goutIt wasn’t until sometime in 2015 that my wife, Josie, found out that gout was the main cause of her recurring pain. Well, okay, she also had other things bothering her, but they rarely caused her any pain.

The Wikipedia description (from that period) said gout is a form of arthritis, caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. The uric acid crystallizes, and the crystals get deposited in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues. Where does that uric acid come from? The kidneys, of course. What it means is the kidneys aren’t working as well as they should.

Gout Is a Dietary Problem

More people are being diagnosed with gout today than ever before. It was once called a rich man’s disease. It’s actually a “condition”, not a disease. Regardless, it has spread from the rich to the poor and in underdeveloped countries as well as the developed.

My mother-in-law and a brother-in-law were both diagnosed with gout in the Philippines. Josie was never diagnosed with it, and it’s been the cause of most of her pain for years. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law were given dietary restrictions, restrictions that are hard to follow without a decent income. Josie has always kept a healthy diet going, so I think some of it may be caused by heredity.

The answer to the problem isn’t restricting what you eat or drink. The answer is drinking something you don’t normally drink. Adding that drink to your daily diet, as much as possible, will prevent gout from appearing or reappearing.

The Cure Is Easier Than a Diet

Years ago, Josie was put on bed rest by her doctor in the United States. Basically, due to back pain, she couldn’t get out of bed for any reasonable length of time. For two weeks. Until I forced her to drink nearly a gallon of cranberry juice at one time, nothing helped. She was taking pain pills and muscle relaxers until that day. After flushing her kidneys, the pain disappeared, and she was back to normal.

For longer than I can remember, a few years at least, Josie complained of a numbing kind of pain in her left arm. It usually occurred when she was trying to sleep. I suggested she should flush her kidneys again. I don’t know why I thought it might help. It was a hunch. Well, she did as I recommended, and the pain didn’t return for months.

Josie had seen more than three specialists in Phoenix, Arizona, and not one of them could figure out what the cause of her pain was. It turned out my hunch was correct, fueled by the symptoms my mother-in-law and brother-in-law were displaying when they were diagnosed with gout. Gout normally affects the big toe of one foot before anything else. Not in these cases. These all started in the left arms.

You don’t have to use cranberry juice to flush your kidneys. Any fruit juice with a lot of citric acid will do the job. Pineapple juice, orange juice and some tropical juices (like guava, my favorite) will do the trick just as well. It takes more than a half of a gallon, or more than two liters. You have to urinate a lot, or it just won’t work.

Vitamin C May or May Not Help

Josie was taking vitamin C supplements. At first, it was because she had an oral infection. She stopped taking them after the infection went away and then started taking them again. This time, it was to fend off the gout.

According to this source, vitamin C can prevent gout from occurring. According to this source, it won’t help with established gout. Regardless, Josie takes vitamin C supplements when she can’t get enough fruit juice for the amount of vitamin C she needs. She prefers pineapple juice. As long as she doesn’t eat certain types of fish and crustaceans, the symptoms of gout don’t seem to return.

If vitamin C doesn’t work, there are only two alternatives: Suffering or prescription medication. I hope it never comes to making a choice between those two.

Image by James Heilman, MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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