GoUT GOuT GOUT
Gout is associated with high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and uric acid kidney stones.
Traditional treatment is high doses of NSAIDS to kill the pain, anti-inflammatories, and drugs, such as allopurinol, that inhibit formation of uric acid. Allopurinol, however, has some serious side effects, such as skin eruptions, liver toxicity, inflammation of the blood vessels, and possible weakening of kidney function by forcing the kidneys to work too hard to excrete the uric acid. If you have kidney problems and use this drug, be sure to be carefully monitored. Another drug that is used is colchicine, but it, too, has serious side effects, including numbness in the hands and feet, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, weakness, hair loss, and abnormal bleeding or bruising. Cortisone is used for acute attacks, but should not be used for extended periods.
A new gout drug, febuxostat, (waiting FDA approval) has proven to be very beneficial in reducing urate levels. 81% of patients taking the drug had healthy urate levels of less than 6 mg/dl, compared with only 39% who took 300 mg per day of allopurinol, the most widely prescribed gout drug.
Traditional thinking tells us that gout is the result of excessive amounts of alcohol, protein, heavy foods, coffee and soft drinks in your diet. These foods cause uric acid levels to rise. Other foods that increase uric acid are anchovies, asparagus, legumes, mushrooms, meat, organ meat, and shellfish. Reduction in consumption of these foods is very often successful in reducing or eliminating gout.
Some other causes:
• Stress raises uric acid levels
• Use of antibiotics
• Vitamin deficiency, especially B5, A and E
• Chemotherapy - uric acid is released in extreme amounts due to the cellular destruction.
• Hypothyroidism is often involved with gout. See our Thyroid section for more information.
• A drop in barometric pressure may trigger an attack.
• Kidney failure may make it more difficult to rid the body of uric acid, thereby triggering gout.
• Diseases such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and psoriasis are associated with gout.
• One of the best ways to prevent gout is to drink at least 6-8 eight ounce glasses of water, fresh juices or herb tea daily, especially at the first signs of gout. This will keep your urine diluted and will help your body excrete uric acid and prevent crystals from forming.
• Eat foods high in potassium.
• Eating generous amounts of fruits and vegetables, helps keep uric acid crystals in solution.
• Take the flavonoid quercetin.
• Having sex prevents men from getting gout. It seems that increased sexual activity reduces uric acid levels in fertile men.
• Lemon juice prevents gout attacks by stimulating the formation of calcium carbonate in the body. Calcium carbonate neutralizes acids in the body, including uric acid that triggers gout attacks. After each meal drink the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon in a glass of lukewarm water. To get more juice out of the lemon, bring it to room temperature, then roll it around on the counter with the palm of your hand.
• Taking 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with meals will prevent gout attacks. This will help alkalize the body.
• Keep the leg elevated.
• A high fiber diet also aids in the elimination of uric acid by absorbing bile acids formed in the liver. These bile acids can act as a precursor to uric acid.
• Meat: organ meats, meat extracts, sweetbreads, meat gravies
• Poultry: turkey, goose
• Seafood: salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, mussels, crab, shrimp
• Vegetables: peas, beans, asparagus, mushrooms, cooked spinach, cauliflower
• Yeast products: baked goods,
• Alcohol - it increases the production of uric acid and inhibits its excretion by the kidneys
• Coffee - it accelerates the breakdown of protein into uric acid
• All fried foods - they cause a depletion of vitamin E, which can cause uric acid to rise
• Cream and ice cream
• Simple sugars, simple carbohydrates and saturated fats - they increase your body's production of uric acid and impair your kidneys' ability to get rid of it. Eliminate fructose (found in food and drinks, like sodas)
• White flour
• Aspirin can raise uric acid levels. If you need to use pain killers, only use ones with ibuprofen.
• Whole grains
• Caffeine - it impairs kidney function, which is needed to get uric acid out of the body.