It was Thanksgiving of 2014 and our family had just concluded another successful gathering full of feasting and festivities. I recall feeling a bit stressed about all the food I had just consumed; food I knew I could, and likely would, pay for later. When you have Gout that dreaded scenario is likely always weighing on you in the back of your mind. WHAT did I just do to myself?
Is there any chance I could dodge a bullet this time?
What can I possibly do to get ahead of this game?
Maybe if just consume a ton of water, and water only, can I avoid the inevitable?
Was that turkey and gravy, and pie, and, and, and….all worth it?
As Gout sufferers we are all fully aware of the risks involved and sometimes we choose to face those risks head on, despite the potential outcome. I remember wondering then if there were measures to take ahead of time to avoid the worry of a splurge here and there. I was young and dumb, and rather clueless about the sheer number of things I did and consumed on a daily basis that kept adding to my demise. Understanding the necessity of balance was never my strong suit.
…..Fast forward to the middle of the night, post thankful feasting, and I am awakened by a pain in my ankle that I knew all too well; the kind of pain worthy of wishing to lose a limb rather than continue the suffering. Said ankle was red hot, swollen and throbbing in pain. Agony was an understatement and black Friday took on a whole new meaning. There would be no shopping, no leftover turkey stuffing sandwiches, nothing resembling anything remotely close to my ability to leave that bed.
I.WAS.MISERABLE. WHY had I done this to myself, again?? I knew better. I began swallowing Colchicine like candy. Que the digestive disaster in the making. Now, I’m sick as a dog AND in pure agony. Ice, heat, water, Ibuprofen, repeat.
That attack was one of the absolute worst to date. It continued to move around to different areas of my body and was categorically relentless. I vowed from that day forward that I was going to avoid ever suffering like that again. A wise man told me that I needed to start looking at this Gout puzzle with more clarity and understanding. He told me that we tend to be very narrow-minded in our approach and limited in thinking that one meal could cause an attack when food purines are such a miniscule piece of this puzzle. What was I doing each and every day to contribute to my “glass of uric acid” until that one meal causes it to spill over into an attack? What could I do to lower that full glass to a point where a splurge wouldn’t push me over that edge?
Some important things I’ve learned:
You may have ‘trigger foods’ that spark an attack. A purine-rich meal may push your ‘already full’ glass over the edge and into an attack. However, be sure to understand things were already brewing and these triggers simply tipped the scale.
SOLUBLE uric acid can be measured in your blood supply. However, the uric acid that has crystallized and is now residing in connective tissue cannot be measured with a blood analysis. These crystals are always there, in a solid form, “melting” when the levels in the blood will allow and adding to the buildup when levels in the blood become too high for the blood to carry. These deposits are what migrate into the joint causing the acute gout attack. When the tissue is full, any food indulgences and lifestyle choices that cause you to produce more uric acid than the blood can hold, will allow for deposits that crystallize between the bone joints. This can make you falsely blame one food for triggering your attack when in all actuality it simply “tipped the already full cup over.”
Cellular regeneration is the only way to achieve Gout control success. Food, water, spices, vitamins, herbs, and therapeutic actions (meditation, exercise, listening to music) can significantly elevate the body’s regenerative process. Together they, and you, can take control of your health and begin repair. While some parts will remain permanently damaged, there are many areas where an overhaul can bring you the quality of life you have been missing.
Why Does Gout Attack at Night?
Why Do Low-Purine Diets Fail?
Important tips regarding Gout and other Inflammatory Conditions
Considering that all disease occurs at the molecular and cellular level, could all disease share common causes and common solutions?
Toxic damage to cells leads to cellular death, and in large numbers can result in tissue and organ damage/failure. Some tissues and organs hold the capacity for self-repair, while others have no ability to regenerate. For example, the liver can repair damaged sections by fibrous replacement, whereas the nervous system tissue has no ability to regenerate itself. Of course, even the liver will have trouble if the damage is severe and/or continues to suffer from abuse.
Purines perform multiple important functions within our cells, including regulating energy metabolism and signaling the energy conversion from one to another. Purines are essentially the building blocks for all living things as a necessity for the growth, proliferation and survival of all cells. The two purine bases, adenine and guanine, create bonds that form the DNA ladder. Humans breakdown purines and convert them into uric acid.
Uric acid happens to be a potent DNA protector. All other mammals possess an enzyme known as uricase. Uricase converts uric acid into allantoin, which can easily travel through the bloodstream and readily eliminated through the urine. Humans do not possess this enzyme, therefore, we cannot oxidize uric acid into the more soluble compound of allantoin. Our liver and kidneys are left to do the all-important jobs of purine breakdown and uric acid disposal, conducted respectively.
Blood serum uric acid levels are determined by two components:
- uric acid synthesis
- uric acid excretion
Synthesis takes place in the liver as a result of the breakdown of purines. Purine levels are mostly determined by what is naturally produced by the body, with approximately the other 30% absorbed from the food we eat. The second component, uric acid excretion, is determined by the rate at which the kidneys are able dispose of the excess. According to a study conducted by Hyon K. Choi in 2005, about 90% of hyperuricemia is attributed to impaired renal excretion.
As we mentioned above, uric acid is a potent antioxidant and DNA protector. Could this be why only 10% of the uric acid that enters a normal human kidney is disposed of? Would it be safe to assume the other 90% that is reclaimed and sent back into the bloodstream is done so for our bodies to utilize its powerful antioxidant and free radical neutralizing powers?
According to science…..
Uric acid is responsible for the neutralization of over 50% of the free radicals in our bloodstream. Considering humans and primates are unable to naturally produce Vitamin C, we may have inherited the ability to utilize uric acid. Uric acid remains extremely controversial and difficult to manage. On one hand, uric acid protects high-oxygen tissues (like the brain) from damage and has been shown to increase the risks of several neurological disorders in the presence of sub-par levels. On the other hand, high-serum uric acid levels are inversely associated with the severity of several diseases, especially the state of cardiovascular diseases.
Is there a balance?
Yes, although the course(s) of action to achieve this balance may be equally as complex, as well as individually determined. As a former Gout sufferer, I naturally ventured down the path of reducing my purine intake by focusing on my diet. Once I understood a bit more about the roles of purines and uric acid I was able to conclude that this path was not going lead me to success.
I asked myself the following questions:
- If only 30% of the purines in my body come directly from food, then will a low-purine diet do anything to help with the main 70% of my production?
- Do I have any control over the other 70% that occurs naturally in my body?
- Am I doing anything to directly contribute to higher purine production aside from the food I eat?
- If the food I eat is low-purine, but still unhealthy, does that have any impact on the amount my body is naturally producing?
The last question truly gave me pause. If the natural purine production stems from normal DNA and RNA turnover, were there things I was doing to my body to cause my cells to die and turnover faster than usual?
This brought me to another series of questions, ones I believe to be more relevant to my cause:
- Do my medications and over-the-counter drugs contributing to faster cell death?
- Was I hydrated enough? Cellular dehydration is extremely common and definitely causes cellular turnover.
- Did my slightly overweight body and lack of exercise have anything to do with the health of my cells?
- Was my rather heavy alcohol consumption a bigger problem than just the purines alone? Does it affect my cells, too?
- Did my high stress life contribute to faster cellular death?
- Does my sweet tooth and sugar intake affect my cells and uric acid production?
- If my body can’t naturally produce certain vitamins and antioxidants, could I help my body by supplying enough in my diet and supplementation in hopes of my kidneys not reclaiming as much uric acid to help in their absence?
These are some really important questions that opened my eyes to a whole new approach and a whole new outlook on the importance of taking better care of myself. These questions initially targeted my efforts to gauge my cellular health (or lack thereof), but also really put my kidney and liver health into question. Many of us unknowingly damage the health of our cells, furthering excess uric acid production. In doing so, we are also placing unnecessary strain on the very organs we need to help us rid of the excess uric acid. What a conundrum!
These epiphanies led me to better health, elimination of my medications (blood pressure, cholesterol, and Gout), correction of my glucose levels, secured my beliefs in the right all natural remedies, led to my blog, and changed my life! It doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture and you will find there is a lot of common sense in play here, and even more common sense solutions. Take it slow, one adjustment at a time for attainable goals. This site offers a series of articles to highlight a bit more on the specifics regarding stress, hydration, diet, and much more
Here’s to your Gout and Inflammation free 2020 and beyond!
How to survive the Christmas and Holiday Season if you suffer with Gout
A beacon has been sent out from the North Pole summonsing a doctor to come and see what could possibly be wrong with Santa. He can barely move his foot without pure agony. The weight of his bed cover alone is sending him through the roof in pain. Mrs. Claus is distraught. Mr. Claus is running a fever, he has the chills, and his big toe is as red and shiny as Rudolph’s nose.
The doc arrives:Continue reading “Oh no! Santa has the Gout…..”
Contrary to popular belief, the Keto diet is not protein focused. Rather, this diet focuses on a high fat and low carb diet to shock the body into ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process where the body is able to focus on burning fat with carbs mostly out of the picture. The body doesn’t have to work hard trying to burn the carbohydrates for energy, therefore, blood sugar is lowered and fat burning becomes the main focus.
Is this good for the Gout sufferer? Continue reading “Is the Keto diet safe for Gout Sufferers?”
All natural healing is guaranteed with patience and understanding. Having a better understanding of your condition can pave the path to lifelong success in controlling it for good. Knowledge of your disorder, and all the contributing factors in your life having led up to your very current ailment(s), can make for a better understanding of the necessary approach and commitment to resolving it.
Inflammatory diseases are not an overnight occurrence. Some of you may be approaching natural healing as your first form of treatment, while many of you have suffered for years upon years, and the prescription drugs are no longer helping you. Natural healing may not be a “quick-fix”, but it also avoids the common “band-aid” for your symptoms like many modern-day prescription drugs. Instead of treating your symptoms, natural healing aims to repair the problem that is causing your symptoms in the first place.
Do you feel like you’ve already tried everything to heal on your own, without long-term success?
Continue reading “Can you repair Gout and Arthritis on your own?”
Things we hear often:
Most commonly prescribed Gout medication options include:
Xanthine Inhibitors: These actually block the enzyme, (xanthine oxidase) necessary for the conversion of purines to uric acid. As of result, blood serum levels are lowered and used to prevent chronic gout, stones, and hyperuricemia. It is not actually a treatment for an acute attack, and can even exacerbate an attack if used while it’s running its course. This treatment sounds good in theory, however, un-naturally stopping a very natural and necessary production such as uric acid must take its toll on the body somehow? After all, uric acid is a potent antioxidant vital to the human body. Attempting to halt its production could be detrimental to its important role as the protector of our DNA. As a result, it is necessary to monitor the liver, kidneys, and blood during its use.
Possible side effects include:Continue reading “Traditional Gout Medications”
Kidney Stones (renal calculi) are formed as a result of a buildup of dissolved minerals on the inner lining of the kidneys. Once they make their way into the urinary tract severe pain in the groin, stomach, or flank area can ensue. A decrease in urination coupled with a large amount of stone-forming substances can cause these types of stones to appear. These stones can be formed by the mixture of calcium with oxalate or phosphate; and/or the combination of uric acid and amino acid cysteine.
Much like Gout, Kidney stones are being diagnosed more and more in recent years. The same type of stones can develop in the bladder as well, but are much more uncommon and have remained relatively low and unchanged by comparison. Over the span of almost 30 years, the Mayo Clinic observed a significant rise in the incidences of kidney stones; particularly in adult women. With more accurate CT scans our ability to monitor and diagnose stones are partly behind a good portion of this rise in cases, but also goes hand in hand with the rise in Obesity and Diabetes Type 2. Diets high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt have been to blame for stones and this type of diet certainly fits the profile for all of these conditions.Continue reading “Gout and Kidney Stones”
What is a Cholecystectomy
Cholecystectomies are one of the most over performed surgeries in the United States, and far too often, completely uncalled-for. Even in the presence of gallstones, one should always consider alternatives before rushing under the knife. The gallbladder is an essential organ responsible for collecting and storing bile in order to process and digest fats. To say that it can just be removed without consequence, is rather reckless. Aside from a number of potential dangers and complications stemming from its removal, weight problems and diabetes type two risks rise significantly.
Gallbladder attacks are often a sign of much larger problems, problems that do not simply disappear only once a small piece of that puzzle is removed. Our typical desire for instant gratification, coupled with the misconstrued notion that the gall bladder is an unnecessary organ, has led to an alarming number of these senseless surgeries.Continue reading “The Gallbladder: Facts and Myths”