Close X
Get more out of
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.

Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

What Doctors Don't Tell You

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

July 2020 (Vol. 5 Issue 5)

What are the causes of gout?

About the author: 

What are the causes of gout? image

I am trying to find out more about gout, and wondered if WDDTY could help me

I am trying to find out more about gout, and wondered if WDDTY could help me. I'm particularly interested in its causes, as well as any naturopathic (or other) treatments, especially those involving a dietary approach. D B, Botswana..........

Gout is the result of a build up of uric acid crystals, usually around a joint. The immune system attacks these crystals with phagocytes (scavenger cells). The toxic by product of this clash causes the inflammation. Gout could indicate that you either get too much uric acid from your diet, your body is synthesising too much, or your kidneys are excreting too little. It is a long term threat to the kidneys and, if left untreated, can also have a knock on effect on the arteries.

Opinions on how best to treat gout differ (Rev Rheum Eng Ed, 1996; 63: 255-61; N Z Med J, 1991; 104: 115-7). Hospitals use indomethacin and colchicine, while GPs prefer nutritional advice. Long term use of colchicine is associated with renal failure though the exact relationship is not clear (J Rheumatol, 1991; 18: 264-9) and other side effects such as nausea, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, rashes and even hair loss.

Medications such as cyclosporin and the H2 receptors, cimetidine and ranitidine, can cause gout (N Eng J Med, 1989; 321: 287-92; Drug Intel Clin Pharm, 1985; 19: 201-2), and individuals taking thiazide diuretics are at a greater risk. This risk increases significantly if diuretics are used in conjunction with other hypertensive agents (J Clin Epidemiol, 1997; 50: 953-9). Those with SLE (lupus) can be more vulnerable to gout (Br J Rheumatol, 1987; 26: 303-6), and it can also be brought on by surgery (Am J Surg, 1995; 61: 56-9).

An often overlooked, though long established, cause of gout is lead poisoning (Ballieres Clin Rheumatol, 1989; 3: 51-61; Toxicol, 1992; 73: 127-46). The kidneys may be failing to effectively excrete excess lead.

Diet is paramount in treating and preventing gout recurring (Ther Umsch, 1995; 77: 524-7). Follow a low acid diet, avoiding foods rich in the purines that are metabolised to uric acid. Such foods include sardines, anchovies, shell fish and crab, liver, sweetbreads, peas and beans, asparagus and mushrooms. Reducing refined sugar and salt won't directly help, but might ease the load on your kidneys, helping them to work efficiently. Avoid coffee, tea and alcohol. Try to drink at least two pints of water daily.

Herbs such as celery seed (Apium graveolens), guaiacum (Guaiacum officinale), and burdock (Arctium lappa) are all indicated in gout. Other herbs with an anti rheumatic and/or diuretic action include boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), wild carrot (Daucus carrota) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Bromelian is also an effective anti inflammatory.

Try supplements of vitamin C, vitamin E and the full range of B vitamins, particularly folic acid. Daily doses of calcium (1500 mg) and magnesium (700 mg) can help draw the lead out of your system. Eating cherries, ginger or blueberries may also be of benefit, and likewise, a daily tablespoon of flaxseed oil.

Shorts image


Ten drugs to avoid whenever possible image

Ten drugs to avoid whenever possible

You may also be interested in...

Support WDDTY

Help support us to hold the drugs companies, governments and the medical establishment accountable for what they do.


Latest Tweet


Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions..

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

© 2010 - 2019 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved