By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Gout is a very painful type of arthritis that usually affects the lower extremities. In 90 percent of cases gout affects the big toe. It’s also common in the joints of the feet and ankles.
Gout occurs when there is a build up of uric acid in the bloodstream, which then gets deposited in the joints and other tissues, including the kidneys. Everyone has some uric acid in their bloodstream; people with gout make too much of it or don’t excrete it well enough. A gout attack can develop extremely quickly, such as overnight. It is more common in men and tends to run in families.
A painful gout attack can last days or even weeks and it may not return for many months or years. If symptoms are not addressed, over time a state of chronic joint inflammation may develop into progressive cartilage and bone damage. The elevated uric acid also places the kidneys at risk. Having too much uric acid in your bloodstream is unhealthy, not just for the joints.
The conventional medical treatment of gout involves the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or other medication to lower uric acid. This can offer temporary relief but doesn’t address the source of the problem. Long term use of anti-inflammatory drugs increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, and it does cause leaky gut.
People with gout are at higher risk of kidney stones and type 2 diabetes. Syndrome X (insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome) is the underlying cause of gout in most instances. Therefore reversing syndrome X is the key to preventing gout attacks.