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Natural Gout Treatment - The Results Of A Gout Diet That Had A Lot Of Success

This is the second article of a series about this diet. Please see Natural Gout Treatment - The Rules Of A Gout Diet That Had A Lot Of Success, for the first article.


Who gets gout Although it is sometimes referred to as "rich mans disease", anyone can get it. About 5% of all cases of arthritis are actually gout. It is much more common in men than women, and usually develops in men in their late 30's or early 40's. Women usually develop gout later in life, in their 50's or 60's. Medical experts believe that estrogen protects women against hyperuricemia. During menopause when estrogen levels decrease, women lost this protection and uric crystals can start to accumulate in joints.


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  NB. The contents of this article contain medical information not medical advice. Please always discuss remedies with your doctor or other health care professional before implementing any treatment.

Refined and simple carbohydrates are found in foods made from refined grains (for example refined flours which are the basis for pasta, breads, cakes, biscuits (cookies) pies, pastries); white rice; and most cereals. And notably from sugars with the exception of fruit sugar,(fructose) and galactose. Simple carbohydrates include corn and other syrups, table sugar and honey; candies (sweets); processed foods with added sugar; and some fruits and vegetables.

Treatment Doctors can prescribe several drugs. These drugs work to decrease the amount of uric acid in joints. This helps to reduce the symptoms and frequency of attacks. If not treated, serious permanent damage can occur. This can lead to permanent disability.

RULES Calories were restricted to 1,600 a day: 40% from carbohydrates, 30% from protein and 30% from mono and poly unsaturated fats.

What causes gout? Uric acid is naturally produced by the liver, and is found in the blood stream. Uric acid is a by-product of certain products, especially those containing purine. Foods that are known to contain large concentrations of purine include: sardines, anchovies, liver, brains, dried peas and beans.

After four months on this diet the effects on uric acid levels and gout attacks were quite impressive. Weight loss and uric acid levels Weight loss over the period was almost 17lbs (7.7kg) i.e. at a rate of about 1lb a week. All but one of the patients lost weight. The median uric acid (UA) fall was 1.7mg/dL.Another very interesting finding was that a more elevated blood uric acid level at the start of the study, meant a large fall of blood uric acid by the end of it. Uric acid levels normalised in 7 of 12 patients who had raised levels of uric acid (UA) before the study.

There are known two types of gout, primary and secondary. The first category includes more than 90 % of the gout sufferers. When uric acid is elevated in response to some other health problem such as kidney disease we can say that it is a case of secondary gout.

There is another cause of gout theory, which is that excess uric acid (hyperuricemia) is the result of insulin resistance, the pre type 2 diabetes condition. Insulin resistance in gout has been the subject of many studies. Simply put, insulin resistance is the condition where the cells become more resistant to allowing insulin to deliver glucose (mainly broken down from carbohydrate in foods) to them, for the purpose of energy creation. It's as if the jailer refuses to open the door of the cell. It's one of the causes of excess insulin. Excess insulin has been found in a number of studies to inhibit uric acid excretion as well as causing other problems.

Symptoms of gout The main symptom of gout is severe pain. If the gout is in the feet, it can be so severe that the sufferer cannot stand. Inflamed skin around the joint can be red and shiny, and over the course of time can get worse. Over the course of time, the frequency of attacks will increase, and the attacks will last longer. If left untreated, more and more joints will be effected and stone-like deposits can build up in the joints. This is known as tophi, and can lead to permanent disability.

Responsible for gout development might be an impropriate diet or high alcohol intake. Gout can also occur after a surgical intervention or after a severe illness. Joint injury might also be a cause of gout development. Specialists also noticed that medicines like aspirin and diuretics can lead to gout attacks because they stop in one way or another the excretion of uric acid from the body.

But some studies have found that a low purine gout diet has no effect on uric acid levels. Most likely one reason is because most uric acid in the body is made in the liver from purine molecules of DNA and RNA, and not from the purines in foods and beverages. Another reason may be that the problem for a gout sufferer is not that he/she is producing too much uric acid but that he/she is not excreting enough.

To examine whether a diet could affect the markers that show insulin resistance exists, and lower uric acid levels, researchers in South Africa put 13 males, all gout sufferers, on a diet governed by three cardinal rules of the Zone diet, the well-known diet book written in the1990's by Barry Sears PhD.

Fats Saturated fats, which are among the fats found in meat fat, dairy products, beef tallow (beef dripping) and lard, were swapped for monounsaturated fats (e.g. olive oil, canola oil) and polyunsaturated fats, (oils such as corn, sunflower and soybean oils). However, in the study, participants took polyunsaturated fats from fish. They were advised to eat fish at least four times a week during the study, even fish that are high purine such as mackerel.

The most commonly medicines used are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) and colchicine. Both treatments help ease the pain and have an anti-inflammatory effect. The difference between these two possible ways of treatment is that colchicine may develop unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or abdominal cramps.

The problem with gout is that in most of the cases it is a misunderstood disease. Gout is caused by the increase of the uric acid crystals in the joints or in the surrounding tissues. Gout develops various symptoms that usually involve pain. These symptoms may include warmth, swelling and extreme sensitivity of the affected joints. In more than 50 % of the cases big toe joint affection is seen in gout patients. This is the most common problem when it comes to gout.

Diagnosing gout A physician can usually diagnose gout very easily. A physical examination as well as certain tests are used to measure the amount of uric acid in the blood. Sometimes a sample of fluid is taken from the joints and tested for the presence of urate crystals.

This is the first of an article series about this diet. See the bottom of this article for how to read the second article. Natural gout treatment largely involves diet. The most widely touted gout diet for sufferers of "the disease of kings," is the low purine gout diet. The cause of gout theory behind it is that because uric acid is made from purines, and because uric acid is the gout culprit, purine intake from foods and beverages should be restricted.

NB. The contents of this article contain medical information not medical advice. Please always discuss remedies with your doctor or other health care professional before implementing any treatment.

So in this diet there was moderate restriction of calories and carbohydrate, and control over proportional consumption of carbohydrate, protein and of fats. In the Zone diet the number of calories you get from food should be in the proportions of: from carbohydrates (40%), from protein (30%) and from fat (30%). This is one of the principles at the core of the diet. These proportions, or numbers close to them (getting more or less there is allowed) should be eaten at every meal and snack too. In the study, participants were asked to keep to these proportions at each meal, and they were encouraged to eat 3 to 5 meals and snacks daily, another Zone diet rule.

What is gout? Gout is a type of arthritis. It is caused by the buildup of uric acid in your joints. It can affect the foot, heel, ankle, elbow, wrist or hand. Most often though, it affects the big toe. Gout is a reoccurring problem that comes and goes. It usually comes on without warning, and then goes away after 7-10 days.

So a fall of 1.7 mg/dL, given these numbers, is quite significant, although you should note that many gout sufferers have UA levels much higher than 7.2 mg/dL, and some gout sufferers do not have excess uric acid.

Were the study patients taking long term medications, such as Allopurinol, for their gout? They were not. They were only taking medications for gout attacks. The study report did not say how much water they drank. Most gout sufferers know that drinking lots of water helps to remove uric acid. In gout treatment there are always caveats. The study was small. Only 13 male gout sufferers. The study lasted just four months, although there were follow-up results after one year (median). The researchers noted a connection between weight loss and a fall in uric acid levels in another study and expected the nutrient proportions (40:30:30) contributed to the uric acid fall. They thought that the dietary measures caused the desired improvement in insulin sensitivity.

John Mepham has spent much time researching gout. His best tip for curing gout naturally? Get to your ideal weight whatever the sacrifices may be. Learn more about this study and about natural gout treatment at www.gout-smashers-guide.com It's an e-book with a emphasis on natural gout treatment. The Zone diet, and other books by Barry Sears, are available at Official site of The Zone Diet The books can be found by clicking on the products tab on the home page.

In the study report, uric acid levels were expressed as mmol/l. In this article I have converted these mmol/l numbers to mg/dL, which is a more frequently used measurement.

 
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Alcohol can interfere with the removal of uric acid from the body. Regular consumption of alcohol increases the likelihood of getting gout. Other risk factors include:

For more information about gout please review http://www.gout-info-center.com/foods-that-cause-gout.htm or even http://www.gout-info-center.com/gout-symptoms.htm

One participant did not have a raised UA level before the start. It was about 5.9mg/dL. But we already know that gout can occur in people with normal uric acid levels, so this was not unusual.

There isn't space in this article to explain more about the difference between complex and refined carbohydrates. If you're not sure, the subject is easily researched on the Internet. For example, do an Internet search for "Glycemic Index," or "Glycemic Load."

-Injury to the joint -Exposure to lead -Diet. Foods that contain large amounts of purine include red meat, creamy sauces, scallops, anchovies, beans, liver and heavy creamy sauces. -Medication. Aspirin, levodopa and several other medicines can interfere with the kidneys ability to remove uric acid from the body. -Excess body weight.

Note especially that the mean uric acid (UA) fall was 1.7mg/dL. In a couple of cases it fell by 2.2 mg/dL and by 2.5mg/dL respectively. Hyperuricemia, (excess uric acid), which may lead to gout, is reckoned to exist if the UA levels exceed 7.2 mg/dL (men), and 6.0 mg/dL (women). The usual UA target in gout treatment is 6.0 mg/dL (somewhat less in women) because at this level the MSU crystals, formed mainly from uric acid may dissolve. (It is the immune system's response to these crystals, which it regards as foreign bodies, which causes the pain and inflammation of gout).

Anyone going on the Zone diet will have their personal daily carbohydrate, protein, and fat requirement. How to discover it is explained in Barry Sears' "Enter the Zone" book. The amount of protein you can eat determines the amounts of carbohydrates and unsaturated fats, in the 4:3:3 proportions, you can eat. Why the 4:3:3 rule is important is also explained in the book. If you know about soccer, you can think of the 4:3:3 rule as the commonly used soccer team formation. Or, another way of putting it, is to say that calories from protein are 0.75 (75%) of calories from carbohydrate and calories from fat are in the same proportion as calories from protein. Getting almost to 4:3:3 is allowed.

This study, based on the Zone diet, did have a positive effect on markers of insulin resistance: triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) fell. HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) did not fall. But my purpose in this article is mainly to describe its direct effect on uric acid levels and gout attacks.

The study can be found online if you search "Beneficial effects of weight loss associated with moderate calorie/carbohydrate restriction, and increased proportional intake of protein and unsaturated fat on serum urate and lipoprotein levels in gout: a pilot study." Copy and paste this into a search engine search box and hit enter.

Refined carbohydrate foods were swapped for complex carbohydrate foods. i.e. they ate complex carbohydrates, not refined carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates can be found in foods made from whole grains, (eg. whole grain flours and products made from them), and in many vegetables, low sugar fruits and beans.

In order to prevent gout attacks specialists recommend a healthy diet low in purine. Alcohol should be avoided because it has a major influence in initiating attacks. If symptoms are noticed it is recommended to seek for professional help.

Diet and gout Most often, your diet will determine if you get gout. However, heredity is also a factor. About 18% of people with gout find that it runs in their families.

Complex carbohydrates are lower on the Glycemic Index (GI) scale than refined carbohydrates because they have a slower effect on blood glucose, and so the response of insulin to blood glucose is slower and more moderate. Insulin is much more responsive to refined and simple carbohydrates.

As we mentioned before gout is caused by the increasing levels of uric acid in the fluids of human body. The uric acid crystals are deposited in joints, tendons and kidneys and may cause serious damage and severe pain.

Preventing gout The best medication for gout is prevention. A healthy lifestyle decreases your chances for getting gout. Maintaining a proper weight, and limiting alcohol intake will help. Dehydration is also know to increase the formation of urate crystals. Drinking a lot of water daily will help "flush" uric acid from the blood stream. It is recommended that you drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Also, try to avoid foods high in purine such as alcohol, red meat, sardines, beans, rich sauces, scallops, liver and dried peas.

The results were sufficiently impressive to give hope and encouragement to any gout sufferer who tries this diet as accurately as possible. The study was conducted in 1999. Unfortunately it has not been followed up by a much larger one designed on the same lines. If conducted, such a study would expand our knowledge of natural gout treatment, perhaps considerably. A natural gout cure is what most gout sufferers want.

And gout attacks? Results overall were expressed as a median. Before the study, participants had at least two attacks in the preceding four months. Median monthly attacks before the study were 2.1. After it, attacks fell to 0.6. The fall in the number of gout attacks occurred in all except one patient. The exception participant had shorter and less severe attacks. Eight of the 13 did not have a gout attack during the four month study period, although as mentioned, they had all had at least two in the previous four months and, as noted above, the median was 2.1 a month, or one attack a fortnight, (every two weeks).

Now please visit the second article: Natural Gout Treatment - The Results Of A Gout Diet That Had A Lot Of Success

John Mepham has spent much time researching gout. His best tip for curing gout naturally? Get to your ideal weight whatever the sacrifices may be. Learn more about this study and about natural gout treatment in detail at www.gout-smashers-guide.com/ It's an e-book with an emphasis on natural gout treatment The Zone diet, and other books by Barry Sears, are available at the Official site of The Zone Diet The books can be found by clicking on the products tab on the home page.

Treatments include anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids. These medications can help alleviate symptoms in as little as a week. Before taking any medications for gout, you need to discuss the potential side effects with your doctor. Certain medications can cause severe gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side effects.

Meat and Alcohol They also ate meat, no doubt lean meat since mono and polyunsaturated fats were encouraged. (Meat does contain both these fats, as well as saturated fats). Participants' alcohol consumption was moderate, there were no alcohol rules, and it remained the same as usual.

Uric acid is filtered out of the body by the kidneys. It is then excreted in urine. When too much uric acid is produced by the liver, the kidneys are not able to remove it all, and it builds up in the blood stream. This build up of uric acid in the blood stream is known as hyperuricemia. Over time the uric acid crystallizes and ends up settling in joint spaces. White blood cells eventually mistake the crystals as a foreign invader to the body, and gather into the joints as well to attack the crystals. This causes inflammation, ie: swelling, redness, and the typical gout pain.

AFTER ONE YEAR About a year later, five of nine patients had no more gout attacks and three had just one attack. So there was a further decrease in attack frequency overall. One patient gained weight after the end of the study. He must have given up on the diet. He suffered three attacks over three months. His blood uric acid levels rose with his weight.

The first phase of gout means an episode that happens at night. People often feel the symptoms during the night and caused pain to the affected joints. In some cases the attack follows a day of excess in alcohol, food or drugs. After progress the attack develops fever and chills along with pain. In more than 90 % of the cases these episodes are recurrent and might develop during the first year. Even if it is certitude that chronic gout cases are rare we have to mention that there is a risk of developing kidney dysfunctions and kidney stones.

This article was written by Scott Mogul, editor for Healthy Skin Guide and Quick Care. For additional information about gout and gout treatment, please visit www.healthy-skin-guide.com


 
 
     
 
 





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