Natural Living: Treat gout without medications | NevadaAppeal.com

Natural Living: Treat gout without medications

Maureen Lamerdin, O.M.D.

Gout is a rheumatic disease, essentially a form of arthritis that’s characterized with sudden bouts of severe pain, inflammation and tenderness in the joints, known as gout attacks.

Gout is chronic in character and occurs in acute attacks. It’s a disease that generally affects men but also can be seen in post menopausal women. There are more than two million gout sufferers in the United States, 90 percent of them being men over 30 years of age. It’s most commonly seen in the great toe of the foot, but it also can affect the ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers and elbows. If severe enough it can lead to gouty arthritis which can cause chronic debilitation.

Gout is known as the rich man’s disease because of its strong connection to diet and increased levels of uric acid. An increase in blood uric acid is usually present due to a metabolic disorder. Excess alcohol, high amounts of red meats, oily fish, seafood and yeast are main culprits of bringing on an attack of gout. The crystallization of uric acid in our blood is produced when we break down purines which are found in such foods as red meats and seafood. A number of drugs and supplements can increase uric acid levels in the blood which include salicylates, which is found in aspirin, niacin, excess vitamin C and diuretics. Gout also is affected by the overall acidity or alkalinity of the body. The foods you eat will affect the pH of your body and increasing the pH level will increase the amount of uric acid that can be dissolved in the blood. A family history of gout can also put you at a higher risk for developing gout.

The good news is by following a disciplined way of living many can avoid gout attacks and medication such as allopurinol which lower levels of uric acid but can carry the risk of significant side effects.

Gout is likely an artifact of inflammation and habits of lifestyle, which means following an anti-inflammatory diet and making changes in lifestyle should be the first line of defense.

Emphasis should be on avoiding meats, seafood, coffee and alcohol.

Increasing fresh vegetables and fruits will decrease inflammation, specifically dark greens including kale, chard and spinach (note: recent research shows purine-rich plant foods such as lentils, peas, beans, mushrooms, cauliflower and spinach have no correlation between eating such foods and incidence of gout attacks).

Drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily will help flush uric acid from the system and prevent urate crystal deposition. Lose excess weight. Michigan State University laboratory findings suggest by eating tart cherries, fresh or as cherry juice inhibits enzymes called cyclooxygeanse -1 and -2 which are the targets of anti-inflammatory drugs. Taking bromelain, a compound of digestive enzymes and other compounds extracted from pineapple stems. Reduce stress levels and assure your body enough rest. The World Health Organization (WHO) published Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials. In this book the WHO supports using acupuncture and cupping for the treatment of gout.