Good news, Bad news. The bad news is that gout has become much more common in recent years. The good news is that it is almost completely reversible. First, a definition from Wikipedia:
Gout (also known as podagra when it involves the big toe) is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected (approximately 50% of cases). However, it may also present as tophi, kidney stones, or urate nephropathy. It is caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. The uric acid crystallizes, and the crystals deposit in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues.
So far, I have only published one blog on this disease (See link below). Responding to a letter from a reader that blog was posted on 12-29-11. Almost immediately, there was a comment from Dr. Craig Holman, one of my regular readers. He speaks to the surge in frequency of this disease as well as the simplicity of the cure. Here it is for your convenience.
I am a podiatrist having practiced for 33 years. When I first started my practice, I saw gout about once a month. Now I see this problem 2-3 times a week. Our genes have not changed. Our environment has. Most patients are either on a diuretic for hypertension (of course life style related) or are obese. Rarely I see someone who is normal weight without a diuretic.
There is a presenation on youtube about Sugar the bitter truth that discussed the biochemistry of high fructose corn sugar. When in the liver it either goes to fat or uric acid the cause of the gout attack. Interesting that HFCS has increased dramatically in our food supply at the same time the incidence of gout has escalated. Go to a whole foods plant based diet and all will be well.
90-Minute Video (viewed over 3 million times)
Another great resource for information on almost every health topic is Dr. Michael Greger. For the past few years, he’s been publishing a new short video every day and now has quite a searchable library at nutritionfacts.org. I met Dr. Greger in November of 2012 and strongly recommend his work to all of my readers.
On the subject of gout, he has posted several videos that mention it, but this one seems to be the most relevant—and it is less than two minutes.
In our book, we talk about many other diseases of affluence that are not seen very often in populations that eat a whole foods, plant-based diet. My very strong conviction is that whole, plant-based foods comprise the natural diet for our species and that when we eat at the 4Leaf level (over 80% of our calories from whole plants), many of our health maladies will simply disappear. Maybe that will happen with your gout; maybe not.
I started eating this way in 2002 when I was 57. Since then, my borderline high cholesterol, blood pressure, PSA and A1C levels have all moved effortlessly into the very healthy zone while I dropped 25 pounds to my ideal weight of 155 today. Today, at age 67, I take no medications, enjoy near perfect health and rarely ever see a physician anymore — unless I have an accident.
When I hear people talking about their list of “food allergies,” I often wonder, “What would happen to all of those allergies if they traded their toxic Western diet for a health-promoting, whole foods, plant-based diet?” My guess is that most, if not all, of their food allergies would disappear.
One-on-one MD Help. Sadly, 95% of our medical doctors are not aware of the power of plant-based nutrition to combat many chronic diseases, including gout. If you would like a second opinion (about gout) from a medical doctor who truly “gets it” about food, you may wish to visit our MD Help page and schedule a telephone consultation with one of the MDs listed there. Please forward this page to anyone you know that may be interested in learning more about the causes and prevention of gout.
- Earlier blog. A reader asks about gout; historically, the disease of kings (12-29-11)
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Let me hear from you at email@example.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700. Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation