Gout Foods: Figs and Gout

Figs and gout is the 88th topic in the top gout searches series, described in Gout and You. Figs are a delicious food, often associated with an alkalizing gout diet menu. Before I discuss that, I need to clarify a specific link between figs and gout.

Some time ago, when reviewing how morin is helpful to gout sufferers, I started trying to find the best food sources for morin. I have some useful news about morin, but I cannot find anything meaningful about food sources. Though many gout studies associate morin with figs, those that do reveal sources always refer to extracts from mulberry bark. There are one or two studies into morin extracts from fig leaves, but nothing so far about the fruit. I believe the confusion may arise because mulberry and fig belong to the same plant group. Indeed the wide range of plants in the Moraceae family are often called the fig family or mulberry family. I will stop associating fig fruit with morin unless I find real evidence that it is a useful source. I will report the morin news separately. Meanwhile, back to figs…

Dried figs are often viewed as highly alkalizing. This is one of the dangers of comparing foods based on 100g portion sizes. Nobody eats 100 grams of dried figs. This was one reason why all my recent tables are based on 100 calories servings. It is still not perfect, as many beverages and spices produce outrageously large portion sizes. However, energy based portions are easier to compare than weight based portions.

Continue reading Figs and Gout

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What Is Gout?

What is gout medically?

Your doctor sees gout as a form of arthritis. Arthritis simply means swollen joints. Gouty arthritis, the medical name for gout, means swollen joints that are caused by uric acid crystals deposited in and around the joints. Unfortunately, the implication of this definition is a belief that gout comes and goes.

Medically, gout comes and goes, as the strict definition of gouty arthritis implies that gout only exists when you have swollen joints. But inflammation is very difficult to measure.

continue reading What Is Gout

What Is Gout #3 ? The Apple Cider Vinegar Myth

For many years I have tried to produce a comprehensive review of apple cider vinegar for gout. I have finally given up, for a very simple reason.

Despite the high level of interest amongst gout sufferers for ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar), there is absolutely no scientific information to say that ACV is good for gout. Having said that, there is no evidence to say it does not work. There is just no information.

The only mentions of apple cider vinegar relating to gout or uric acid, are only acknowledgments that many people believe that ACV helps gout followed by declarations that there is no evidence for this.

I am intrigued that such strong support for the benefits of apple cider vinegar can exist alongside zero evidence, but there are three explanations of how this may happen.
what are explanations for The Apple Cider Vinegar Myth?

Gout Relief Without Medicine

Gout Relief is a list of alternative treatments to relieve gout pain. Specifically, these are gout treatments outside the usual choices of drugs, herbs, or diet.

Gout Relief Audience

I wrote Gout Relief mainly for GoutPal Seekers. However, it predates my reorganization by type of gout sufferer. So, most items will interest other types of gout sufferer. Therefore, you can continue to read Gout Relief. Or, you can find your gout sufferer type in Questions for Gout Sufferers.

continue reading Gout Relief

Personal Gout Treatment Guidelines 2016

Personal Gout Treatment Guidelines 2016 is my project to reorganize and clarify my Gout Treatment Guidelines.

My gout treatment guidelines contain all the important facts that affect gout sufferers in general. They describe the wide array of gout treatments available.

I collected those facts when I was researching gout for my own personal needs. By nature, I like to gather facts, then analyze them. This worked very well for me. I was able to understand my choices for gout treatment. I understood that one treatment was never enough. So, I:

  1. Developed my own personal gout treatment plan
  2. Persuaded my doctor to monitor and prescribe accordingly
  3. Controlled my gout

I now live a gout-free life, and I want the same for you.

Continue reading Personal Gout Treatment Guidelines 2016

Uloric Liver Warnings Prompt Label Change

Uloric (febuxostat) has given new hope for 3 years to many gout patients who have been unable to tolerate allopurinol.

However, a note of caution is necessary for all gout medications.

Members of GoutPal’s gout support forum have been strong advocates of liver and kidney function testing when on uric acid lowering drugs. This caution is now officially recognized in alterations to Uloric label warnings.

We know that uric acid control is a serious intervention. We also know that failure to control uric acid is a sure way to invite kidney damage, joint destruction, and horrendous disfiguration from gouty tophi. Allopurinol has an excellent safety record, despite high-profile cases of severe, even fatal allopurinol hypersensitivity syndrome (AHS). Uloric removes the risk of AHS, but that does not make it completely safe.

Before I explain new Uloric safety issues, it is important to put this into context. The risks associated with allopurinol are only ever serious when it has been badly prescribed, and badly monitored. Uloric is no different.

Most people never have any side effects, and can control their gout. Gout control is vital before it progresses to the point where it cripples you or kills you. However, we have to take responsibility when we take uric acid lowering treatment, and make sure we take it safely. Similarly, pharmaceutical companies and doctors have a responsibility to package and prescribe gout medications in the best way to minimize side effects.

Read all about Uloric Liver Warnings

Gout Cures: Natural Uricosuric Agents

Natural Uricosuric Agents is part of a series about gout cures from the world of natural products. See Natural Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors for the first installment.

Natural Uricosuric Agents that Reduce Uric Acid, the Underlying Cause of Gout

Effective treatment of gout starts with addressing its underlying cause- uric acid.  Ultimately, lowering uric acid to normal levels is the goal. Depending on its severity, gout may require long-term treatment consisting of xanthine oxidase inhibitors and/ or uricosurics. Xanthine oxidase inhibitors decrease uric acid production by interfering with xanthine oxidase while the uricosurics induce uric acid excretion by reducing the reabsorption of uric acid once the kidneys filter it out of the blood.

For now, we will focus on natural uricosuric agents as most gout sufferers are “under-excreters” of uric acid. There are several natural agents that have proven to be effective uricosuric agents.  Let’s examine some of the more common and potent agents available in natural gout remedies.

Learn which Natural Uricosuric Agents Are Gout Cures