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Natural treatments for Gout

Gout is a metabolic disease in which deposits of uric acid (crystals) develop in the joints, connective tissue or both.   As your uric acid levels rise, uric acid crystals  build up in the spaces between the joints and connective tissues resulting in stiffness and pain in the joints.   A type of inflammatory arthritis,  gout affects more men than women.   Women are more likely to suffer from gout after menopause.

Symptoms of Gout

Gout is often referred to as feet or toe disease. This is because one of the most common symptoms of gout is severe pain in the big toe or feet.   Gout can also affect other joints such as the ankles, knees, wrist, fingers, elbows and hands.   Other symptoms of gout include:

  • Gout first appears as nodules or ‘tophi’ in the joints of the hands, elbows and ears
  • There is often no warning of a gout attack which  can last for a few hours to over a week. Gout attacks often happen in the night or the early hours of the morning.
  • Gout pain  is characterized by a warm or hot feeling accompanied by swelling of the affected joints.
  • During a gout attack, the joint or area around the joint may become red or even purple in color.
  • As the pain and swelling subside, you are left with peeling and itchy skin around the affected area.
  • Fever can occur in some people  during the gout attack.
  • Gout makes the joints stiff which can severely restricting mobility.
  • In some cases, there are no visible symptoms of gout. It is these cases that are more likely to develop into chronic gout, as they tend to remain untreated.

Causes of Gout

Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood.  When eating foods rich in purines such as organ meats, yeast, and oily fish, the body breaks down the purines and produces uric acid. Normally uric acid is flushed out of the body through the kidneys by urinating.  However, if the body is producing too much uric acid for the kidneys to process, the levels of uric acid can rise dramatically, creating  hyperuricemia. The resulting buildup of uric acid crystals  around the joints and connective tissues results in severe inflammation and pain. Other causes of gout and risk factors include:

  • Heredity:   If your parents or other members in your family have gout, you are at a higher risk of developing the disease. Preventive measures such as changing your diet and reducing  alcohol consumption can help delay the onset of gout.
  • Gender and age:   Gout affects a larger percentage of middle-aged men. Men have higher levels of uric acid in the body as compared to women and this may be why this happens. Where women are concerned, gout cases are primarily found in post-menopausal women.
  • Alcohol Use:    Drinking alcohol especially beer is said to cause gout. Yeast is considered the culprit  here as a diet heavy with yeast-based products may also lead to gout. Alcohol also interferes with the removal of uric acid in the body and therefore leads to high levels causing gout.
  • High Protein Diet:    Having a diet that mainly consists of red meats, organ meats and oily fish can make you more susceptible to the development of gout.
  • Lack of exercise Obesity is also linked to the development of gout. A regular exercise routine can help boost immunity and prevent obesity.
  • Medical conditions If you suffer from other diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you may be more predisposed to developing gout.
  • Medication:  Certain medications could cause a rise in uric acid levels in the body. Studies show that diuretic drugs used to treat high blood pressure, anti-rejection drugs used after transplant surgery and even aspirin can increase the level of uric acid in the body and cause gout.
  • Research indicates that some people may have an enzyme defect that could interfere with the body’s natural ability to break down purines and create uric acid. This could also lead to gout.
  • A prolonged exposure to lead can cause gout as well.
  • High fructose Corn Syrup:  Studies have proven that eating a diet high in fructose or corn syrup  or consuming drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup,  such as soft drinks, can significantly increase risk of gout in both men and women.

Natural Remedies for Gout

There are many natural remedies to assist in managing the pain and inflammation of a gout attack.   The following is a list that you can try:

  • According to research cherries can be very helpful, both for the treatment of gout and as a preventative.  There are multiple options available  such as  drinking cherry juice, taking
    cherry capsules or just eating them daily.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – many people report that 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar with the mother  (Braggs is the brand I use) stops the pain from gout and prevents future attacks.  The best way to take it is with 8 ozs of water.  You can sweeten with organic honey if you like.  Suggested dose is am/pm.  If you are in an active attack, you can take it  up to 3 times daily.  People have also reported that soaking the inflamed joint in vinegar or even rubbing it on the sore joint brings quick relief from the pain.
  • Cold pressed castor oil can be very helpful in treating the pain and inflammation from a gout attack.  The best way to use  it is to make a “castor oil pack”.  Use a clean cotton cloth ( I like to use cloth diapers) Rub the castor oil over the inflamed joint and then place a piece of material soaked in castor oil over the joint.  Wrap that in plastic (old newspaper wrappers are great but saran wrap works well to) and then wrap in an ace bandage.  It is helpful to apply a heating pad or hot water bottle over the pack.  You can leave them in place over nite if you like.  The pain relief from doing this can be profound.   This treatment can be helpful for any type of tendonitis or arthritis.
  • Baking Soda and Lemon Juice – Mixing baking soda and lemon juice creates a drink that has a near-perfect pH of seven, and reduces the risk of raising the blood pressure in those who are sensitive, according to the book “The pH Miracle.” However, if you take medication for high blood pressure, you are still advised to speak to your health practitioner or doctor first before using this method of treating gout.  To create the mixture, pour 2 tbsp. lemon juice into a tall glass and add 1/2 tbsp. baking soda to the juice, allow it to foam and fizz until the mixture is completely flat, which may take up to 3 minutes. Add 6 to 8 oz. of water and drink immediately. The mixture should not taste salty or lemony, but rather like flat water. Because this drink has a pH of approximately seven, it will neutralize an acidic pH in the blood stream and in some cases, may bring instant pain relief. You can repeat this mixture throughout the day as needed up to a total of six times or a total of 3 tsp. of baking soda daily. Do not use this mixture for maintenance, only during an acute attack. Check with your health practitioner before using this mixture.
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Is Your Medication Causing Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is not a disease in itself, but is a symptom of some other disorder in the body.   Atrial fibrillation is characterized by an irregular, rapid heart beat that can be either intermittent or permanent in nature.  Triggers for atrial fibrillation can include angina,  valvular heart disease,  heart attack, heart surgery,  hyperthyroidism,   anemia,  hypoglycemia,  hypertension,  atherosclerosis, electrolyte imbalances such as between sodium and potassium or calcium and magnesium , binge drinking,  strenuous exercise,  consumption of foods containing tyramine (such as cheese, red wine, yogurt, bananas and chocolate), caffeine,  nicotine,  bacterial infections such as Heliobacter-pylori and pharmaceutical drugs.

Pharmaceutical drugs that can trigger atrial fibrillation include Bisphosphonates such as Fosamax made by Merck Inc and Reclast by Novartis AG.  Women who have ever used alendronate, otherwise  known as Fosamax, have an 86% higher risk of atrial fibrillation.  Steroid use can also trigger atrial fibrillation. In the May 2006 Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr Stricker reports that in the Rotterdam Study the risk of new onset atrial fibrillation was significantly higher in individuals who received corticosteroids.   High doses of coricosteroids may affect the balance of potassium in cardiac muscle cells, which may  induce arrhythmia or can  cause sodium and fluid retention, leading to hypertension, left atrial enlargement and congestive heart failure….all known risk factors.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin etc) and naproxen (Aleve) are over the counter medications taken by tens of millions of Americans every day.  These drugs can cause serious heart rhythm abnormalities that can lead to stroke or sudden death!

 Then there are the prescription strength NSAID’s  prescribed by physicians every day.  These include: celecoxib (celebrex) diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren) etodolac (Lodine) ibuprofen (Motrin) indomethacin (Indocin) ketorolac (Torad0l)  (Anaprox, Naprosyn) meloxican (Mobic) oxaprozin (Daypro) piroxicam (Feldene) sulindac (Clinoril), Citalopram (Celexa).

 There are many other drugs that can cause atrial fibrillation or flutter, I am listing some of them but the list is not complete.    If you click on the highlighted terms, you will find a sample of studies related to the drug and atrial fibrillation and other side effects.   I have not provided links for all of the drugs as many of them are listed in the same studies.

If you develop atrial fib after starting a new prescription,  you need to do an online search for that medication and heart rhythm abnormalities to find out if there is a link.  I suggest you then talk to your natural health provider armed with this information and discuss other options to address your atrial fibrillation.  Remember,  your health is in your hands!

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Statins- What your doctor doesn’t tell you

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned that statin
drugs may be linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.  Considering that
one in four Americans over age 45 consumes a statin drug on a daily
basis, one should consider trying natural alternatives to lower cholesterol.

Studies found that people treated with statins (HMG COA-reductase inhibitors)
may develop high blood sugar and have an increased risk of developing Type 2
Diabetes.  The findings suggest that healthcare providers and patients should
monitor the sugar levels of patients on statin therapy and should carefully evaluate
whether benefits of these drugs outweigh the potential risks.

Herbs and supplements can be useful in helping to lower cholesterol without
the toxic side effects of  cholesterol medications.   Proper use of integrative
therapies can be both safe and effective and help to avoid adverse reactions
to statin drugs.    Some of the other reported side effect of statins are pain,
including headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, peripheral neuropathy, fatigue,
dizziness, swelling, blood pressure changes, ringing in the ears, depression,
sleep problems, sexual problems, dry skin, rashes, nausea, changes in
temperature regulation, increased irritability, changes in weight and cognitive

There are a number of alternative ways to manage cholesterol.  I have
listed several that are reported to be effective for you to discuss with your
alternative health care provider.  You can also find many cholesterol lowering
formulas.   Look for one that contains at least some of these supplements.
Click on the highlighted supplement to read studies linked to the supplement use.

    • Reishi  (also known as Ganoderma Lucidum)is a medicinal mushroom
      that is reported too reduce cholesterol  It should be taken with Vitamin C
      for maximum benefits.  Suggested dose  is 600- 800 mg 2 to 3 times daily.


    • Beta-sitosterol  is one of the most studied and proven to be most
      effective supplements to lower total and LDL cholesterol.
      suggested dose is 300-600 mg daily.


    • Cinnamon – A study published in the December 2003 issue of Diabetes
      Care Journal of the American Diabetes Association found that people with
      high cholesterol who took 1-6 mg of cinnamon powder for 40 day lowered
      their total cholesterol level 26 percent.  Cinnamon can affect blood
      glucose levels so it is recommended that you consult with your
      natural health care practitioner before using.


    • Beta Glucan according to an article published in “Comprehensive
      Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety”  in July of 2012,  eating
      foods containing beta glucan may lower your risk of heart disease
      by lowering your LDL (bad cholesterol) and raising your HDL
      (good cholesterol) and by lowering your blood pressure.


    • Probiotics -   Research indicates that probiotics convert cholesterol
      into a less absorbable form and send it into the gut for elimination.
      Suggested dosage is 2 probiotic capsules daily between meals.


    • Chromium Picolinate is essential in the metabolism and
      distribution of fats and lipids in the body and is therefor helpful
      in maintaining normal cholesterol.


    • Krill Oil  according to studies, Krill oil is significantly
      effective than fish oil in reducing cholesterol.
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Homeopathic Treatment for Allergies

If spring and fall send your seasonal allergies into a spin, many experts say look to Mother Nature for relief. Allergy sufferers often find that the road to relief is best achieved by non toxic natural solutions. There are a variety of all-natural treatments that studies show can help — often without many of the troubling side effects associated with traditional care. “Using nature-based products can be a very useful way to handle mild allergies and a useful adjunct for more significant allergies, and there are many types of treatments you can safely try,” says Mary Hardy, MD, director of integrative medicine at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Homeopathic treatment is gaining respect in the treatment of upper respiratory infections and allergies. In late 2011, the Swiss government’s report on homeopathic medicine represents the most comprehensive evaluation of homeopathic medicine ever written by a government and was just published in book form in English (Bornhoft and Matthiessen, 2011). This breakthrough report affirmed that homeopathic treatment is both effective and cost-effective and that homeopathic treatment should be reimbursed by Switzerland’s national health insurance program. The Swiss report found a particularly strong body of evidence to support the homeopathic treatment of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections and Respiratory Allergies. This report cited 29 studies in “Upper Respiratory Tract Infections/AllergicReactions,” of which 24 studies found a positive result in favor of homeopathy. Further, six out of seven controlled studies that compared homeopathic treatment with conventional medical treatment showed homeopathy to be more effective than conventional medical interventions.

Considering the lack of toxic side effects offered by the homeopathic products and the recent studies performed by the Swiss government showing them to often be more effective than conventional treatments, it would seem logical to at least test these products to see if they are effective for your allergy symptoms. I have used a variety of homeopathic products for many years and have been very pleased with the results.



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Treat Your Allergies Naturally


Allergies plague millions of people, and many only get marginal relief from drugs, which can also have frustrating side effects. There are many ways to treat your allergies naturally, without medicine. Unless it’s an allergy that is life-threatening, try one of these methods before you reach for the pharmaceuticals.

Treating your allergies naturally with things like vitamins, minerals, and herbs will also boost and strengthen your immune system and provide adrenal support. Not only are you fighting your allergy symptoms, you’re also helping to avoid future illnesses.

The name for this approach to fighting allergies is called the “Orthomolecular” approach. This method focuses on using nutritional supplements to strengthen the body, which helps you correct nutritional imbalances that can compromise your immune system and it supports the body’s natural functions to let your body itself fight allergies.

Combining Nutritional supplements into an allergy relief plan can achieve specific effects. First, herbs and dietary supplements that strengthen the immune system are essential. Then, other nutrients and herbs strengthen the adrenal glands in your body so that you can fight allergens better. The last group of supplements work as natural antihistamines, decongestants, and relieve the inflammation that usually comes with allergies.


Vitamin C w/bioflavonoids This supplement works as a natural antihistamine, and it boosts your immune system while providing adrenal support. Take up to 5000 mg daily.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) B5 boosts adrenal function and also defends against stress. It is a good addition to other supplements that boost immunity and provide antihistamine action. Take up to 1000 mg 2 times daily.

CoQ10 This one does more than just boost immunity and work as an antihistamine – it also helps you deal with stress, and is often combined with B VitaminS to counteract depression. Take 100 mg 3 times daily.

Vitamin A If coughing and postnasal drip are PART of your symptoms, it is likely that you have inflammation. Vitamin A will reduce inflammation, and boost your immune system. Take 10,000 IU 2 times daily.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Combine Omega-3 fatty acids with Vitamin A and CoQ10 for a complete allergy relief plan – it works to reduce allergic reactions. Take 1000 mg dail

Alka Seltzer Gold is a sodium bicarbonate/potassium bicarbonate mix that has been
shown to reduce allergic responses. It is very effective when combined with
Emer-gen-c. When you have active allergy symptoms it can be very helpful to take this mix am/pm.


Licorice Root Is often referenced in herbal literature dealing with allergies and colds. It works so well because it encourages the adrenal glands to produce hormones that fight illness and allergies, as well as reduce inflammation. Licorice root also increases the level of interferon produced in the body, a natural chemical that fights viruses. Try a licorice root tea, available at health food stores, and drink it hot 3 times daily.

Astragalus Usually taken in capsule form, increases your body’s metabolic activity and strengthens your immune system. Like licorice root, it increases the body’s production of interferon. Follow directions on the bottle as to recommended dosage.


Capsicum It is high in Vitamin C and quercitin, a natural antihistamine. Studies have shown that it may help your respiratory system fight infections, and it has been proven to increase energy and help with allergies and respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma, and general colds. This is another herb which is better taken in capsule form. Follow the direction included with your bottle.

Vitamin C with Qurecitin It works as an antihistamine and the Vitamin C helps your immune system.

The three categories you need to address are Immune Support, Adrenal Support, and Antihistamine/Decongestant Action. Choose one type of natural supplement for each of these categories, and you’re well on your way to natural relief that will keep you from illness down the line.

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