I used to have gout.
The memory of how it used to hurt makes me wince even today.
Was it the most painful thing in the world? I reckon so.
Gout hurt like nothing I’ve ever known.
To the point that it made me cry. Real tears.
And I don’t cry for anything or anyone.
Doctors did their best. They told me to eat less meat, drink less alcohol. Drink more water.
Take these medications to reduce the symptoms.
Try this treatment.
And so on. You may well be familiar with all this.
But let me tell you: if I had known then what I know now I wouldn’t have bothered with any of that.
Because too many doctors today are still fixated on gout’s symptoms – rather than gout’s actual causes.
Whereas US and European research over the last couple of decades has revealed what actually causes gout.
Meaning that a natural, drug-free remedy for gout is already known. And practitioners were getting close to 100% clear-up rates.
I was a little skeptical at first. I thought I’d have to manage gout for the rest of my life.
But way too many people have been restored to gout-free health for me to ignore the evidence.
And I’m so glad I didn’t ignore it. Because I haven’t had gout for over two years now.
No pain, no flare-ups. Nothing.
I can’t tell you how happy I am about that!
Here’s how it happened:
I used to have gout.
The attacks came just about every month and they were simply awful.
Now, I haven’t had an attack for more than 2 years. I don’t think I’ll ever have another one ever again.
At their worst those attacks were disabling. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t go to work….
I was literally unable to get up because even the slightest movement of the affected area was beyond unbearable.
I couldn’t sleep properly with bedclothes … which, in cooler weather, meant turning the heating up in the house.
Not comfortable for my wife, not good for our energy bills.
The causes of gout… and the real causes of gout
After my first encounter with gout my doctor gave me the standard explanation of its causes.
He said that gout was caused by excess uric acid in the blood.
Uric acid is a byproduct of the processing of certain foods.
The uric acid comes from the liver as a waste product. It’s sent to the kidneys from where it is supposed to be removed from the body.
I had gout because, in a nutshell, gout is what you get when your body isn’t expelling all its uric acid.
The excess uric acid forms tiny, spike-shaped crystals.
Those crystals get into your bloodstream.
From there, they find their way into your joints.
And from time-to-time the immune system attacks them.
And when the immune system does that… the inflammation that results is experienced as a ‘gout attack’.
Also known as excruciating, awful pain.
If you suffer from gout then I truly feel for you. I know what you’re going through.
It’s been just over 2 years now since my final gout attack. But I still remember what it felt like.
Anyway, that was the doctor’s explanation of gout. So far, so simple.
Gout only gets worse
Over the first year or so my gout attacks went from one attack every 1 or 2 months, to monthly and then, occasionally, to every few weeks.
I started with the standard meds: anti-inflammatories, steroid jabs, drugs to reduce the uric acid in my blood….
Really, despite his best intentions I think my doctor was simply trying things out.
Treatments are offered as much in hope as in the expectation they’ll do anything.
But even when a drug did do some good I knew I was just managing the condition.
And I realized that for many gout sufferers this was the case.
They could swallow any number of pills, inject as much steroid as their bodies could handle… and avoid every suspect piece of food and drink.
The underlying problem – the actual cause of the gout – was still there, creating all sorts of problems for the body to deal with.
I followed the typical Do’s and Don’ts. It’s typical stuff – exercise more, lose weight, eat a balanced diet (whatever that is), eat less red meat, don’t smoke (I never have), go a couple of days a week without alcohol…
And it made precisely no difference to my gout at all.
Although, to be honest: if I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have bothered with any of that.
Asking the awkward questions
My natural curiosity prompted me to ask questions about this disease.
If uric acid leads to gout then… why did I suddenly have too much uric acid in my blood?
Well, it makes sense that either (a) I was suddenly producing too much of it or (b) that my body simply was no longer removing it effectively.
And it turns out that the answer is… b.
In fact, for 90% of gout sufferers scientists say it isn’t over-production of uric acid that is the problem.
It’s the under-processing of it.
In other words, something’s going wrong with the body’s ability to expel uric acid properly.
So I was quite puzzled.
Here’s how I thought about it.
There was a time when I hadn’t even heard of gout – much less suffered from it.
Then I had gout for just over 3 years.
And then, two years ago, I experienced my last ever gout attack. And never suffered another one.
So. For a number of decades of my life my body handled the uric acid effectively.
Suddenly it could no longer handle that acid properly… and so I found myself with gout.
Fast-forward after three years of gout and, once again, everything is fine. I’m gout-free.
It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to work this out.