Gout is a problem that today affects many people. In years gone by it was a symptom that only the rich suffered from – given the fact that they ate all sorts of rich foods and drank copious amounts of Port and other alcoholic beverages. Today, most of us from time to time, eat an over-rich diet and if like me, you tick some of the boxes that set it off, you run the risk of a sudden painful onset.
I am not overweight, nor do I have high blood pressure or diabetes, nor close relatives with gout, but gout is more common when you get older and is three to four times more likely in men and is probably the reason why I got it. I had a bout some years ago (for the very first time). I thought at first that I had torn a ligament in my big toe by being over-active in sport. The pain in the metatarsal-phalangeal joint in my toe was excruciating. I had never ever experienced anything like it. Being a man, of course at first I just suffered with it and assumed that it would go away. However after two nights without sleep (the very weight of the duvet on top of my foot caused considerable pain) and being unable to do anything other than limp painfully around the house, I agreed with my wife and made an appointment with my doctor. It took him just a minute of examination of the redness around the joint to confirm the worst.
It seemed that the anti-inflammatory pills that he gave me took days to start to ease the pain in the toe joint. Given the lack of sleep, I imagine that I was in a foul mood and difficult to live with and in all it was about ten days before normality returned.
Over the next weeks I read up on all of the available literature about gout and understood that it is caused by the build-up over a number of years, of tiny, hard, needle-shaped uric acid crystals that for whatever reason deposit themselves in the joint. What it seems is that my body produces too much puric acid (that forms the crystals) and is unable to eliminate it on a daily basis. I was angry that it had happened to me – especially so when I lead a pretty normal life and eat healthy foods (most of the time). However, I do like a pint of that well-known Irish black stout and prior to the event I had been eating some oysters but was completely oblivious to the fact that this increased the risk. I changed my habits. I didn’t eat oysters for years. For a long-time, I eliminated my intake of stout and beer. Normality returned to my life. I forgot all about the hugely painful experience.
Gradually over the years, my bad habits returned and last week I had occasion to go out with some old rugby chums. In the evening we had more that our share of the ‘black-stuff’. On the night it was agreed that it would be great to pay a visit to a lovely restaurant here in Troon (McCallums) that specialises in fish dishes and in the process I started my meal with an exquisite plate of oysters.
Three o’clock in the morning after our night on the town I awoke with a start to find that the excruciating pain in my big toe joint had erupted and more or less immediately I remembered the trauma of all those years ago.
At the time I was alone as my wife, Sheila was away doing some baby-sitting at my daughters in England. I cursed the fact that I was about to have to suffer with the problem for at least another week. I lay for some time with the painful foot hanging out of the bed. Then, despite the fact that it was the middle of the night, I got up and went through to my study to look for my notes on the event of some years prior. I did not look forward to having to visit my doctor and for him to prescribe the pills (anti-inflammatory analgesics) that would take days to provide any relief.
Thankfully I managed to find the notes and set about the following regime (as I will describe) that provided relief quicker than I could ever have imagined possible and given the immediate success, I thought that I would share this with you.
- Given that the joint was inflamed I found a bag of peas in the freezer, wrapped it in a dish-towel and applied it to the side of the toe to help reduce the inflammation.
- Having read somewhere that a high dose of vitamin C is helpful in eliminating the crystals I juiced a whole lemon, added a little hot, boiled water and then a dash of cold water to make it drinkable – and swallowed the lot.
- With my knowledge of plant-based therapeutic essential oils, I knew that Frankincense has powerful anti-inflammatory powers and so I made up a forumla that I applied to the reddened skin around the joint and continued to re-apply every four hours.
- I thought about the fact that over the previous week I had been drinking little water and in turn I was not hydrating my body and more importantly flushing out my liver and kidneys. (everyone should drink three pints of water daily). I set about fixing this problem.
I went back to bed and thankfully managed to fall asleep.
You can imagine my amazement when I awoke at eight in the morning to find that the pain in my toe joint was much-reduced. Gingerly I got to my feet and was able to put on some loose-fitting sandals and headed for my local health-food shop where I was keen to source a bottle of concentrated cherry juice. Thankfully the shop had the very thing that I looked for and over the day that followed I dosed myself with 30ml mouthful of the liquor every three hours. I went to bed that night much relieved that my self-administered regime had worked so well. A day later and all of my symptoms had disappeared.
I don’t know which of any of the applications worked best and indeed, perhaps if you ever suffer as I did from such a bout of agonizing, insufferable, toe-curling pain (not that you can curl the toe – given that the joint is rigid), then I hope that you may consider my regime to eliminate the problem and especially so when considering the fact that most doctors are in the habit of prescribing a pills to mask the pain but nothing to help eliminate the problem.
Of course in all of this, I must state that I am not a doctor and that in the first instance if you have a medical condition that it is of the utmost importance that you discuss the matter with your GP and take his advice. However, given the natural nature of my recipe for eliminating gout, I would hope that your GP will agree with all that I write here and allow you to take advantage of what for me was a little bit of a miracle.