it. I hope however never to have another attack! Below are some ideas for you to try to keep gout attacks at bay. I was told to start taking 300mg of allopurinol every day for the rest of my life, which I have not done and I believe some of the things below have helped me stay away from these.
WATER – I drink lots and lots of water. Distilled, fresh spring. Toxic free if you can, but water is a must. The last two attacks of gout I suffered were after I was sick with some form of bug / food poisoning and could not eat or drink for a couple of days. The more water you drink the more you pee and the more likely you are to excrete uric acid. I believe drinking two to three litres a day is a must.
JUICING – I try to Juice every day. I started juicing for other reasons but I noticed that a pleasant side effect was that pain in my big toe joint disappeared, and stayed away even though I eat allot of the high purine foods that I should not. I also drink more beer than I should! Try to juice fresh organic fruits and veg. The base of most of my juices are cucumber, celery and carrots. I juice a whole cucumber, a whole bunch of celery and 4 or 5 carrots normally post work out.
FISH OILS – I used to think fish oils tablets were THE reason that my gout was staying away at one point. Omega 3 fatty acids have an anti inflammatory effect in the body. I feel that fish oils are the easiest way to get good quality Omega 3 fats. Flax can be good too but I have read too many articles that say allot of flaxseed products are rancid before they reach the buyer. I will look into this in more detail at some point, but for now I stick mostly with fish oils.
VITAMIN C – There have been a few studies that have shown that 500mg to 1000mg and more per day may lower gout attacks by 45% in men. If you are going to take 1000mg + per day I have to tell you to talk this over with your GP. Men suffer with gout more than women. Vit C helps prevent gout by assisting the body in excreting Uric acid so that it doesn’t build up to high levels in the blood. It is also though that Vitamin C has an anti inflammatory effect.
FOLIC ACID- It is thought that folic acid will neutralize an enzyme called xanthine oxidase. This encourages the production of uric acid in the body. If that enzyme is blocked to any degree, it might halt some of the excess uric acid from being produced and stored within your body. Of course, with less uric acid comes less pain, and less frequent gout flare-ups
PANTOTHEINC ACID – VIT B5 – 500 mg of pantothenic acid (B5) in divided doses to assist the body’s conversion of uric acid into harmless compounds.
CELERY SEEDS – These seeds are quite effective in relieving gout by eliminating uric acid from the body. According to James Duke, Ph.D., a medical botanist formerly with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, celery seeds contain about twenty different anti-inflammatory agents.
BROMELAIN – 500 mg twice daily acts as an anti-inflammatory.
DARK CHERRY – I have used this only during an attack along with other remedies so I’m not sure how well this works exactly but there is some good info about it online. Doctors and scientists believe that the anthocyanins contained in cherries are what causes a decrease in blood urates and what makes cherry juice a good gout relief. Now there are lots more ideas on web sites, I’ll put a couple of links below but the ideas above are ones I have used. I think drinking plenty of water, taking Vitamin C, fish oil tablets regularly and juicing are most beneficial. You may find only one things works well for you or a combination of things but be prepared to give it a go. At least all of the items above have other positive effect within the body when consumed where as prescription medication can cause severe harm.
Whilst writing this article I felt the pang of pain in my joint on my right foot. I laughed at the irony and then upped my Vitamin C intake throughout the day and my water. A day later on the Thursday it was a little worse and I found myself limping a little when I had my work shoes on, on the friday I put some soft shoes that i have on and I was fine. Friday night I let my girlfriend talk me in to using a foot spar in the evening, after I had been to the gym and used the leg press machine (stupid idea don’t try this) and by night time i thought I had a full blown attack. I had to leave my foot elevated on a pillow all night and out of the bed sheets.
By this time I had a couple of anti inflammatory pills, I don’t like to take them but some times you have to. Now Friday before bed I took 5 Serrapeptase tablets. Saturday morning i was struggling a little with walking but not too bad with the soft shoes on. Later I was supposed to be going out for a birthday drink / meal.
Now, I have been playing about with some concoctions and I finished off a two week old batch of a drink I had made. Before I went out Saturday night at 7pm, I had actually ‘felt’ my foot get batter! I was like a miracle. I walked to the pub where we were meeting, I was originally going to get a cab as even Saturday morning, the 20 minute walk seemed far too much. My foot seemed amazingly better.
In my humble opinion this is what people should try the following things when an attack hits –
Serrapeptase, Fish Oils, Vitamin C, lots of water, and My pineapple mixture that I actually stole from Mr Pantalleresco. See his video on the fermented papaya link on my site which is listed in the resource box. Watch the Papaya video and simply swap the papaya for pineapple. I believe this drink will help you out LOADS!!!