What is Gout or Gouty Arthritis? What causes gout? Gout is the pain and inflammation caused by the deposit of uric acid crystals in our joints. It’s root causes are similar to those that cause arthritis, diabetes, chronic inflammation, obesity and heart disease. Stress and being overweight can also be causative factors.
Gout usually occurs when we eat too much of the wrong kinds of food leading to overproduction of uric acid. Purines in foods tend to cause uric acid. A buildup of uric acid in our body forms crystals which are deposited into a joint. They are like a grain of sand rubbing between the joint. These deposited crystals feel like a sharp knife or needle being inserted into the joint.
Gout can also be caused by chemotherapy and anti-rejection drugs used by patients who have had an organ transplant. Fasting and dieting to lose weight can cause the cells to excrete trapped uric acids leading to a gout attack.
Where can gout occur in my body?
Gout can occur in any of our joints, but it is most common in the big toe, knees, ankles, wrists, and foot joints. The affected joint will be hot, swollen with inflammation, and may be weaker than usual. This can cause problems with walking, balance, grasping, and lifting. Bumping the affected joint can be extremely painful. Once, while my elbow was inflamed, I did a high five with a friend. That put me into instant agony.
For most of us, our first bout of gout is a sudden one. At age 36, I woke one morning with gout. I thought someone had broken my toe with a hammer, as I slept. At least it felt that way. A simple blood test proved that my uric acid level was high. I had gout.
The treatment most doctors will prescribe is to give you a daily prescription to keep gout attacks at bay and another prescription to end a gout attack, should you have one. What they may not tell you is: these prescriptions may cause liver damage with repeated use. Those with any type of chronic liver disease or injury should not take these drugs.
Some of these non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) have been pulled from the market due to the damages they have caused. Damages to lower bowels, stomach mucosa, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers and other cellular damage. Those who take such drugs long term, suffer the more acute problems. The most severe side effect is death.
Once I realized how dangerous these drugs were, I began to search for a natural solution for gout. I have found several natural approaches to keep my gout attacks down to one or two minor ones a year.
How can you avoid gout?
Eat smaller portions of proteins, such as red meats, chicken, turkey, meat gravies and pizza. Eat more raw fruits and vegetables. I love tangerines but have to keep myself to a daily limit of two as they can cause a gout attack for me. Raw fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which help to keep your body from forming so much uric acid.
Drinking Alkaline Water is another way to help keep your systems acidity level in check. Studies have shown that this is helpful for people who tend to get gout.
You would do well to review which types of foods cause an acid ph and which foods can help you to stay more alkaline. An alkaline ph should help keep gout away. A home alkalinity remedy is a taking 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda or apple cider vinegar, with meals, to prevent gout attacks.
This is what I do to keep gout attacks away:
Eat Protein in Moderation - Smaller 3-4 ounce potions per meal.
Eat Citrus fruit in Moderation- For me this is tangerines.
Eat more Alkaline Foods - Cut out white flour foods.
Eat more Fruits and Vegetables - More green and raw veggies.
Supplement with Anti-Oxidants This makes a big difference.
Drink plenty of Alkaline Water
Usually, if I do get a gout attack I can trace it right back to an eating mistake. Two meals high in protein in a row, or eating to much rich food on a Thanksgiving or Holiday weekend has been known to cause an attack for me. (turkey and gravy must be eaten in moderation) Eating too many tangerines, not drinking enough water or forgetting to take my anti oxidants have been other causes.
When you do have a gout attack, a food journal of what you ate in the last 48 hours may be helpful in resolving it’s cause. Learn more at Preventing Gout.
What are the anti-gout foods?
Alkaline Water helps reduce acid caused by eating too many acid foods.
Apple Cider Vinegar has been used by many to stop gout. Buy only, organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar from a health food store. 2 teaspoons in pure water a couple times a day may be useful. Some report relief in as little as 2 hours.
Black Cherry Juice (organic) has long been a good anti-gout food. The FDA has warned companies that they cannot advertise cherries as a gout cure as only drugs can be advertised as curing diseases.
Beans do have protein, but eaten in moderation should not be a problem.
Blueberries are an anti-inflammatory fruit that is high in antioxidants.
Celery and Celery Seeds are beneficial for gout and arthritis. Celery seeds can be boiled and strained out before drinking the resulting liquid.
Cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Greens, Bok Choy, and Radishes. Raw or steamed these veggies are helpful.
Tangerines and other citrus may be a problem if over-consumed. Tangerines are a gout trigger for me.
White Flour and all products made with white flour - It’s highly processed with the beneficial ingredients removed.
White rice can trigger an inflammatory response.
Those who are susceptible to gout, like me, would do well to heed the advice of the apostle Paul who advised moderation in all things.
One other thing, that I have found to be beneficial, is to take green lipped mussel supplements daily, as they are an anti-inflammatory supplement, due to their omega 3 content. Return to Top of What is Gout