Top 4 Strategies to Beat Gout Naturally
Gout is a disease in which uric acid levels accumulate and cause massive damage and swelling to various joints of the body. The uric acid is caused by poor dietary habits and metabolic stress. Specific lifestyle strategies can help reduce the symptoms of gout and restore proper metabolic function to beat gout naturally.
When uric acid accumulates it forms crystals called urates which are sharp and penetrate and irritate the joints. The most common areas to be effected by urates are the big toe, feet, ankles, wrists, knees & elbows. This can be extremely painful and most physicians are unable to treat it effectively without dangerous medications.
How Does Uric Acid Form:
Uric acid forms from two major biochemical patterns. The commonly discussed with doctors who treat individuals with gout is purine metabolism. Purines are molecules that are formed by a grouping of nucleic acids. They are prevalent in foods such as red meat and organ meats along with seafood and alcohol. Organ meats such as kidney and liver contain the most purines by far.
In general, some people don’t tolerate these foods as well as others. As a clinician, I typically recommend my clients consume organ meats, however, if they do have a history of gout, I will have them abstain from these foods for a while until we get their metabolism and microbiome back in order.
Gout and Fructose Metabolism
Recent research has linked gout formation with elevated fructose consumption. This second biochemical pathway indicated that fructose triggers the body’s production of uric acid from and important energy molecule adenosine triphosphate (1, 2, 3).
In New Zealand, the Maori people rarely encountered gout. Now, ten to fifteen percent of their population has gout symptoms in their lifetime. Seafood seems to be the major trigger for these Pacific islanders; however, they have always eaten a lot of seafood. These people eat fifty times more sugar and fructose (much like typical Americans) than they did 100 years ago (4).
Reduce Fructose Consumption:
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated that individuals who drink one fructose-rich beverage a day are 74% more likely of developing gout than those who drink the same beverage once per month. Individuals who drank two or more fructose sweetened beverages are 97 percent more likely to develop the disease (5).
Fructose is a form of sugar molecule that is most often found in corn, fruit and many plant based sweeteners such as agave nectar and honey (6). It is important to reduce fructose consumption by avoiding anything with high fructose corn syrup and minimizing the consumption of fruit juices, agave nectar and honey. Minimize the use of all fruit other than low fructose fruits such as berries, avocados, lemons, limes and grapefruit.
Beat Gout Naturally with this Lifestyle Plan
The typical diet for individuals with gout should be low in sugar and grains. Instead, focus on anti-oxidant rich vegetables and healthy fat sources. The best fat/protein sources include coconut products, avocados, extra-virgin olive oil and sprouted nuts and seeds. Healthy protein sources include 100% grass-fed beef in moderation, 100% raw grass-fed cheese, organic poultry & wild fish.
Individuals with gout do much better when they stick to an 80% raw diet. Any cooked food should be reserved for the evening meal. The daytime meals should be liquid in the form of shakes, cacao avocado mousse and vegetable juices. Salads, guacamole with veggies or raw, sprouted seed crackers is also great.
Digestive Enzymes and Fermented Foods:
Before any cooked food a digestive enzyme with lipase, protease and amylase should be used to enhance digestion. Lots of clean water should be consumed during the day and intermittent fasting for periods of 16-24 hours is encouraged to help detoxify the kidneys, liver and colon.
Individuals with gout should use apple cider vinegar and fresh squeezed lemon on salads, grains and meat. This helps provide organic acids and more enzymes and anti-oxidants to help pre-digest the meal. Fermented foods such as non-processed sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, amasai, & coconut kefir are very helpful.
Key Supplements for Gout:
There are a few standout supplements that help reduce gout symptoms. These include the bioflavonoids quercetin and rutin, along with vitamin C and the enzyme bromelein.
Quercetin is a natural chemical that is a type of plant pigment, meaning that it is responsible for the color that is found in many herbs and plant based foods. It is one of the bioflavonoids which occur naturally in a plants. Quercetin acts to inhibit an enzyme in the body called xanthine oxidase, whose role is to support uric acid production. It’s action is said to be quite similar to the gout drug allopurinol (7).
Citrus bioflavinoids such as rutin act to inhibit the xanthine oxidase pathway as well (8). The combination of quercetin and rutin has been shown to be reduce serum uric acid levels in mice and is considered a potentially therapeutic combo for people who suffer with gout (9, 10).
Bromelein is a proteolytic enzyme found most concentrated in the pineapple stem. This enhances the absorption of quercetin but also works as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body and reduces the inflammation that is associated with gout.
Bromelain may also increase blood flow to the inflamed area, and this can hasten and enhance healing during flare-ups. Finally, bromelain may block the production of kinins, which are substances that are thought to contribute to the swelling, inflammation and pain of gout.
The supplement that I use with gout patients is Allergy Protect which is a combination of quercetin, rutin, bromelain with vitamin C and other powerful herbs that reduce inflammation and uric acid production.