Gout is an arthritic type of pain in your joints; typically, about 75 percent of people will experience it as an excruciating pain in their big toe. (Hence, if you ever experience sudden, severe pain in your big toe, you’ll want to go get checked for gout.)
The symptoms of gout -- the stiff, swollen and painful joints -- are due to excess uric acid forming crystals in your joints, and the pain is caused by your body’s inflammatory response to these crystals.
Besides gout, elevated uric acid is related to a variety of other health conditions, including:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
Many people suffering from gout end up taking some type of pain reducing medication, typically an anti-inflammatory. Drugs like Allopurinol and Cholchicine work by either lowering your uric acid levels, which decrease crystal formation, or by simply blocking your body’s natural inflammatory response.
But these drugs also have very dangerous, long-term side effects, and gout is frequently a lifelong condition, so you may end up staying on these drugs for very long periods of time, which can wreak havoc with your health.
Folks, you don’t need to take a dangerous drug to deal with this painful condition. You CAN address the underlying cause of excess uric acid formation via all natural means.
Change Your Diet -- Reduce Inflammation Naturally
Any time we’re talking about reducing inflammation, please remember that your diet is your number one priority.
Because the REAL underlying problem causing the inflammation, and subsequent damage, is likely due to having chronically elevated blood sugar. (The sugar molecule causes far more damage than any other molecule.) And, your number one way of normalizing your blood sugar and insulin levels is through your diet.
But what constitutes an optimal diet?
Well, first of all, you should know by now that there is no one diet that is right for everyone. This is why I always recommend you go through my nutritional typing process to find out which type of diet is right for you, based on your personal biochemistry and metabolism.
Some people thrive on a high carb-low fat/low protein diet. Others need more fat and protein, and far less carbs. Others may fall somewhere in between.
However, regardless of your nutritional type, drastically reducing or eliminating sugar is essential if you’re dealing with gout, or any other condition caused by inflammation in your body.
Recent research shows you can lower your risk of gout by an impressive 85 percent, simply by reducing your intake of sugar.
What this means for most people is: eliminate the soft drinks and fruit juices.
It never ceases to amaze me that the number one source of calories for Americans is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the form of soda. This is so tragic because soda can be one of the easiest dietary modifications to make.
Instead, drink plenty of pure water, as the fluids will help to remove uric acid from your body.
Another important diet modification to prevent gout is to reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption.
Other Natural Tips for Treating Gout
Exercise, just like optimizing your vitamin D levels, is an all-around health booster that helps improve your health no matter what your problem is. In this case, exercise helps normalize your insulin and hence your uric acid levels, naturally.
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 gout and arthritis 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).
Interestingly we have had many readers of this article state that alfalfa tablets have provided a fair measure of relief and improvement. I have no experience with this but it would certainly seem another avenue to explore since there it is a natural product with virtually no downside or side effects.
Last but not least, just in time for the Christmas holiday season, consider spicing up your dishes with plenty of nutmeg, as this common spice is also useful for gout.