People are discovering that they have healthier alternatives available to them than prescription drugs for getting rid of the painful effects of Gout. I know I’ve experienced the painful effects of arthritis and gout in my joints (especially my feet and knees) for years, and was just about ready to give up, take a visit to the scooter store, and stop walking altogether. If you’ve ever been woken up in the middle of the night with searing cramps in your toes and feet from gout or been unable to walk because of the pain you experienced like I have, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Doctors contributing to WebMD describe Gout as a form of arthritis — an inflammation of the joints — that causes sudden, severe attacks of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth, and swelling in some joints. It usually affects one joint at a time although it can be in several joints at once. The large toe is most often affected, but gout can also affect other joints in the leg — such as the knee, ankle, and foot — and, less often, joints in the arm including the hand, wrist, fingers, and elbow.
Gout can be simply defined as an unusually high level of uric acid build up in the blood. Most of the time, having too much uric acid is not harmful. Many people with high levels in their blood never get gout. But when uric acid levels in the blood are too high in some people, the uric acid may form hard crystals in the joints. These crystals, act much like pieces of glass that collect around and rub up against our joints causing inflammation and pain. Gout is often seen in people who have a digestive disorder. In a normally functioning digestive system, fats and proteins are ingested into the body and the remaining impurities pass through the kidneys and out of the body. In a non-functioning digestive system, undigested food particles stay in the blood and become a source for uric acid, leading to a Gout or Arthritis condition
There are really two approaches for treating Gout. Traditional doctors typically recommend prescription drugs like Corticosteroids (Prednisone) that attacks and reduces inflammation in the joints. But while this approach is effective in relieving pain, and almost immediately, there are side effects that result from Prednisone. For example, for one, Prednisone causes a steroid induced Osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones, causing them to lose their density and become more brittle and acceptable to fracture. Usually this condition is found in post-menopausal women, but it could happen to women of any age or even to men who are taking this drug. Prednisone also decreases the formation of new bone and decreases the absorption of calcium from food by the body. Severe joint pain is a major and almost universal complaint experienced by many people taking Prednisone, due probably to the fact that it steals the body’s natural calcium needed to maintain healthy and inflammation free joints. Other doctors may prescribe indomethancine (Indocine), ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen sodium (Aleve), which can help relieve pain and inflammation within 24 hours after a gout attack. But these medicines can have side effects as well, sometimes causing upset stomach, development of ulcers or increase heart attack risks. It is also advised that people with gastrointestinal, kidney or heart problems should not take these drugs. drugs are generally successful in stopping pain symptom s, in the long run they can be harmful to the body with prolonged use and never really affect the root cause of Gout. Doctors often recommend return visits
The alternative to prescription drugs in treating Gout relies on a more homeopathic or natural approach to the disease. Holistic doctors examine the condition of the blood, the vehicle that carries nutrients or impurities to all parts of the body. A simple blood test will show if you have unusually high levels of uric acid in your blood. The goal of alternative medicine is to improve the health of the blood using nutritional supplementation and therefore get to the cause of Gout, not just treating the symptoms. One such remedy is the use of powerful antioxidants that help purify the blood from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals impair the body’s ability to filter out impurities from undigested food particles leading to high concentrations of proteins and fats left in the blood that ultimately lead to higher concentrations of Uric acid crystals. Free radicals come from both inside and outside our bodies in the form of disease, infections, or outside toxins like pesticides, air pollution from exhaust fumes from automobiles, food preservatives, cigarette smoke, drugs, growth hormones, and ultra -violet light from the sun. Holistic doctors have discovered that one of the most natural and effective ways to regulate free radical damage is in the use of antioxidants derived from plant nutrients called Phytonutrients. Within this group is an even more specialized class called Bioflavonoids. One especially powerful Bioflavonoid in particular, called OPC or (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins) is an extremely effective phytonutrient that is 50 times more powerful than Vitamin E and 20 times more powerful than Vitamin C. Actually OPC heightens Vitamin C’s effectiveness when used together. OPC consists of fruits, like grape seed extract, citrus extract, bilberry and wine extract, and pine bark. Together in harmony, these natural ingredients have been proven to be very effective in controlling Gout in many sufferers. One former Gout patient said he had been suffering from extreme Gout in his feet for over a year.
So bad in fact that every few months he had to have special boots made, that would allow him to walk without experiencing much pain. He said that his gout condition had extremely compromised his life and what he was able to do. After being exposed to OPC on a rather incidental basis and trying it, he experienced relief in a matter of four days. With continued use for the next 6 months this gentleman became completely free of joint pain. He even commented that since he has used OPC, he has not felt this good (overall health wise) for ten years. In my own individual case, I have been using OPC, a specific brand called OPC-3 for the last three years. I have found that when I have elected not to take it routinely, and stopped taking it altogether, my joint pain and gout returned with a vengeance. When I go back on OPC-3, the pain goes away and I feel great again and am able to do the sports I love to do like biking, skating, weight lifting and walking. Needless to say, I don’t plan on any more experimentation. I urge you to look into this powerful phytonutrient and you too may be able get back to doing what you love to do!