UPDATE: For additional info please see this new blog on gout: About Gout: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Relief
My previous post on gout has been, by far, my most popular post and I feel it is time to update so as to give better information out there to those searching for a remedy to an extremely painful problem.
My previous post talked about how I found some relief using alkaline raising products from plain old baking soda in a solution of water as well as alkaline drops. I did indeed get some relief from that, but it wasn’t ever enough. The attacks were coming even more frequently and I had been on a cane for months. I couldn’t really even walk without that cane, so I eventually bought a second one to ensure that I would never be without it. I would leave one in my car and one in my house so one would always be near. Even still, sometimes I had to resort to using crutches as it was just too painful to put any pressure on my feet. But what is worse, is that gout eventually attacked my knees. I thought I had already experienced the worst that gout could do, but when it hit my knees I was in for a whole new world of hurt. I couldn’t move and just wanted to throw up from the pain. (Do NOT let it get to your knees!!! My recommendations below are nothing compared to that pain, trust me.)
Well, I finally decided to get on gout medication, Allopurinol in my case. I had been putting it off because of the potential for horrendous side effects. I was on it for only three days when I became terribly ill. I wasn’t sure tho if it was the medicine as I worked in a petri dish of an office: overcrowded and with lots of sick people; tho up to that point I had stayed completely healthy (aside from the gout that is.) So I stopped the med immediately and resumed it a week after I was better. Well, I did indeed have a negative reaction to that medicine. I ended up with an itchy rash that stayed with me for almost three weeks after stopping the med. I also learned that a decreased immune system is one of the side effects so I can safely blame the illness on it as well.
So what is the update? One of the visitors to the previous post pointed me to an article on Wikipedia about Hyperuricemia.
High dietary intake of fructose contributes significantly to hyperuricemia. In a large study in the United States, consumption of four or more sugar-sweetened soft drinks per day gave an odds ratio of 1.82 for hyperuricemia. Increased production of uric acid is the result of interference, by a product of fructose metabolism, in purine metabolism. This interference has a dual action, both increasing the conversion of ATP to inosine and hence uric acid and increasing the synthesis of purine. Fructose also inhibits the excretion of uric acid, apparently by competing with uric acid for access to the transport protein SLC2A9. The effect of fructose in reducing excretion of uric acid is increased in people with a hereditary (genetic) predisposition toward hyperuricemia and/or gout.
So what I see in this article is that my consumption of fructose is destroying my bodies ability to remove uric acid from my body and at the same time, increasing the production of painful gout crystals which would end up in my joints. As I had mentioned in my previous post on the subject, I already knew that soda and gatorade caused my gout. I was sure of it, despite doctors telling me that there was no chemical transformation that would turn the ingredients in soda into uric acid. Turns out, it doesn’t need to turn to uric acid as it added to it in different ways.
So to answer the question I see all the time: YES, gatorade can cause your gout. Gatorade uses Fructose to sweeten their drinks and so consuming Gatorade (Or Powerade) can indeed cause your gout. Soda’s are probably worse though, as they use High-Fructose corn syrup for a sweetener and they are more calorically dense, meaning even more fructose per ounce consumed. Worse, any sugar can cause this problem as regular sugar (sucrose) contains fructose as well.
The best answer, is to avoid as much sugary foods and drinks as possible. This includes soda, sports drinks and candy. Its not real easy, and I still drink a real Coke from time to time, but I have had to switch to diet sodas and chocolates like a snickers bar instead of my preferred skittles and starbursts. Now, I am still, after three months, not of the opinion that diet sodas taste very good. What I have found to work for me is to have numerous types of diet sodas so that I can have a different type each time I grab a can. Whereas in the past I could have Coke or Dr Pepper in my fridge and for months never think twice about the selection, I now have Sprite Zero, Fresca, Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Mug, Diet Cherry Pepsi, and Diet Sierra Mist in my fridge. I also buy Diet Rite as well. None of these will cause gout.
I have been three months gout free except for one weekend where (leading up to it) I had started drinking regular soda again. If you are suffering from gout, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE try this. Dietary changes are NEVER easy, but I have no doubt you have already changed your diet to try to stop the pain. This one should provide results pretty quickly.
Just so I don’t fall afoul of lawyers:
1) Its not Gatorade, Coke, or Pepsi et. al. themselves that cause gout, but the fructose which is used as a sweetener. Choose a diet variety instead.
2) “Real” sugar also contains fructose, but in lesser amounts than a High fructose corn syrup. I suggest avoiding both
3) I’m not a doctor. Duh. You should always discuss changes to your diet (and ESPECIALLY your medicine) with your medical practitioner.
Gout related products on Amazon:
Product: The Ultimate Gout Formula