Gout is a form of arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood, tissues and urine. Uric acid is not necessarily an enemy: at normal levels, it acts as an antioxidant that is almost as effective as vitamin C.
However, when levels become too high in the blood and tissues and the kidneys don’t eliminate it fast enough, it crystallizes and, when it builds up around the joints, can cause pain, redness, a warm sensation, inflammation and sometimes even fever.
Initial attacks occur at an average age of 47. In men, gout typically strikes after the age of 30, whereas in women, attacks tend to occur after menopause.
Gout is linked to excessive consumption of certain foods, particularly those high in saturated or trans fat, refined sugars and purine-rich foods.
A portion of the purines in a person’s body and most of the purines obtained from food get broken down into uric acid, which is then eliminated through the kidneys (75%) and intestines (25%).
The level of uric acid in the blood is determined by the amount of purine-rich food consumed and the ability of the kidneys and intestines to purge it.
Most of the time, gout presents in parts of the body that are exposed to cooler temperatures such as the extremities, partly explaining its frequent occurrence in the big toe. Yet gout can also affect other tissues or joints such as the knees, feet, ankles, wrists and fingers.
An attack of gout generally subsides on its own after 3 to 10 days. However, prompt treatment can help relieve symptoms.
If gout is not resolved by adopting a healthier lifestyle, attacks may occur more often, take longer to dissipate and potentially cause painful, deforming ulcerations known as tophi.
A.Vogel’s Stinging Nettle tincture, made from the anti-inflammatory and slightly diuretic plant, has been successful in resolving excess uric acid, when 25 drops are taken with a little water, three times a day.
For general intestinal and digestive health Molkosan and Bio-Strath can help balance the body’s pH, maintain healthy intestinal flora and help with the digestion of nutrients and elimination of toxins such as uric acid.
Once an attack of gout is under control, a detox treatment can be useful in boosting the ability of the kidneys and intestines to flush out the toxins. A treatment using A.Vogel’s Boldocynara or Milk Thistle products, which are rich in herbs with choleretic, cholagogue, diuretic and toning effects, is recommended at least twice a year.
During an attack, other natural products containing Devil’s Claw have been shown to have anti inflammatory effects, such as A.Vogel A.Vogel Joint Pain Relief tablets.
Topical use of Absolüt Arnica Gel or a green clay poultice can also be very soothing.
Gout is probably one of the easiest forms of arthritis to manage through a healthy lifestyle. And anything that promotes digestive health and aids the body in efficiently eliminating toxins can do nothing but help prevent or heal gout and optimize one’s overall health.
First, no purine-rich foods should consumed. These include deli meats, refined or white bread and pasta, crustaceans, anchovies, sardines, herring and herring roe, mussels, cod, oysters, salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, haddock, scallops, red meat (beef, lamb), organ meats, pork, meat-based sauces, cauliflower, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, lentils, peas, beans, dry beans, oatmeal, peanuts, chips, candy, cake, cookies, artificial juices and drinks, alcohol and brewer’s yeast.
Then, to allow the kidneys to more efficiently eliminate uric acid, the consumption of alcohol, tea, coffee and cocoa should be substantially reduced, as these are strong diuretics that cause the body to eliminate more water, thereby reducing the kidneys' ability to effectively purge excess uric acid.
As such, drinking 1.5 to 2 litres of water (filtered or de-mineralized) per day is recommended, as well as 1 to 2 glasses of juice made from fresh or organic vegetables or fruit, such as Biotta juice.