About 8 million people in the US suffer regular attacks of pain, swelling, and inflammation in their joints, otherwise known as gout.
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 crystallizes 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.
Drinking too much alcohol. Especially guilty here are beer and spirits more so than wine.
Kidney insufficiency or failure. This is common in diabetics.
Trade one problem for another
As usual, the typical allopathic answer for gout is medications. These include Colcrys, 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 poisons, er, I mean 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!
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 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.”
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.
Eat fatty fish and take fish oil supplements like VitalMega-3 to fight inflammation. 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 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.
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. Make sure your doctor does a TRH Stimulation test and not just the typical go-to TSH test.
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 a healthy body weight!
To your health,