Gout and Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD)

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) limits the amount of waste filtration your body is capable of processing. Uric acid is not seen as a foreign matter to the body, therefore is usually last to be dealt with from a toxin filtering standpoint. This can allow for uric acid build-up, and, in turn, the increased likelihood of developing Gout. The medications used to treat kidney disease have also been associated with drug-induced cases of Gout. Diuretics and beta blockers are typically used for kidney disease induced high blood pressure and are well known to contribute to Gout development.

There is enough scientific research to confirm that kidney disease can cause Gout. How about the opposite? Can Gout lead to kidney disease? The chicken or the egg? Uric acid is filtered through the kidneys, an undeniable relation to both diseases. While this connection may be less established, the evidence is certainly present. Each condition is well-equipped to feed the other.

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INFLAMMATION: WHEN A GOOD THING GOES BAD

Inflammation is a natural, thriving mechanism of the immune system. Acute inflammatory response is a way to fire at and ward off disease and infection, as well as to fuel cellular regeneration. We all require a healthy measure of inflammation in order to survive. What happens when the body feels as though it is constantly under an attack of some sort? What if the inflammatory response persists and you are plagued with an incessant slow burning fire inside of you? This is precisely when a good thing, goes bad.

The body is amazingly resilient, but relies solely upon communication between the major systems within the body (the endocrine, digestive, respiratory/cardiovascular, and the central nervous system) in order to function and heal properly. When chronic inflammation is present, these systems can no longer communicate, and disease is

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Gout and Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones

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.

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The Gallbladder: Facts and Myths

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.

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Understanding Uric Acid

Uric Acid

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.

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What is CRP and what does it have to do with your health?

What is CRP?

CRP stands for C-reactive protein.  This protein is produced by the liver in response to elements released from certain white blood cells known as macrophages; as well as elements released from fat cells (adipocytes.)  CRP levels rise in the presence of inflammation and take on a role to bind with chemical compounds that are released on the surface of a dying or dead cell.  This process is part of an immune system response to enhance the ability of antibodies and bacteria/pathogen eating cells (phagocytic cells) to eliminate damaged cells from the body.  Certain chronic inflammatory conditions cause the release of IL-6 (interleukin-6) that trigger the release of CRP.  IL-6 is a type of immune protein in the family of cytokines that can act as both an anti-inflammatory and a pro-inflammatory.

As discussed in previous blog posts, inflammation is a normal body process necessary for our body’s response to fight infection and injury.  It is a natural part of our immune system’s ability to send white blood cells and other chemical compounds to a trouble area of the body in an effort to help it heal.  However, in the presence of chronic conditions such as Arthritis, Colitis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Gout, Heart Disease, Asthma, Diabetes, and more – the constant “fire” of inflammation can be disastrous, even deadly.
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Fructose and Uric Acid Metabolism

Sugar intake has risen dramatically over the last century which seems to correlate closely with the rise in obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.  Simple sugars include both glucose and fructose.  While glucose is generally utilized by the body for energy production, fructose is known to produce high amounts of harmful substances.  Added sugars to our food sources mostly stem from fructose, and fructose metabolism can cause some pretty significant damage.  Fructose can actually deplete our energy sources, cause death to our cells, stimulate fat making enzymes, and produce excess uric acid.

Studies on rats have shown fructose intake to instigate all markers of metabolic syndrome – increased waistline, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, lipid abnormalities, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.    These studies have also shown high fructose intake to stimulate free radicals, weaken the arteries, create a fatty liver, and cause kidney damage.  Continue reading “Fructose and Uric Acid Metabolism”

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Electrolyte imbalances, Inflammation, and Disease

As we know, inflammation is the major underlying factor behind chronic, degenerative diseases.  The body’s cells work very hard to maintain pH balance in the body.  Our typical American diet and lifestyle is largely acidic and makes this process extremely difficult. 

When overly acidic imbalances are present in the body, the cellular health is compromised.  Decreased cellular oxygen levels and metabolic declines cause cells to ‘die off’ at a rapid rate.  As acidic residues increase, the body attempts to buffer these acids with alkaline minerals (calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium) in order to excrete them from the body.  In the presence of such acidic diets and lifestyles, this buffering system can easily reach maximum capability, quickly leading to acidic waste storage in the tissues.

Cells require very specific ion balance.  Electrolytes must be maintained within specific limits to balance the pH of the body’s environment.  Even the slightest acid increases can quickly lead to inflammation of the organs and tissues. Continue reading “Electrolyte imbalances, Inflammation, and Disease”

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Is Canola Oil really good for you?

 

 

Canola oil has been marketed as a healthy choice for cooking, widely used in many homes and most restaurants.  However, the truth of the matter is that Canola oil is just about anything but healthy!  Yet, the FDA has not only deemed it safe for consumption, but actually supports it being labeled “healthy.”

Canola oil was originally developed in Canada, Canadian “ola”, which means oil.  Canola oil comes from a seed called rapeseed and was mostly used for industrial purposes.  Rapeseed oil was the source of the chemical warfare known as mustard gas.  The US banned rapeseed back in 1956 when soldiers and civilians began experiencing blistered lungs and skin.  The canola plant does not occur naturally in the wild, but instead has been bred by BIG agriculture.  In other words, it is a genetically modified plant, or GMO.  Since Canola oil is cheap to manufacture and mass produce, it was modified to remove the lethal eruric acid.  It took the food industry over a decade of genetic engineering to obtain the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) nod from the FDA.  Initially the rapeseed name was changed to LEAR (low eruric acid rapeseed), and then to Canola Oil. Continue reading “Is Canola Oil really good for you?”

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Why is the liver so important?



This large, meaty organ sits on the right side of our belly and plays a vital role in the balancing of our metabolic system.  It is the largest organ and one of, if not the most, important.  We need the liver to process all of the nutrients in our food – protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals.  We need the liver to filter out all of the toxins that enter our body.  We rely on  the liver to convert food into energy, clean out poisons (including alcohol), help to digest our food, help produce hormones, store glycogen, and regulate generally every important function of our metabolic process.  The liver literally receives 30% of the blood circulating through your body every minute in order to perform its detoxifying and nutrient absorbing tasks.

The liver keeps you energized.  While carbohydrates can provide the body with energy, it is the liver that actually manages its distribution.  Once the gastrointestinal tract breaks the carbs down into glucose, the liver regulates and maintains the healthy levels.  Continue reading “Why is the liver so important?”

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