Saturday, 8 March 2014

How to Prevent or Cope With Gout

Gout is a disease caused by pain, swelling and inflammation in the joints. A high uric acid content in the blood leaves deposits of uric acid crystals in and around the tissues of the joints at the extremities of the body, especially the big toe. Gout usually affects men. High uric acid levels are most often found in people of high intellectual achievement, overachievers and high aspirers.


High uric acid levels mainly occur from the inability to metabolise proteins from purine type foods. Uric acid crystals form in the joints causing the body to release harmful chemicals that cause inflammation and severe pain in the affected areas. Poor diet, age, diuretic type medications, excess weight, overindulgence in alcohol, drinking too much coffee can put a person at risk of developing gout.   


Conventional medicine has responded to this disease with the following: anti-inflammatory drugs; colchicine from the root of meadow saffron; medications to lower uric acid levels and promote excretion through the kidneys; and medications to prevent the formation of uric acid stones. There are problems with all of these as follows: anti-inflammatory drugs can cause dizziness, nausea, headache, diarrhoea, vomiting and internal bleeding; colchicine can cause numbness in the hands and feet, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, hair loss and abdominal bleeding; and drugs to lower uric acid levels or prevent stones may weaken kidney function due to over-excretion of uric acid through the kidneys thereby causing them to work too hard.   


The main preventative measures you can take against developing gout are as follows:
  1. Maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Drink plenty of liquids such as water, green or herbal tea. 8-10 glasses per day should be sufficient.
  3. Limit your alcohol consumption to the occasional glass of wine.
  4. Limit your intake of purine type foods which include red meat, shellfish, tofu, organ meats, peas, anchovies, herring, asparagus and mushrooms.
  5. Eat potassium rich foods such as spinach, avocado, dried peaches, bananas, carrots, orange juice, baked jacket potatoes, lima beans and yams.
  6. Drink a warm glass of lemon and water each day after dinner.
  7. Avoid diuretic medications as they reduce the amount of potassium in the body.
If you already have gout, then you need to avoid all purine type foods as defined above, as well as fried foods, cream, ice cream, pastries, rich deserts, spices and alcohol especially beer.  Eliminate sugar- laden soft drinks in favour of water or green or herbal tea.
The diet should mainly consist of natural organic foods with a bias towards those having high fibre and potassium contents. A high fibre diet aids in eliminating uric acid by absorbing bile acids formed in the liver. Consequently, whole grain cereals, wholemeal bread, wholegrain pasta, brown rice, nuts, seeds, beans and potassium rich foods, as defined above, are all good for the condition. Other specific foods like sour cherries and strawberries can help combat a gout attack by getting uric acid out of the system at the onset. Grapes help alkalise the body and lessen the acidity of uric acid thereby encouraging the body to eliminate it.     


The following herbs, for the reasons stated, can help counteract gout: parsley acts as a natural diuretic; black cohash moderates blood activity; saffron neutralises uric acid build-up; devil’s claw is a natural cleansing agent for toxic impurities; nettle contains alkaloids which neutralises uric acid; and hydrangea is an anti-inflammatory.


Food supplements can be employed to help with gout as follows: vitamin C, 1000mg. three times daily; vitamin B5, 300mg. three times daily; folic acid, two 800mcg. tablets three times daily; bromelain, 500mg. twice daily, fish oil, two 1000mg. capsules three times daily; magnesium citrate, 400mg. three times daily; potassium tablets as directed on the label.
The following additional measures can help cope with gout:
  1. Take half a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda in water twice daily in order to alkalise the body.
  2. Soak a piece of white flannel in warm castor oil, wring it out and place it over the inflamed area, cover with plastic and apply a heating pad. Do this twice daily for one hour at each sitting.
  3. Fasting for three to four days at a time. Drink distilled water and five to six glasses of green vegetable juice or apple juice in lieu of food.        
If you have anything to say on this post, use the comments box below for that purpose. 

4 comments:

  1. This is another good post from this blog. My uncle, who is now dead, suffered from gout for over forty years and his doctor had him on steroids for a lot of that time. Most of what you said above applies but I would not put my uncle in the " high intellectual achievers " category.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I accept that there will be exceptions to the general profile of the sort of people who get gout.

    ReplyDelete
  3. nuala turner9 March 2014 10:36

    This is good information on gout prevention. My husband who does have gout drinks 100% tart cherry juice (1 oz. in 6-8 oz. of water) every day for many years. It has been very effective in controlling the attacks. Your information on diet also was right on. Thanks for the information.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks very much for your comment Nuala.

    ReplyDelete