About 1 year ago Brian had his last attack of gout and it was after he broke a rotten tooth and before he had it pulled. It was about a 1 month period of time and he had two episodes back to back.
It was super painful and he wasn’t able to work. All he could do was sit around the house… and with three kids running around… his foot was constantly getting bumped and he would cry out in pain.
But… you may ask… what is gout? I’m sure many of you have friends or family who have had flair ups of it, but most of us have no idea what it is. The short and sweet answer is that it is a buildup of uric acid in the joins which cause a lot of inflammation and pain. The most common joint to be affected is the great toe, but it can develop in knees, elbow, ankles or any other joint.
It is VERY painful. The joint swells and gets red and warm to the touch. some people describe the pain as a hot poker repeatedly poked into their joints, others say it’s like getting stabbed or a throbbing pain.
Anti-inflammatory medications like Advil or Aleve are helpful in reducing the pain, but it doesn’t help the cause. Usually people who get gout have other significant health problems like obesity, high cholesterol, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and the like.
We had a few natural remedies that we tried, but the one that worked best was a ACV/baking soda drink. He would have a pint three times daily (‘having a pint’ sounds like a beer from England – but I don’t think it tastes quite the same!) and it actually did help with the pain and I think it shortened the duration of the attack as well.
2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
1 pint of water
Mix all together and drink three times daily.
Since Brian has been seen by our homeopath and his cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure are much more normal now after significant diet changes and with taking supplements, we were pretty sure it couldn’t be related to any of the larger health conditions like heart disease or diabetes.
We were starting to think that maybe the gout had something to do with his teeth… and maybe it still does… He may have other teeth with ‘issues’ due to the fact that he has had a lot of cavities in the past that have been filled, but may be going bad. However… he has no dental pain and the gout is back. Same toe and same pain.
So I decided to do some research… and who better to consult that Dr. Mercola! First off here is a video has has produced about Overcoming Gout Naturally which gives a lot of great information.
If you have time to watch the video, I highly recommend it. He describes the cause of gout and then a few natural things you can do to help reduce the risk of getting gout in the first place or recurrent attacks. However, if you don’t have time, the five basic ideas are as follows:
- Have your nutritional typing done (which can be done on his site) to determine if your body prefers high protein/high fat/low carb, or low protein/low fat/high carb or a mixture of the two.
- Eliminate sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup)- 85% reduction in recurrent attacks
- Eliminate or severely reduce alcohol
- Exercise (got that under control with climbing trees for a living!)
- Eat tart cherries
- Stay far away from colchicine or allopurinol which are traditional treatments for gout. They help to reduce the uric acid in the body which is what causes gout, but it also has very dangerious long term side effects
Dr. Mercola offers quite a few articles about gout and a lot of them have overlapping information, but fantastic non-the-less. Another article I found interesting was How to Eliminate Gout with out Drugs.
Here he quotes:
“As far as using supplements, tart cherries have been found to offer excellent benefits in the treatment of gout. Tart cherries contain two powerful compounds, anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, which are known to have similar activity to aspirin and ibuprofen. Both of these compounds slow down the enzymes Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and — 2, which helps to relieve and prevent arthritis and gout in your body.
A handful of fresh cherries in the summertime are a natural gourmet delight, but if you want to harness the antioxidant power of cherries on a routine basis–and you definitely should, as they are one of nature’s true “healing foods”–then you should seriously consider taking a red tart cherry juice concentrate. Cherry juice concentrate can contain about 55 to 60 tart cherries in every ounce. That’s a single recommended serving, so in other words, you’d have to eat 55 to 60 cherries to get the same health benefit (and I don’t recommend eating 55 to 60 cherries, as that is too much sugar … But with a concentrate, you can get the health benefit of the cherries without all the sugar).”
Also for more info on the cherries there is one more article that I’d recommend here. And one more resourse is of course a great article found on the Weston A Price website.
So… what to do now?
We are planning on seeing his homeopath again this week to see what her recommendations are and he is going to continue with his drink and start on the cherries and see where we go from there.
So stay tuned for Gout Part II and how it gets resolved!
PS. Obviously this photo was taken about 4 years ago, since there are a lot more feet in the family now… and two more to were added 12 days ago! I thought it was a cute photo for a post about a foot injury. I can’t claim any credit for this photo either, but it was taken by a dear friend Alyssa! Check out her work… you won’t regret it!