foot pain

  1. Sugary drinks raise gout risk

    Sweets wreck feet

    When I say sugar is a poison that can do damage from head to toe, I'm not just using a figure of speech.

    There's almost no part of the body sugar can't wreck, right down to the tips of your toes -- because new research confirms yet again that sugary drinks can increase your risk of gout.

    Gout is a painful form of arthritis that can technically strike almost any joint, but it usually targets just one: your toe... specifically the big one.

    It's a throbbing, stabbing pain that can keep you off your feet, wake you in the night and make your life miserable in so many ways -- and if you drink four sugary drinks a day, your risk of getting it jumps by nearly 700 percent.

    If you don't drink four sodas a day, you're not in the clear. Even a single one of these sugary drinks a day can increase the risk by 12 percent, according to the study out of New Zealand.

    And that's not even the worst part of this... because while we've seen the link between sugar and gout before, the study finds something else that's both completely new and absolutely shocking.

    Some people have a gene that helps them to get rid of uric acid -- a gene that actually protects them from gout, decreasing the risk and in some cases making it almost impossible to get.

    But if that gene is a super power, soda is its kryptonite -- because it can block that gene. In fact, soda drinkers who have the gene actually have a slightly higher risk of gout than soda drinkers without the gene, according to the study.

    There's an easy answer here, and that's to avoid sugar, especially the sugar in soft drinks -- because gout isn't the worst risk that comes from a soda habit.

    Any soda at all can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes and more.

    If there's anything worse than the sugars in soda, it's the chemical sweeteners used in diet drinks -- so if you're going to make a switch (and I strongly recommend that you do so) don't make a change from regular to diet.

    Make a clean break from all sugary drinks.

    Stick to filtered water, plain seltzer or tea. If you add a squeeze of citrus, you can add some flavor and actually protect yourself from gout.

    And for more gout-fighting tips, read this free report from the House Calls archives.

  2. Natural solutions for gout

    Gout used to be known as "the rich man's disease" because it usually struck the wealthy -- the only ones who could afford to over-consume the foods that cause this painful form of arthritis.

    Today, you don't have to be rich (or even a man) to suffer from gout -- just fat. And since more people are fatter than ever before, more people are also battling the foot pain that marks this condition.

    New numbers show that 4 percent -- or 8.3 million Americans -- fought gout in 2008, compared to just 1 percent between 1988 and 1994.

    That's a 400-percent increase inside of a generation -- and in the coming years, it could get even worse. Recent government numbers show 21 percent of us have high levels of the uric acid responsible for gout.

    That's an increase of 700 percent from the surveys taken between 1988 and 1994.

    But whatever you do, don't turn to Big Pharma's solution for gout. Drugs designed to treat the problem have been known to cause nausea, joint pain, and even liver problems. They've also been linked to chest pain, vomiting, bruising, constipation, allergic reactions, and even more gout flare-ups.

    There are better ways to beat gout, and you can get some of the most immediate relief with something that was often dismissed as a folk remedy -- until a recent study found it really worked.

    Researchers say 20 cherries eaten over 48 hours can reduce the risk of a gout attack by 50 percent, while cherry extract slashed the odds by 40 percent. I've noticed cherry juice popping up on supermarket shelves, so feel free to give that a try. Just make sure it's 100 percent cherry juice and not cherry-flavored sugar water.

    If you don't have any cherries handy, try celery. Celery can keep the enzyme that produces uric acid in check, and some people have reported gout relief from as little as a single stalk.

    Others need more -- nearly an entire bunch -- and all the peanut butter in the world won't make it any easier to eat that much. If that's the case, try 75mg of celery seed extract, twice a day, instead.

    You don't have to be rich to get gout. And since celery -- and celery seed -- is cheap and plentiful, you don't have to be rich to beat it, either.

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