Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What is GOUT and what can HELP

What is GOUT?

The understanding of gout gets into some of

the most interesting questions about the history of

medicine and the understanding of physiology and its

relationship to human disease. It is also interesting

because there are many misconceptions that abound

about gout, among both laymen and medical

professionals. Gout is one of the oldest and probably

most painful diseases known to mankind. We know of

cases of gout dating back at least 500 years as some

of the most notorious of the England’s monarchs were

apparently afflicted with the disease. There are

treatises explaining the causes and treatments of gout

that also date from the Middle Ages. 

The typical

description of a patient with gout was a wealthy,

corpulent aristocrat, particularly one with an

enormous appetite for food, drink and women. It was

almost always associated with men, and in fact still

has a male predominance, and was considered a

consequence of overindulgence.

The symptoms of gout are intermittent, excruciating

attacks of pain in the joints, although typically each

gouty episode only affects one joint at a time. The

most common joint affected is the joint at the base of

the big toe, which often becomes red, swollen, hot and

so painful that the patient cannot even bear the

weight of the bedsheets on his affected toe. Other

joints, particularly the knees and elbows, can also be

affected, but, again usually one at a time. The

individual episodes usually last about two weeks then

subside, only to recur at some seemingly random time

in the future. The episodes can vary from every few

months to every few years or longer. In some cases,

the symptoms do not go entirely away between episodes

and the patient has some degree of joint pain all the


In the twentieth century, through the use of

microscopic examination of the fluid removed from

affected joints of those with gout, the "real" cause

of gout was identified. That is, in the inflamed,

painful joints pointy crystals of uric acid create the

excruciating pain so vividly described by those with

gout. In some patients, there is so much uric acid in

their system that they develop yellowish chalk-like

deposits around the joints or in other places such as

the ear lobes. The blood of patients with gout often,

but not always, contains elevated levels of uric acid,

a fact that usually confirms the diagnosis of gout.

The next step in unraveling the mystery of gout was to

find out how this excessive uric acid is produced and

why it is associated with a "gluttonous" lifestyle. It

turns out that uric acid is a by-product or a

breakdown product of purine, a type of protein found

in many common foods. It therefore seems logical to

conclude that gout is caused by excessive protein

intake, particularly of proteins that are rich in

purines, such as organ meats, fatty fish, shell fish

and game.

As a result of this information patients are put on

low-protein, or at least low-purine, diets and given

drugs that prevent the formation of uric acid, or

stimulate its excretion through the kidneys.

Typically, patients also receive advice to choose lean

meats, low-fat dairy products and limit fat intake.

This simple explanation, however, does not account for

all the facts about gout. For example, high-protein

intake is not necessarily connected with obesity so

why are many gout patients overweight?. Also, we now

know that gout attacks can occur with almost any

change in diet, even to a better diet, or even to a

lower-protein diet. In fact, it seems that the

precipitating factor is often change, even the

particulars of the change. And finally, there is a

connection with fat, as your doctor suggested,

although the solution is not to eat less fat.

The newer theories about gout recognize the fact that

the disease is not simply a result of high-protein

intake. For example, we have discovered that uric acid

levels are high in those patients with syndrome X,

otherwise known as insulin resistance. This means that

excessive carbohydrate consumption, particularly of

refined flour and sugar, foods that in previous times

were solely the domain of the wealthy, can also raise

the uric acid levels and precipitate gout. This fact

also explains the frequent finding of obesity in those

suffering from gout.

Another overlooked factor is the fact that traditional

peoples always balanced protein intake with plentiful

fat intake as well as gelatinous soup broths. Thus,

gout is better understood as a situation of excessive

protein intake compared to the fats and gelatin

intake, two factors which balance the protein intake.

This is why people with historically high protein

intake who also ate lots of fats and soup broths, with

no refined carbohydrates, rarely if ever suffer from


Finally, it will probably come as no surprise to the

readers of Wise Traditions that the specific nutrient

that seems to prevent the buildup of uric acid is

vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is particularly

associated with the kidney. In fact, gout can be seen

as a problem of the kidneys not being able to excrete

enough of the uric acid to prevent the buildup, rather

than simply a matter of excessive protein intake.

In my years of treating patients with gout, a program

of decreasing protein intake along with liberal use of

all the usual animal fats and the regular use of

gelatinous stocks has been the key to preventing uric

acid buildup and further attacks of gout.

As for other medicines, cherry juice is a virtual

specific for preventing uric acid buildup and further

attacks of gout. I have patients with gout take 1

teaspoon 2 times per day of cherry juice concentrate

(without the sugar), literally for the rest of their

lives. I also make sure they take 1 teaspoon per day

of high-vitamin cod liver oil to supply the vitamin A,

which antagonizes the uric acid buildup and also

nourishes the kidneys. Of course, the patient should

avoid refined carbohydrates and alcohol (which

contributes to syndrome X).

As for medicines, I use arginex from Standard Process

at a dose of 1-2 tablets three times per day. Arginex

is made from fermented beets and helps stimulate

excretion via the kidneys. For acute attacks, I use

the antiinflammatory Boswellia comp from Mediherb 1-2

tablets three times per day. Hopefully, with these

measures your client will be able to overcome the

tendency for these painful attacks.

About the Author

Tom Cowan, MD is a physician in private practice in

San Francisco, California. Visit his website at

Pineapple, Turmeric, Ginger & Cherry Drink to Help with Gout

Gout is a complex form of arthritis, and although it’s shrouded in mystery and often overlooked by those who don’t suffer it, it can be excruciating and debilitating to those who do. It is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood, which is the product of the breakdown of waste substances that usually dissolve in the blood and get processed by the kidneys. For people that suffer gout attacks, their kidneys don’t get rid of the uric acid fast enough and it crystallizes and collects in the joint. Symptoms include sudden pain, tenderness, heat, and redness in joints. In many cases it is at the base of the big toe, and the pain can be so unbearable that even a feather light touch will be too much to bear. Gout is chronic, and there are a good number of people out there who don’t want to be on aspirin for the rest of their lives. By making a blend of these ingredients and tapping into their natural healing properties, you can help relieve/prevent your symptoms, similar to how a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory would.

Gout Drink Remedy- with pineapple, tart cherry juice, turmeric & ground ginger.

Ingredients: Pineapple, turmeric, ginger root, tart cherry juice.

Why pineapple: Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which has been shown to be useful in reducing inflammation. The theory behind why it works lies in that it affects prostaglandin synthesis (basically, it interferes with the hormones that send the signal that something should swell up.) Bromelain is also an enzyme that digests proteins (hence why pineapple is so popular for tenderizing meat) and gout has been linked to diets high in protein, which can cause an excess of uric acid to build up in the blood.

Why Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin, which has seen great success with pain relief lately. Curcumin blocks the production of the protein that tells blood vessels to enlarge.

Why ginger root: Ginger root contains gingerols, an active component that is related to capsaicin. Gingerols are structured much like capsaicin on a molecular level, which means it may help inhibit the signals sent to your brain that trigger pain. They also lessen the enzymes causing inflammation.

Why tart cherry juice (optional): Cherries have been linked to lowering levels of uric acid in studies, and although the studies were not specifically done on gout, it is very possible that it would help prevent an attack if consumed regularly.

You will need…

-1 pineapple
-1-2 teaspoons of powdered turmeric
-2-3 teaspoons of powdered ginger, or 1 inch off of a fresh ginger root
-1 cup of tart cherry juice
-Honey (optional)
-Blender, food processor, or lots of elbow grease
-A glass container with a tightly fitting lid
-A strainer

gout drink ingredients


Cut the skin and stem off of the pineapple. You can either chop up and use the stem and strain the drink, or you can opt not to use it. The reason why you might include it is because the stem has a high concentration of bromein, but using just the fruit is ok too. Slice the pineapple into chunks that are roughly the same size and toss them in your food processor or blender. Whirl them around until they are pretty evenly mashed up, pour in 1 cup of tart cherry juice, and then sprinkle in 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric and 2-3 teaspoons of ginger. Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to a week and a half. You can add honey to taste if you’d like, and also choose to use the greater or lesser amount of turmeric and ginger depending on how you like it.

pineapple turmeric drink

Notes: Like nettle tea, if you can have some of this daily, go for it. It might help prevent a gout attack in the first place. Otherwise, you can grab a glass as needed for the pain when it flares up. The drink will keep up to a month in the refrigerator. If you make it on a regular basis, just make one big batch and then do a new one at the end of the month. If it is not practical or possible for you to get a pineapple, there are bromein supplements out there. Do not get any sort of canned or preserved pineapple as the enzymes will have been killed off by heat used in the process of making the product.

As our diets change (not exactly for the better) and more people experience high blood pressure, instances of gout are becoming more and more frequent. Finding out what foods might trigger you will be hugely beneficial, as well as following a “gout” diet. Remember that just because something is natural doesn’t guarantee its safe-if you are on medication or if you don’t know how these ingredients might affect you, always check with a medical professional before using.

Tip: If you’re not in the mood to have a drink, turmeric, ginger, and bromein all come in supplemental form for preventative measures. Again, make sure they are safe for you to take!

Thoughts to Ponder this Afternoon

Exceed yourself
You’ve figured out how to get it done. Now figure out how to do it even better.
Expect the best of yourself. Then find a way to exceed those expectations.
Be pleased with what you’ve done, and satisfied with how far you’ve come. But don’t let it make you complacent.
No matter what you’ve done before, today is your opportunity to exceed yourself. Where you are is not a place to rest indefinitely, but rather a place from which to move forward.
Each achievement sets the stage for even greater achievement. Every fulfilling experience opens the door to even greater fulfillment.
Challenge yourself to exceed yourself. You deserve the best, and you deserve to keep making the best even better and better.
Ralph Marston
The relationship that brings Big rewards
by Jane Powell

“The easiest kind of relationship is with many; the hardest is with just one.”
Many of us feel less vulnerable when we’re with a group of people. No one’s looking at us closely and no one knows us intimately. It’s easy to hide our real nature along with our true feelings.
In truth, however, “easy” isn’t always best. When you open yourself up and share honest feelings one-on-one with someone, you stand to gain the rewards of a rich and lasting bond that could never be formed with a group.
Yes, one-on-one relationships are more work, but when you treasure these relationships and work to maintain them, the emotional rewards are priceless.
©Jane Powell
 People Matter
In their book The Big Book of Jewish Humor (HarperCollins, 1981), authors Novak and Waldoks tell of a woman from New York who, on her 80th birthday, decided to prepare her last will and testament. She went to her rabbi to make two final requests. First, she insisted on cremation.
“What is your second request?” the rabbi asked.
“I want my ashes scattered over the Bloomingdale’s store.”
“Why Bloomingdale’s?”
“Then I’ll be sure that my daughters visit me twice a week.”
I know we can't ensure others will show they care in the way we expect, though we all want to know that people do care. Maybe it's about being assured that we are not alone in this world. For that reason, we are drawn to those who make us feel as if we matter.
My grandmother was such a person. She was someone who made me feel important to her. She lived far away, so visits were special. When we got together she acted as if she truly missed me. Some days she would slip me little gifts – like chewing gum, a homemade cookie or money “so you can buy yourself a treat.” She once whispered that I was her favorite. (I now have evidence that she said the same thing to each of her grandchildren, which still causes me to chuckle.) She made the effort to be present at the important times in my life.
I felt valued by her. She took me seriously. At age eight or nine I complained one day that I had trouble breathing and I said that I thought my nasal passage was somehow blocked. She actually put her finger up my nose to feel for an obstruction. (Did I mention she was blind?) There was a blockage and because of her intervention with my family I eventually saw a doctor and had corrective surgery.
I don't remember her ever telling me how much she cared about me. It just wasn't her way. She wasn't gushy and she didn't often say those things to people. But she told me how she felt in a different way – she noticed me. She paid attention to me. I felt as if I were a piece in her life puzzle and she would notice if I were missing or didn't fit in just right. And my awareness of this made a huge difference.
Poet Maya Angelou writes:
“People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I wonder what would happen if I set out to make everyone in my presence feel as I felt around my grandmother – like they matter. How would that change the way I treat others and what difference might it make to them?
Who doesn't want to know that we notice them and value them? And who might respond to us better when they feel that they matter?
It probably cannot be overstated – it matters...that people matter.
Steve Goodier

Do what you must do
Achievement is a matter of putting your mind to it and focusing your actions on it. Anything is possible when you set your intention on making it happen.
There are always plenty of reasons why you can’t get it done. Yet you can choose to do it anyway.
You can find a way. If one approach doesn’t work, another one will.
Decide what you will do, and then do what you decide. Life is too precious, and too filled with great possibilities, to settle for anything less.
Do what you must do until the goal is achieved. You’re smart and motivated and capable, so make it count for something meaningful.
Achievement is yours to do. So choose today to get it done.
Ralph Marston

Leave the past where it belongs
Don’t stumble over something behind you. Don’t use the past as an excuse to miss out on today. You do not heal the wounds of the past by digging deeper into them.
Acceptance truly is the bitter pill you have to bravely swallow to move beyond yesterday’s sorrows. It’s a choice you must make. Because the truth of the matter is that history only dictates the future if you allow it. In other words, you only have to relive it if you choose to.
“What are you telling yourself?”
Positive self-talk is not about telling yourself that bad things in your life don’t exist or have not happened. It’s not about telling yourself life will be easy if you think the right thoughts. Self-talk is about self-awareness and recognizing how your thoughts affect how you feel and ultimately what you accomplish.
Your thoughts are your self-talk. And, they directly affect the way you feel. Since your feelings dictate your actions, it’s important to take notice of the chain of thoughts and events in your life.
This new found awareness holds the key to making the changes you crave come to pass.
©Jane Powell

“Frame your thoughts with awareness.”
It’s no secret that we have the ability to program ourselves to believe and act in negative ways. The good news is that we’re also blessed with the ability to program ourselves to believe and act in positive ways.
The starting point is awareness.
You must first become familiar with how your thoughts make you feel and act. Ask yourself, what thoughts make me feel happy, sad, jealous, mad, etc.? How do I react to my feelings? Once you have the answers to these questions, consider yourself aware.
When you’re in touch with your feelings you’re consciously able to program yourself for positive action. Next time you catch yourself in a thought that doesn’t feel good, stop, and consciously choose to react in another way. When you re-frame your thinking, everything changes.
©Jane Powell
"I am ready to move on with my life, and I am ready to put behind me the things that belong there."
Forgiveness allows us to move on with our lives, leaving the mistakes of the past where they belong--in our pasts rather than in our present. I wish you the ability to see clearly when it's important for you to ask forgiveness for the hurts that you might have caused others. Often, we don't clearly see the results of our own actions, and others suffer needlessly, wondering why we've done what we've done. We often can clear the air and clear our lives and ease our minds with a simple apology, but we need to know when such an apology is necessary, and when one will be helpful.
I wish you the graciousness and the grace to accept apologies when they are offered sincerely. Such forgiveness is important both for yourself and the person who is apologizing; refusal to accept an apology affects you more than it affects the person who is apologizing. Accepting apologies is another way of saying "I am ready to move on with my life, and I am ready to put behind me the things that belong there." Forgiveness is one of the strongest healing forces in the world, and it must not be asked for or accepted lightly or without sincerity; it must also not be rejected when offered sincerely.
 What truly matters
If the distractions are too compelling, then your goal is too small. To strengthen your focus, raise your ambitions.
Make your purpose ten times more appealing than anything that could distract you. Make your goal so meaningful and compelling that nothing can compete with it for your time and attention.
You absolutely have the power to do great things. Yet in order for that power to be effective, it must be applied consistently and persistently.
Decide to make good and significant use of your great abilities. Focus yourself, in the biggest way you can imagine, on what is genuinely important.
Give yourself the joy of fulfillment by giving yourself a big, bold challenge that’s worthy of your efforts. Set your sights high, and make your moments count for something truly outstanding.
The world is overflowing with meaningless distractions, and yet they do not have to steal your life away. You can choose to focus your life on a magnificent expression of what truly matters.
Ralph Marston
How to Get Things Done
by Jane Powell
“Stop running to answer every request.”
Does a ringing telephone, a doorbell, or the sudden demand of an impatient co-worker make you immediately stop what you are doing? Do you feel your tasks take second place to the requests of others?
Every time you “drop everything,” your stress level rises and your productivity sinks. So, make sure these interruptions are vital. Demands on your life are often not as important as you think. What’s important is “you,” and what you need to accomplish.
It’s time to get your priorities in-check and make a conscious effort to separate what’s “important” from what’s merely “urgent.” Ask yourself, “Is this really important, or could it be done later?” Give your attention to the things that really count. You’ll find harmony when you do.
Letting go without giving up
''Your serenity is based on taking responsibility without taking blame, and letting go without giving up.''
I wish you the ability to let go, the ability to allow yourself to allow life to do its thing without you attempting to control the outcomes of everything that goes on around you. I hope that you always will be able to recognize the situations over which you truly have no control, and try to let them be, accepting the outcomes as they are, and not judging them based on what you wanted them to be.
I wish you the ability to see when attempts to control are appropriate, and when things are best left alone. I wish you the ability to allow things to occur without your input; sometimes our most important contribution is simply to observe. We can support and love without telling others what to do, without trying to help them in every facet of their lives; we must let others learn in their own ways and make their own mistakes . Just as we don't accompany our children to every single class in school that they attend, we don't need to be there to guide them through every one of life's lessons.

Live beyond it
Don’t live with the disappointment. Live beyond it.
You cannot stop what has already happened. However, you can let it make you stronger and more determined.
Instead of dwelling on the pain or injustice of what has happened, imagine the best possible outcome. Then get busy moving yourself steadily and passionately toward that outcome.
Life has the power to disappoint. Yet you have the power of life, and the power to move on to bigger and better things.
When you have been disappointed, it means you truly care, and that’s a very positive thing. Zero in on what you care about, and put your energy into advancing those things in your life.
Look ahead, and look at all the good and valuable things you can do. Look ahead, and step confidently forward with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.
Ralph Marston

“Work is a reward, not a punishment.”
If you enjoy your work, you also enjoy what comes with it, such as peace of mind, enjoyment and fulfillment. If you don’t enjoy your work, then days are tedious and each one drags by.
The truth is, you’ll never achieve pure happiness unless you like what you do. Your fulfillment is in direct proportion to the amount of pleasure you derive from daily tasks.
If you truly despise your job, stop punishing yourself and do something about it. The rewards you feel from doing what you want to do are priceless. You only live once and there is no reason I can think of not to enjoy it!
 ©Jane Powell
The more time you spend feeling sorry for yourself, the more
Things you'll have to be sorry about. If you insist on
Seeing yourself as a victim, you'll end up experiencing your
Life as a victim.
It doesn't have to be that way. Because you can choose right
Now, and every day, to see yourself in a positive,
Empowering light.
The way you see yourself is up to you. It doesn't have
Anything to do with the circumstances you happen to be
See yourself as the unique, beautiful, creative and
Effective person you know you are. See yourself as a bundle
Of positive, inspiring and meaningful possibilities that are
Well on their way to being fulfilled.
See that you are able to successfully handle whatever life
Sends your way. See that you are able to thrive and grow and
Make positive meaning out of the world in which you live.
See yourself as constantly moving forward through it all,
With love and joy and purpose. And what you see, you will be .

Imagine and make it be
Imagine a life that is good, fruitful, joyous and fulfilling. Imagine your particular place in that life.
Imagine doing what you love to do, and making a real positive difference in many lives through your efforts. Imagine living precisely the way you choose to live, and in accordance with your most treasured values.
See yourself living without doubt or limitation. See a life in which fear is always overwhelmed by love.
Where you choose to go most often and most vividly in your imagination, is where you enable your real life to go. The person you most intensely and most passionately imagine yourself to be, is who you become.
You can imagine whatever you choose. And you can live the beautiful reality of whatever you imagine.
A magnificent life is already within you. Imagine it, truly see yourself living it, and make it be.
Ralph Marston


excerpts from
" Morning Coffee"
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