So what do we think of when we think about Gout? Well, first of all, for those that may have had it, they know it can be excruciatingly painful. Historically, gout was always associated with the wealthy, glutney, and known as the “Disease of the Kings”. Gout is considered a form of arthritis and a condition which occurs when there are high levels of uric acid in the blood. This uric acid crystalizes and these crystals get into the joints and cause the pain that is associated with gout. Uric acid is a byproduct of purines. Purines are a natural substance found in most foods.
Conventional guidelines for treating gout focus on removing foods which contain high levels of purines such as red meat, seafood and alcohol. For the pain associated with gout most doctors recommend Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen, drugs and steroids.(1) However, new research indicates that gout may be a biproduct or symptom if you will of a bigger condition…Insulin Resistance Syndrome (IRS). IRS occurs when insulin is unable to get glucose and nutrients into cells. Because the cells have become resistant to insulin glucose levels in the blood continue to rise (hyperglycemia) along with insulin levels (hyperinulinemia). IRS is associated with chronic health conditions which include but are not limited to heart attacks, strokes, obesity, PCOS and various types of cancer. It is estimated that Hyperinsulinemia (high levels of insulin)and IRS are found in 95% and 76% of gout sufferers.(2) Studies also show that excessive alcohol consumption is also present in about 50% of people presenting with gout.(3)
Researchers are also finding that the conventional wisdom of eliminating high purine containing foods such as all meat, seafood, yeast and certain vegetables completely from the diet is not as effective as once believed. (2) Although a high protein diet does contain higher amounts of purines new research is proving that these diets actually increase urinary output of uric acid and decrease the levels of uric acid found in the blood.(2)
Reduction in alcohol consumption does seem to make a marked improvement on blood levels of uric acid.(2) However, with regard to diet researches are finding that they are getting better results through weight loss associated with a reduction in carbohydrates and an increase in protein and fat intake.(4) These are the same recommendations given for those with IRS.
So, I guess the bottom line is that by reducing carbohydrates, and eating a diet which consists of high quality organic meats and vegetables, fruits in moderation and daily exercise, not only will you improve your overall health by increasing insulin sensitivity, but you may also find that you no longer suffer from gout.
(2) ADEL G. FAM, MD, FRCPC, Professor of Medicine,
Sunnybrook and Women’s Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto
(3)Can Med Assoc J. 1984 September 15; 131(6): 563–567
(4)Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2000;59:539-543; doi:10.1136/ard.59.7.539
Copyright © 2000 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & European League Against Rheumatism.
Ann Rheum Dis 2000;59:539-543 ( July ) http://ard.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/59/7/539