My Aching Big Toe
An unhealthy lifestyle can lead to a plethora of problems such as acid reflux, IBS, kidney stones, high blood pressure, an unbalanced cholesterol profile, Type 2 diabetes, low T, psoriasis, allergies, heart disease, inflammation, the list is long and continues to grow. More recently there has been a dramatic rise, historically known as “the disease of Kings” or “rich man’s disease”—Gout.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by recurrent attacks to the joints of the feet, especially the big toe. The big toe joint becomes red, hot, swollen, and can be extremely painful.
Gout is due to elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. At high levels of uric acid crystallizes and the crystals deposit in the joints and surrounding tissues, resulting in a Gout attack.
Why are we seeing a rapid rise in Gout? Gout occurs when people eat and drink in excess—the following foods, beverages, and stress, can lead to many diseases including Gout!
- Processed foods and beverages—Eating on the outer rim (Red Area) of the Food Target
- Red meat—we are not talking about grass fed beef here!
- Energy Drinks/Soda Pop
- Fried Foods
- Organ Meats (Liver, heart, tongue, brain, sweetbreads)
- pH imbalance—too acidic!
Traditional Western Medicine usually treats gout with anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids—this in our opinion is not the answer—gout is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, not a lack of anti-inflammatory medications or steroids! Think of Gout as your wake-up call—a warning sign that it is time to get busy improving your lifestyle or more serious diseases are soon to follow. It is nature’s way of stopping you in your tracks—your big toe hurts so much that most people will do almost anything to stop the pain from coming back! Gout can be improved very quickly by following a healthier lifestyle—here are a few next steps:
- Drink more water throughout your day—start each morning by drinking 10 ounces of water—adding a lemon or lime to your water will increase the alkalinity and lower acid levels.
- Consume the following foods–celery, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, asparagus, greens, lemons and limes—all are extremely helpful with gout
- Start your day with a healthy bowl of oatmeal or millet, add some berries or dark cherries, macadamia nuts or almonds, cacao nibs, cinnamon and a plant based milk such as coconut, hazelnut, almond or hemp milk. This alkalizing breakfast can be satisfying and helpful in treating gout!
- Consume the following superfoods–flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, spirulina/chlorella, frozen wheatgrass cubes, flaxseeds, chia seeds, cod liver oil
- Hot water with ginger and turmeric (great for inflammation & pain)
- Apple cider vinegar (1-2 TBS), 10 ounces of water, 1-2 teaspoons of local honey
- Epsom Salt Bath—2 cups of bath salts in warm water—soak for 10-15 minutes, 2 x per week.
- Stress—learning how to quite the mind is extremely powerful in lowering inflammation—Belly (Diaphragmatic) Breathing—3-10 slow diaphragmatic breaths throughout your day.
- Sleep—getting enough rest and sleep is critical in keeping your body healthy and feeling your best! Invest in getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night.
For a fast, short term fix you may try using food grade baking soda. Simply, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 12 ounces of water and drink 2-3 times per day. Baking soda is extremely alkaline and can help alleviate uric acid build up.
Look at Gout as a wake-up call that your health is moving in the wrong direction! Building healthy lifestyle habits that are sustainable and enjoyable can be easier than you think!
Wishing You a Life of Health, Happiness and Gout Free!