What You Need To Know About Gout

Gout is a result of too much uric acid in your blood

Uric acid buildup is a sign that your kidneys aren't cleaning out your blood as well as they should. Over time, this excess uric acid forms crystals between your joint spaces causing excruciating pain and bone deterioration.

Now millions of people are hearing from their family physicians that they will have to change their lifestyles and have to take medications and blood tests for the rest of their lives. The importance of addressing gout with a uric acid- lowering program should not be underestimated. Conventional treatments help control gout but only delay its devastating effects.

To control your gout you will need to make life long adjustments. Drugs do NOT have to be a part of your health regime. Yet, whatever you choose will take 100% committment.

Ignored gout can lead to artritis, kidney failure, tissue deposits, nerve damage, acute inflammatory response, and even disability.  On top of all that, prescription medications can have toxic side effects including, but not limited to allergic reactions, kidney damage, and inflammation of blood vessels, skin rash, and life-threatening major organ system failure.

Listed below are factors responsible for the epidemic of increased gout attacks:

  • Increased prevalence of insulin resistance.
  • Increased prevalence of hypertension.
  • Increased use of pharmaceuticals.
  • Increased use of alcohol consumption.
  • Increased prevalence of obesity.
  • Increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome.
  • Increase of age related kidney disease.
  • Increased consumption of gout inducing foods.

Gout treatments

There are several gout treatments available for those suffering from this debilitating condition. Although there is no real cure for gout, the disease can be managed with the right care. Gout remedies focus mainly on dietary management, but also include exercise, herbs, and homeopathic methods. As an exercise and rehab professional, I am definitely in favor of the more natural methods listed above.

Gout is an inflammation of the joints caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Although natural gout treatments have made it possible to effectively treat this condition, many people do not take action until it is too late. Left untreated, gout oftens worsens due to excess uric acid buildup in the joints. Attacks may subside after a few days, but over time it can cause severe arthritis, permanent joint damage, and even kidney disease.

Dietary management is a gout treatment that focuses on reducing the amount of uric acid in the system, and managing disorders that frequently occur among patients with this condition, such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Foremost, healthcare practitioners recommend reducing the amount of animal protein and purine rich foods in your diet.

These include:

  • Anchovies
  • Asparagus
  • Crab
  • Caviar
  • Herring
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Meat gravies
  • Broths
  • Mushrooms
  • Mussels
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Sardines

To reduce acidity eat plenty of : (all of which are an excellent source for gout treatment)

  • Raw fruit
  • Vegetables (especially celery & tomatoes)
  • Grains
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Dark red and blue berries (which are anti-inflammatory and neutralize excess acidity)

Healthy functioning of the liver and kidneys is another important consideration for gout treatments. These organs are responsible for flushing uric acid and toxins out of the blood. Dehydration reduces kidney function, allowing uric acid to build up. Drinking lots of fluids-especially water- will help keep the organs hydrated and dilute the amount of uric acid in the body. 100% black cherry and cherry juice may help prevent or shorten acute attacks. Celery, birch leaf, and parsley juice are very effective remedies for combating and flushing out uric acid from the tissues. Avoid alcohol. It increases uric acid levels by accelerating purine metabolism and impairing kidney function.

However, because the body also produces uric acid, diet changes alone may not be an effective gout treatment. Exercising regularly and making time for relaxation is also important. Studies show the risk of gout rises with increasing weight. In subjects considered obese, the risk of gout was almost four and a half times higher. Researchers also estimated that risk of developing gout was greater among those with high blood pressure. Due to the pain caused by inflammation, water aerobics and yoga are among the best workouts for people with gout.

Certain supplements can act to reduce inflammation and combat high uric acid levels in the blood.

  • Ginger and turmeric are both anti-inflammatory and help to ease pain and swelling.
  • Phellodendron bark  is also anti-inflammatory. It is used topically for sores and damp heat conditions of the skin.
  • Bromelain, derived from pineapple, is an effective and suitable alternative to stronger prescription anti-inflammatory agents used in gout treatments. For best results, bromelain should be taken in between meals.
  • Fish oil supplements, and other foods containing Omega 3's (walnuts, whole soy products, cold water fish, and fortifies eggs) can also be beneficial for reducing pain and swelling.
  • Vitamin E, selenium, vitamin A, and aspartic acid have been recommended for both prevention and gout treatment.

These are just some of the alternative gout treatments available today, many of which can be combined with medication or other alternative gout remedies. Talk with your healthcare practitioner before trying any of these gout treatments. Gout is a serious condition. If untreated, it can cause severe and irreversible damage. There is no cure for gout...however, with proper care gout can be no more life-threatening than the common cold.

Written by Vincent R. Catteruccia, MSc, FAAPM, NASM-PES, NMT

Integrated Rehabilitation Consulting Services LLC  copyright  Oct 2007