Understanding Gout

Natural Approaches to Alleviate Pain and Promote Wellness


Gout is a form of arthritis that results from the accumulation of urate crystals in the joints, causing intense pain, swelling, and redness. It primarily affects the joints at the base of the big toe but can also impact other joints. While conventional treatments such as medications and lifestyle modifications are commonly prescribed, there is a growing interest in exploring natural alternatives, including herbal treatments and energy healing, to manage gout symptoms and promote overall well-being.

Understanding Gout

Gout is often associated with high levels of uric acid in the blood, leading to the formation of sharp crystals in the joints. The pain and inflammation associated with gout can be debilitating, affecting the quality of life for those who suffer from this condition. In addition to gout and arthritis, high purine levels are associated with Diabetes and Kidney Disease.  Dietary factors, genetics, and lifestyle choices can contribute to the development of excess purines and a 2022 study published in BMC Medicine found that a healthy lifestyle — regular exercise, moderate alcohol consumption, not smoking and healthy eating — was enough to override genetic risk by at least one-third, making it crucial to address holistic factors for complete management.



Purines are natural substances found in many foods.  Diet accounts for about 1/3 of the purines in the body so diet alone can potentially drop purines to a normal level. When purines break down, they form uric acid. In individuals with gout, the body either has too much uric acid or has difficulty excreting it, leading to the accumulation of urate crystals in the joints.  For this reason, minimizing purines in the diet should be the first line of treatment for gout.

Low-Purine Foods:

Adopting a low-purine diet involves choosing foods that are lower in purines to help regulate uric acid levels.  Here are some key low-purine food choices:

  1. Fruits and Vegetables:

    • Most fruits and vegetables are low in purines and high in essential nutrients.
    • Berries, cherries, and citrus fruits have been associated with lower gout risk.
  2. Whole Grains:

    • Foods like oats, brown rice, and whole wheat products are lower in purines compared to refined grains.
  3. Dairy:

    • Dairy free products made with coconut or nut milks should be included in a gout-friendly diet.
  4. Protein Sources:

    • Lean sources of protein like poultry, fish, and tofu are preferable to high-purine options like organ meats and red meat.  However, sardines and anchovies have some of the highest levels of purines in fish and should be completely avoided.
    • Legumes and beans are excellent plant-based protein alternatives.
  5. Nuts and Seeds:

    • All tree nuts and peanuts are low in purines with the exception of peanuts which contains about twice as much purine as other nuts and seeds but still around half the content of meats.
    • The oils in nuts and seeds are high in healthy fats, which helps reduce the inflammation and pain of gout.

Foods to Limit or Avoid:

Certain foods are high in purines and should be limited or avoided to manage gout effectively. These include:

  1. Organ Meats:

    • Liver, kidneys, and other organ meats are extremely high in purines and should be minimized.
  2. Seafood:

    • Certain seafood, such as anchovies, sardines, mussels, and herring, is rich in purines.
  3. Red Meat:

    • Beef, pork, and lamb are high-purine meats that should be consumed sparingly.
  4. Beverages:

    • Alcohol including Beer, in particular, has been linked to an increased risk of gout attacks. Moderation or abstinence is recommended.
    •  Regarding sweetened beverages, multiple studies have established a link between hyperuricemia and gout. Purines found in high-fructose corn syrup, in particular, are correlated with increased crystal deposits and their associated symptoms.

      5. High Fructose Corn Syrup

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup exists in many commercially prepared foods today.  It's in BBQ Sauce, ketchup and many other condiments.  It's also in cereals, candies, soft drinks, juices, fast food and so much more.  If there is a single dietary change that people can make, it's to start reading labels and refuse foods with high fructose corn syrups.

Herbal Treatments for Gout:

  1. Turmeric:

    • Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, possesses anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate gout symptoms.
    • Incorporating turmeric into daily meals or taking supplements is widely used for its potential anti-inflammatory effects.
    •  Turmeric should be avoided in those with Gall Bladder problems
    • Turmeric may have blood thinning effects which is often beneficial but could interact with prescription and herbal Anti-coagulants
  2. Devil's Claw:

    • Devil's Claw has been traditionally used to address inflammatory conditions, including arthritis.
    • Studies suggest that Devil's Claw may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making it a potential herbal remedy for gout.
    • People with Peptic Ulcers or Gall Stones should avoid devil's claw. 
    • Devil's Claw may interact with Anti-coagulants and may reduce blood pressure which could lower blood pressure to much in people on Anti-hypertensive medicines
  3. Cherry Extract:

    • Cherries contain compounds that may help reduce uric acid levels in the blood.
    • Consuming cherry juice or extracts may have a positive impact on gout symptoms, although individual responses may vary. 
    • Cherry extract should be avoided in people who are allergic to cherries and excessive intake can may exacerbate gastrointestinal issues in some individuals.
    • Cherry extract may intensify the effects of blood thinners and diabetic meds because it has the same effects and the drugs.


Energy Healing for Gout:

Energy healing practices aim to restore balance and harmony in the body's energy systems. While scientific evidence on the effectiveness of energy healing in treating specific medical conditions is limited, some individuals find relief from gout symptoms through these practices. Techniques such as Reiki, acupuncture, and acupressure may be explored in conjunction with conventional treatments to enhance overall well-being and reduce stress, which can be a contributing factor to gout flare-ups.

It's important to note that one should never abruptly discontinue prescription drugs without consulting with your healthcare provider.  Natural treatments should initially complement, not replace, conventional medical approaches to gout . Holistic medicine is often much slower and may require adjustments to regimens to reach peak efficacy.  Herbs can also interact with other medicines or may be contraindicated in certain conditions.  Unfortunately, most practitioners are not educated in the use of herbs to treat medical ailments.  For this reason, it's critical for consumers to be proactive and do their own research.


Gout is a painful and challenging condition that requires a comprehensive approach for effective management. Exploring natural treatments, including herbal remedies and energy healing, can be a valuable addition to conventional therapies.  By combining the best of traditional and alternative practices, individuals with gout can strive for a holistic approach to managing their symptoms and promoting overall wellness.


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