When I first met my husband, he’d recently been diagnosed with gout – the body’s inability to metabolize uric acid normally. You can’t misidentify gout symptoms. When deposits of excess uric acid accumulate in the body’s joints like sharp-edged crystals, excruciating pain manifests. Most noticeably the big toes are affected first.
Occasionally Hubby would suffer an attack that rendered him unable to walk, and nothing would alleviate the pain until blood uric acid returned to normal. If a bedsheet even brushed his toe, the pain was agonizing. Pain meds were out of the question, since some actually elevate uric acid levels. Hubby’s doctor had prescribed a gout treatment drug, Indomethacin, which also increased blood uric acid levels… go figure. But within 24 hours of ingesting it, the pain would finally subside – until the next attack.
Gout is nicknamed “the disease of kings”, because several famous and infamous monarchs, including Henry the 8th, suffered agonizing pain, chronic inflammation, joint swelling, and eventual disfigurement and crippling from the disease. What royalty didn’t realize was that their rich, purine-laden diets contributed heavily to their suffering. Consumption of specific purines must be minimized for people who can’t fully metabolize uric acid. But red meats, caviar and liquor – all high in purines (especially xanthine and hypoxanthine) – were symbolic of status in royal dining, and were present at every table.
In the early 1990s, not long after I began my insurance career, I was helping a client obtain health insurance. Jim had barely reached middle age, but had already suffered many years with gout. He became so disabled that he almost had to give up his boat repair business, when the new drug Allopurinol was introduced into the market. After he started taking Allopurinol, his symptoms diminished, and within a few months he was again walking normally and had regained full hand mobility. Twenty-five years ago, even I was impressed with this supposed miracle drug. Though previously uninsurable, we were now able to obtain health insurance for Jim, with an exclusion clause for treatment of gout.
My husband’s drug-pushing doctor wanted him to start using Allopurinol daily, instead of occasional Indomethicin, but we nipped that plan in the bud. We did research Allopurinol’s side effects, which are appalling. At our house, we “just say no” to legal drugs. We opted for the only sensible approach – naturally reversing gout.
Gout Natural Remedies
Hubby started flushing his system with lots and lots of pure water. Drinking a liter of water daily dilutes excess uric acid and helps the body eliminate it. Hubby also drastically reduced intake of red meat, and especially organ meats. No more all beef hot dog binges or quarter pound beef sausage for Hubby, no more half-pints of chopped liver or several tins of cold peas at one sitting. His diet changed from mostly burgers and steaks to mountains of fresh fruits and vegetables, though he’s careful to minimize veggies high in purines, like asparagus and peas. Red meat has been mostly replaced with chicken and turkey.
Reversing gout without resorting to drug use is quite simple, and no one will experience adverse side effects from eating a low-purine diet. In the dozen years since revising his diet, Hubby has suffered only a handful of mild attacks. And the rare attack has always occurred just after a holiday season, when beef, chopped liver and liquor flow a little too freely.
Please feel free to ask a question about naturopathic remedies for gout. And we welcome your comments.