How I Beat Gout
If you are reading this gout page you are probably looking for some kind of relief or cure. Since you have experienced it you you know what it is and what causes it so I will only give a brief description. The pain in the extremities, most commonly a big toe, is caused by a build up of uric acid crystals in the joints. The build up indicates there is too much uric acid in the blood and it starts to accumulate. A main source of uric acid in diet is purine, a compound found in animal protein and alcohol, especially beer.
My Gout History
My first attack happened seventeen years ago after some serious holiday season partying. I thought I had broken a toe in a recent bicycling accident. By the second day my foot was so large the skin started to break. The doctor gave me Indomethacin, I walked on crutches a few days and in a few more days the swelling went down and the pain was bearable. I didn't get another attack for about a year.
Attacks were sporadic but over time became more frequent. After the third or forth episode I decided I needed to know more about it. This is when I learned that beer is one of the main sources of purine. Over the years I went to six or seven different doctors. Treatment and advice varied little. Take the Indomethacin and change your diet. Two of them wanted to put me on Allopurinol, a drug that prevents attacks but requires increased dosage over time.
Last year I had attacks a few months apart, usually after a single digression from my purine light diet. Something was wrong and I began looking for more information and a different approach. One day in vitamin store in a small town in Colorado I met a pretty young naturopathic practitioner. I gave her the details of my gout history. What she taught me in a twenty minute conversation changed my life. What follows is the gist of that lesson.
Think About Your Kidneys
"If your diet contains less purine than it did fifteen years ago, you should have less uric acid in your blood, not more. You are over 70 years old; so are your kidneys. When the kidneys are functioning properly excess uric acid is eliminated from the body and not sent to the blood stream. When that stops happening efficiently, no low purine diet will prevent acid buildup because the liver is going to keep producing it. You need something to enhance normal kidney function."
She gave me a kidney supplement called Renafood made by Standard Process Inc.. I took the dosages she suggested and now I only take one a day. I've been eating normally and have had no further attacks. My big toes look normal again. I didn't realize it but some of the swelling never left; until now.
I am sure there are other good kidney supplements on the market. This may or may not work for you but it makes good sense to me and it works for me. The disappointing thing is that no medical doctor once mentioned kidney function when treating my gout.
Return from Gout to Bones and Joints
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