Gout, The Disease of Kings

I first heard of gout being referred to as the ‘disease of kings’ during my undergraduate pharmacology degree.  What this means is that if you suffer from gout, then there’s a pretty good chance that you are of royal lineage.  Okay, maybe I am only joking about that.  However, the truth is that maybe you’re just living like a king–drinking too much red wine and eating too much meats which are high in purines.  Well, at the very least lifestyle choices can contribute to gout.

Gout, The Disease of Kings - BurgerKing

Gout, The Disease of Kings?

Gout is a type of arthritis which is caused by excessive levels of uric acid in your bloodstream.  The excessive uric acid levels in your blood lead to uric acid crystals being deposited in the articular cartilage of your joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues.  Typical symptoms include swelling, redness, warmth, burning pain, and stiffness in the affected joint.  Most commonly, gout affects the ‘big toe,’ but it can also affect other joints.  Untreated, gout can lead to joint damage.

Natural Remedies for Gout?

To treat gout, there are several different medications available that you can discuss with your doctor.  Other measures include making appropriate changes to your diet including:

  1. Eat less meat, fish, poultry which are high in purines.
  2. Reduce alcohol consumption–particularly red wins.
  3. Maintain adequate hydration by drinking an adequate amount of water.

However, all of this is fine and good, but it’s not why my blog readers come to visit my site.  If you wanted to read some medical information about gout, I am guessing you would probably already be visiting WebMD or a similar site.  The reason that I am guessing that your here is to read about some natural remedies for gout–and to find out whether or not there’s any science supporting that they actually work.

1. Vitamin C

“CONCLUSION: Supplementation with 500 mg/day of vitamin C for 2 months reduces serum uric acid, suggesting that vitamin C might be beneficial in the prevention and management of gout and other urate-related diseases” (Huang et al 2005).

2. Simiao Pill

Unfortunately, I do not have access to the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. This means that I was unable to read more than the abstract on this recent publication. Further, I cannot find a reliable information which lists the ingredients/dosages of the Simiao Pill. However, some digging around on the internet suggests that the ‘active ingredient’ in the Simiao pill for the treatment of gout is likely Phellodendron amurense bark*.

The study authors of this trial offered this conclusion:

“Conclusion: The modified prescriptions, based on the clinical research, clinical experience and traditional Chinese medicine theory, did show a better effect than Western medicine in this clinical study. Moreover, the prescriptions were precise, with the herbs inexpensive and readily available. The patients had good compliance with less adverse reactions noted” (Shi et al, 2008).

*I will add an update when I confirm the ingredients in the formulation for the Simiao Pill.

3. Cherries

Bing sweet cherries–(280 g)

“The decrease in plasma urate after cherry consumption supports the reputed anti-gout efficacy of cherries. The trend toward decreased inflammatory indices adds to the in vitro evidence that compounds in cherries may inhibit inflammatory pathways” (Jacob et al, 2003).

Though this is not an exhaustive review of the literature surrounding natural remedies for gout, it does offer a starting point. At the very least, vitamin C intake whether taken in the form of a dietary supplement (500mg/day) or through the daily consumption of ‘bing cherries” (280g/day) might be something worth considering.

Additionally, if you can find a reliable supplier of the Simiao Pill that you trust and discuss this treatment with your physician, then this might be another option to consider.

For more information about gout, follow this link to read about Natural Remedies for Gout.

References:

  1. Huang HY, Appel LJ, Choi MJ, Gelber AC, Charleston J, Norkus EP, Miller ER 3rd.  The effects of vitamin C supplementation on serum concentrations of uric acid: results of a randomized controlled trial.  Arthritis Rheum. 2005 Jun;52(6):1843-7.
  2. Shi XD, Li GC, Qian ZX, Jin ZQ, Song Y. Randomized and Controlled Clinical Study of Modified Prescriptions of Simiao Pill () in the Treatment of Acute Gouty Arthritis. Chin J Integr Med. 2008 Jan 25.
  3. Jacob RA, Spinozzi GM, Simon VA, Kelley DS, Prior RL, Hess-Pierce B, Kader AA. Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women. J Nutr. 2003 Jun;133(6):1826-9.

3 thoughts on “Gout, The Disease of Kings

  1. You know, I had heard of gout but was never really sure what it was or what caused it. I like the bing cherries that help. great site!

  2. Doc and Heidi, thank you both for your comments on this blog post. Heidi, I liked your blog site so much that I’ve just added it to my blogroll.

    Cheers,

    Jarret

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