Over 8 million people in the US suffer regular attacks of pain, swelling and inflammation in their joints, otherwise known as gout.
That might not sound like a huge number, but the prevalence of gout more than doubled between the 1970s and 1990s, so clearly something is up. Gout by far affects more men than women by about a 3 to 1 ratio.
Gout is typically the result of one of two things—too much uric acid being created by your body, or too little uric acid being eliminated.
Either way the uric acid builds up and crystalizes around your joints (the big toe is a common area), and you get the familiar excruciating pain.
But why me?
There are several factors that can contribute to this overabundance of uric acid in your body:
Being overweight or obese. When your body is challenged by excess weight, it simply cannot function effectively and that includes properly eliminating uric acid. Gout used to be called the “King’s disease” because overweight sedentary monarchs were more susceptible to it than the hard-working slender peasants they ruled.
Having an acidic blood pH. Having too much acid in your blood (a condition known as acidosis) sets the stage for sickness, disease and inflammation. Your kidneys become overwhelmed with the regular onslaught of acid and can’t keep up.
Medications. Diuretics and immunosuppressive drugs can both cause uric acid buildup.
Underactive thyroid. Also known as hypothyroidism or low-functioning thyroid, this affects over 20 million people in the US and also has increased in prevalence over the last several decades.
Drinking too much alcohol.
Kidney insufficiency or failure. This is common in diabetics.
Medications—trading one problem for another
As usual, the typical mainstream medical answer for gout is medications. These include Colchicine, Corticosteroids, or Allopurinol, which all “work their magic” by lowering your uric acid level.
But alas, this magic does not come free of charge! Side effects of gout medications can include:
- Kidney failure (yes, you read that right)
- Liver failure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fluid retention
- Shortness of breath
Plus these medications do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to address the underlying reason(s) why your uric acid level is high to begin with!
And since gout can be a lifelong condition, the drug companies thank you very much for your longstanding contribution to their bottom lines.
Better, safer answers
When you naturally address the possible reasons why your body has an affinity for holding on to uric acid, you can start to reduce or eliminate gout attacks in as quickly as 24 hours!
Here are some strategies you can take to the bank in terms of fighting gout:
Eat cherries or drink cherry juice. Studies have shown that cherries can help reduce uric acid. Strawberries are a winner here too.
Drink at least eight 8oz. glasses of filtered water a day. Water helps to encourage a healthy, slightly alkaline blood pH. Add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to one of your glasses of water for an additional alkaline boost. Be sure to choose organic vinegar that has “the mother.” Or add a splash of fresh lemon juice to your water.
Have a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods are naturally alkalinizing to your body.
Get sources of bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that has been shown to reduce uric acid, plus it has anti-cancer properties too! You can get it from fresh pineapple or supplement with an enzyme formula like Digestizol Max which contains bromelain (plus a wide range of other crucial enzymes too!).
Eat fatty fish and take fish oil supplements like VitalMega-3 to fight inflammation. Our VitalMega-3 formula also contains Vitamin E, which has been shown to be helpful in counteracting gout. Take 1 gram (1,000 mg) for every 50 pounds of bodyweight.
Avoid sugars, grains, and all refined carbs. Gout is common in people with excessive sugar intake because sugar creates inflammation, packs the pounds on you and pulls your pH down toward the acid range. Grains turn to sugar upon digestion, so they are no different from your body’s perspective and are best avoided too.
Swear off soda. Soda is extremely acidic to your body, plus it’s loaded with sugar in the worst form--high fructose corn syrup. Diet soda is just as bad, so don’t even go there with me. If you need a fizz fix, drink club soda with a splash of fresh lemon or lime juice.
Limit alcohol consumption. Beer is especially concerning for people with gout, so it is best avoided altogether.
Avoid foods high in purines. These include organ meats, shellfish, sardines, anchovies, processed meats, mushrooms, peas, lentils and spinach. Purines are amino acids that create uric acid in the body.
Exercise! Overweight and gout go hand in hand. So, in addition to improving your diet, regular exercise is a must. Just be sure to get your doctor’s OK.
Have your thyroid tested. Ask your doctor to do a TRH Stimulation test, and not just the typical go-to TSH test. If he/she is unfamiliar or unwilling to do this test, at least ask for these tests in addition to the TSH to get a more complete picture:
- Free T4 and Free T3
- Total T4 and Total T3
- Thyroid Antibody Testing
- Reverse T3
See how much better you can feel when you support your body’s efforts to maintain a slightly alkaline pH, properly eliminate uric acid and achieve or maintain a healthy bodyweight!
To your health,