Posts Tagged Alternative Medicine

The Most Misused Gout Drug, Colchicine

Gout is a disease that medical science obsessed over for, well, since medical science came into being.  Only in the last fifty years has gout become a “forgotten” disease.  Through this long and amazing history, gout has had a more or less faithful companion: the autumn crocus flower.  It’s from the bulb of this flower that colchicine comes.

Some reports say that colchicine has been in use for over 6000 years while other reports say its a much newer drug that has only been in use for 2000 years.  Regardless, it is still considered to be a first line drug by many doctors.  Unfortunately, those doctors are grossly out-of-date.  Not only in using colchicine first, but also in how they use it…

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Uric Acid Levels and Gout

If you have gout, it is important to get your uric acid levels tested regularly.  This is important for a couple of reasons.  First, if you are taking medication, or even natural remedies to lower uric acid levels, you want to make sure that they are actually working.  You also want to make sure that you are maintaining a healthy uric acid level – too much uric acid and gout can occur (bad) – too little uric acid and neurological issues can occur (rare, but worse).

Second, uric acid levels can fluctuate wildly, from day to day, even hour to hour.  A blood test gives you a snapshot of what your uric acid level is at that moment.  You could be having a good day and your uric acid level is low.  This might make you feel as though you do not need to take so much medication and scale back.  Unfortunately, this will likely result in a gout attack.
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Kidney Stones, a Gout Early Warning?

The “German Professional Association of Internists” released a statement on Monday saying that kidney stones may be an early warning sign for gout.  The statement claimed that as many as 40% developed kidney stones as a first indication of gout.

This makes sense.  It had been known for a long time that high levels of uric acid in the body can cause increased levels of uric acid excreted by the kidneys.  This excess uric acid can form uric acid kidney stones.  Not only that, but uric acid crystals can serve as a catalyst for the formation of kidney stones based on other substances such as calcium.
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Alternative Medicine for Gout

Gout is the only disease in all of medicine that has been correctly identified as a unique disease throughout all of recorded medical history. For over four thousand years doctors and healers have recognized pain and swelling of the big toe as most likely being gout. People often ask me what the “scientific name” for gout is.  It’s just ‘gout’ – there has never been any need to rename it.  Things like heart attacks where given more specific names like, myocardial infarction, when our understanding increased, but there has never been any need to rename gout.

In the past, gout was a disease that doctors and healers obsessed over. The disease tended to affected mostly kings and noblemen because they had the means to live a lifestyle that made gout more prevalent - peasants rarely developed gout, even if they where genetically predisposed to gout because their sparse diet and over all fitness (from really hard work) cancelled out this predisposition.

This meant that anyone that came up with an effective treatment, or better yet, a cure for gout would be on the fast track to riches as the wealthy would be willing to pay handsomely for a solution to their gout pain.  This resulted in a myriad of claims about gout treatments and cures, many of which not only still exist today but are widely believed as being helpful for gout. Of course, some of these ancient doctors actually did stumble on substances that have proven to be helpful for gout, but most just do not work.

In this article I will look at some of these treatments and look at which have scientific backing, which do not and which are potentially dangerous.
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Vitamin C and Gout

Vitamin C has been in the news lately as a natural means of managing gout.  It has been known for a long time that vitamin C intake helps the kidneys eliminate uric acid from the body and I wrote about it in my book, but this new study focused on seeing if this actually translated into a reduction in the frequency of gout attacks.  The results are pretty compelling.

This study, which followed 46,994 men over the course of twenty years showed that taking over 1500mg of vitamin C per day resulted in a 45% reduction in the risk of gout attacks.  Of course, taking this much vitamin C per day can be problematic for a couple of reasons:
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