Charlie's Blog: Gout: What Has Worked For Me


Gout: What Has Worked For Me

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or anything remotely related to being a healthcare professional. This is purely a personal testimonial.

Be temperate in wine, in eating, girls, & sloth; Or the Gout will seize you and plague you both.

I do not wish gout on anyone. Gout is the most painful thing I have ever endured in my life, and I have endured a lot of things. Gout is in the number one spot. The pain of gout motivated me to get rid of it. Here is what has worked for me.

I won't go into the technical details of gout. I have read many articles on the subject, and I barely understand them. It also frustrates me that they contradict each other. I have tried various "cures" with no success. I gave up on this new school medicine and went old school with Hippocrates and the like. That is when I started finding relief.

I believe that gout is a lifestyle disease. This is because people from the olden days thought the same thing. Peasants didn't get gout. Aristocratic types did. I sat down and made a list of things that those aristocrats did that the peasants didn't. Here is that list:

1. They drank wine instead of water.

2. They ate sweets and treats.

3. They ate meat.

4. They were sedentary.

Except for the wine, my lifestyle was virtually identical to those aristocrats back in the day. Like it or not, today's peasants live lifestyles that are higher than aristocrats and royalty from a long time ago. Realizing this, I decided to live in the opposite way. This is when I found relief from gout attacks. Here is what worked for me.

1. Drink water.

90% of my hydration comes from water. The 10% comes from the 2 cups of coffee I drink each morning with a single teaspoon of sugar to take the edge off of the bitterness. I do not drink soda pop or sweet iced tea. I never drink alcoholic beverages. I live with a Klean Kanteen bottle by my side, and I even drink water at night. Whenever I urinate, I drink an almost identical amount of water. This one thing alone helped diminish the severity of my gout attacks. I think this is because the water helps flush uric acid out of my body.

2. Eat a plant based diet.

The irony of my gout attacks is that they began after I became a vegan. I researched this and read that people who were lifelong vegans did not get gout. I did not go vegan until I was 41 years old. As I lost weight on the new program, that is when the flare ups would happen especially during Lent when I would fast. Dr. McDougall said that his patients would experience gout when they lost weight, and he said that it was caused by the release of purines stored in their fat that came from the meat they had eaten over the course of their lives. That made sense to me.

My meathead friends jumped on the vegan thing as the "cause" of my gout. What they failed to see were the many people who eat meat that get gout. It is my personal belief that meat consumption is the fundamental cause of gout. Because of this, I eschew fasting now for weight loss. It is better to take the slow road of moderate diet and exercise. I definitely do not recommend low carb meathead diets.

3. Cut out processed sugary foods, sweets, and soda pop.

Sugar does not cause gout, but I do think it interferes with the elimination of uric acid which crystallizes in the joints causing the excruciating agony. For me, this would be the big toe joint. I ate some pop tarts for breakfast one time which caused me a flare up at a time when I didn't need it. The sugar caused me to eat less which caused another release of those purines from the dissolved fat in my body.

I got rid of sugar almost completely. I used to dump sugar in my coffee. I went totally black with no sugar, but I put a small amount in now to make it less bitter. That's the only added sugar in my diet. As for sweets and candy, those are rare treats usually around the holidays. I eat these sparingly. My preferred sweet is fresh fruit like strawberries and blueberries.

4. Take daily walks.

The final piece of the solution was when I took up walking for exercise. Since doing that in combination with the other things, I have had no flare ups of gout. It virtually vanished from my life. I am two years removed from my last known attack of gout. I think the improved circulation from exercise helps to prevent concentration and crystallization of uric acid in the joints.


This program is what has brought relief to my life. I changed my habits and lifestyle to be less like an aristocrat and more like a peasant. Gout always looms in the background to punish me for any lack of discipline. Most people will seek out the pharmacological remedy to keep from making these lifestyle changes. I think any of these things in isolation will reduce the severity of gout attacks, but the golden ticket is the combination of these things. Gout has one upside. It has motivated me to clean up my act and keep it cleaned up.