Q&A: Natural Treatments for Gout
I have gout in my big toe that gets so bad at times I can hardly walk. My doctor told me to take a drug, allopurinol, as a preventive and ibuprofen for pain. Do you have any other suggestions?
Gout can be a real pain in the toe (or other joints).
Allopurinol is pretty good at staving off attacks because it blocks the production of excess uric acid, the underlying cause of gout. But a number of natural therapies are equally effective and much safer.
Make sure you drink lots of water, as dehydration can trigger gout attacks in susceptible individuals. Coffee and low-fat dairy products are also protective, as are modest amounts of fruit, especially dark-colored berries and cherries.
Conversely, a high intake of red meat, shellfish, and alcohol (especially beer) raises levels of uric acid and can lead to increased outbreaks. Fructose is associated with gout as well. A large epidemiological study found that men who consume two or more soft drinks a day have an 85 percent greater risk than men who drink just one soda a month. Be aware that high-fructose corn syrup is the sweetener of choice in many juices and processed foods, so read labels carefully.
I also recommend vitamin C—and the more the better. Taking 1,000–1,500 mg daily was shown to slash the likelihood of developing gout nearly in half. Quercetin, cherry concentrate (capsules or juice), and celery seed extract have also been reported to be effective in preventing gout.
Finally, you need to know that gout may be a harbinger of metabolic syndrome. Elevations in uric acid—along with abdominal obesity, hypertension, low HDL cholesterol, and elevated blood sugar—are part and parcel of metabolic syndrome, a condition that puts you on the fast track toward heart disease and diabetes. Take this as a wake-up call to adopt a healthier lifestyle and get a handle on your weight, blood pressure, etc. You’ll not only stave off gout recurrences but dramatically improve your overall health as well.
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Meet Dr. Whitaker
For more than 30 years, Dr. Julian Whitaker has helped people regain their health with a combination of therapeutic lifestyle changes, targeted nutritional support, and other cutting-edge natural therapies. He is widely known for treating diabetes, but also routinely treats heart disease and other degenerative diseases. More About Dr. Whitaker
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