gout attack

  1. Small dietary changes can help keep gout away

    Little adjustments can make a big difference for gout

    There's good news and bad news for gout sufferers. Here's the bad news first: A new study confirms that some of your favorite foods -- including beef and fish -- can bring on the pain.

    Now the good news: You don't have to give those foods up.

    The new study offers one of the most detailed looks yet at how gout attacks begin in people prone to the disease -- and of course, it starts with eating too many foods rich in purines.

    But we already knew that.

    Where this new study differs is in the numbers -- because for the first time, we can see the actual tipping point, and it's 0.07 ounces of purines over two days.

    When the 633 men in the study had a gout attack, it was almost always after passing that level. And in random two-day periods that didn't precede an attack, they averaged 0.06 ounces or less.

    Those numbers might sound incredibly small, and they are since even purine-rich foods contain very low levels of the stuff.

    The 0.07 ounces responsible for gout attacks equal what you'll find in 3.8 pounds of beef or 7.9 pounds of spinach, while 0.06 ounces of purines are what you'll get from 3.1 pounds of beef or 6.4 pounds of spinach.

    Obviously, you're not going to be eating just beef and spinach (not to mention you shouldn't be eating close to 2 pounds of beef a day even if you're not prone to gout). And of course, these are averages, so your own tipping point might be a little higher or lower.

    But the new study offers an excellent starting point for working on your own purine-restricted diet -- and you can start by getting to know not only which foods contain purines, but how much you'll find in each serving.

    In general, the foods with the highest levels include organ meats such as liver as well as seafood such as sardines, mussels, anchovies, and herring. Chicken has some as well, but not quite as much.

    Vegetables have much lower levels, but the ones with the most include spinach, mushrooms, lentils, asparagus, and cauliflower.

    You'll also find it in pasta and yeast. And, sorry beer lovers, but your favorite suds are bubbling over with purines.

    If despite your best efforts you cross your own gout tipping point, there are natural ways to beat the pain -- including cherry, especially sour cherry, and celery seed extract.

    And as I have written before, people with high blood sugar levels are more prone to gout, so get those under control as well.

    For more on keeping gout at bay, read my free report "The right way to beat gout."

  2. Beat the high price of beating gout

    I know the cost of everything is rising, but this is ridiculous: A common remedy for gout and other inflammatory conditions has shot up by more than 2,700 percent.

    The remedy is called colchicine, and it's been used for literally thousands of years.

    It's been used for so long that it predates the FDA's drug approval rules, making it technically an "orphan drug" allowed for use despite the fact that the FDA never officially signed off on it.

    Well, it's an orphan no more: A company called URL Pharma put it through a clinical trial -- no real gamble since the drug has been effectively used since forever -- and won itself a shiny new patent.

    Now called Colcrys, the price of the average 23-day prescription shot up from $6.72 to $185.53, according to a recent CBS News report.

    That's a pretty hefty markup. And if that sounds familiar, it's because it's happening more and more as orphan drugs are captured -- or maybe "kidnapped" is a better word -- and dragged into the Big Pharma family.

    Earlier this year, a drug company patented hydroxyprogesterone -- an inexpensive hormone used for years to help lower the risk of a preterm birth in high-risk pregnancies -- and boosted the price by 15,000 percent.

    Then, the company had the nerve to send legal threats to compounding pharmacists who continued to make the cheaper version of the hormone on their own.

    Eventually, the feds stepped in and told pharmacists they could keep making their low-cost version -- but don't expect them to do that for colchicine, and don't expect them to do it for the estimated 1,000 other "orphan" meds out there waiting for a new Big Pharma family.

    And that means any inexpensive remedy you rely on today could turn into a big-money nightmare tomorrow.

    Luckily, in the case of gout, you don't have to pay those outrageous prices -- and since colchicine is actually toxic and can come with some pretty big risks up to and including death, you don't have to put your life on the line, either.

    There are inexpensive and completely natural solutions that have been used to fight gout for almost as long as colchicine -- and one of them is the best-tasting cure around: Cherries.

    One recent study fond that eating 20 cherries in 48 hours can cut the risk of a gout attack in half. If you don't have any cherries handy, try cherry juice -- the pure stuff, not some sugary cherry drink.

    I had more on gout -- including another completely natural and inexpensive treatment -- back in September, and you can read it all for free right here.

  3. 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.

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