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Individualized Gout Treatment

Updated on February 19, 2012

If you have been following me, you know that I have been a long time gout sufferer. Over the course of the last few years, I have researched this malady over and over again, and astonishingly I have come up with different answers each time. One research site tells me one thing, while another is completely contradictory.

My brother, who is 6 years older than me has suddenly developed a bad case of gout over the last year. He questions me about it frequently, since I happen to be the family “expert”. He has always eaten well, has looked out for what he puts in his body, but has still developed this painful condition. He recently has gone vegan, and has a lot of beans and other legumes in his diet. If it were me, that would set off an attack in no time. But after long cross country phone calls and emails comparing notes, we have both come to the conclusion that everyone assimilates purines in different ways and what would raise my uric acid to unsafe levels would seemingly not even sway the levels of another person.

My brother claims that his gout attacks have been less frequent since he became vegan, and that makes sense; he is not taking in any animal proteins, a common cause of gout attacks. But he has increased his intake of high purine foods such as legumes, dark green vegetables and certain nuts. But coupled with that, he is offsetting those high purine levels by taking in dark red berries, an antioxidant that works adversely to high uric acid levels.

So I tried it. It didn’t work. Any legumes in any moderate to large quantity cause me tremendous pain. It seems that I can have most foods in strictly monitored moderation, as long as I drink large amounts of water each day and have plenty of dark red berries or pure juice on hand. The best berries to have are dark red Bing cherries, or pure cherry juice. But still, I am as individual as the next guy.

When I compare myself to other cases that I read about, I notice that everyone has a different reaction to the cause. The doctors that are out there treating this condition are treating it all the same way with the same dietary information and the same medications. A gout patient’s treatment has to be custom tailored to his or her own physiological condition, not according to some table in the back of an arthritis handbook.

The basic rules are the same: Moderation on the meats, no organ meats, no dark green veggies, no beer and limit other alcohol. After that, the gout patient has to experiment. The best way to experiment is to keep a journal of what was taken in each day, noting the time. If there is no gouty reaction, then it’s not noteworthy. But once the symptoms start, usually within 1 to 3 hours of ingestion, write it down and trace it back to what you ate. You will learn to recognize patterns and can figure out for yourself what you can or cannot eat. Most likely, it will be different than the next guy’s journal in the waiting room.

Do research. Educate yourself on what is going on with other gout sufferers. There are a lot of us out there, approximately 5 million gout patients in the U.S. alone. We are all suffering individually together. We need to keep in touch.

©2012 By Del Banks


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      El Ray 

      6 years ago

      Del: very good information presented in this Hub article on treating Gout. I agree that each patient must be treated individually. Even though I haven't experienced a gout attack since the summer of 2011, I stay away from fried foods, alcohol & beer and foods/drinks containing high fructose corn syrup; everything else is fair game. What's effective in treating one patient isn't for another. Black cherry concentrate extract works for me, but ACV with "the mother" in it doesn't (it did when I had my 1st acute attack). Voted up + useful!

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