Let me start by updating everyone on my recovery from my latest gout attack. I am now 13 days out from my post titled “Stage 1 Recovery”. Since then the swelling in my pointer finger has gone down but my middle finger knuckle is still fat. My knees are both back to normal and I am able to go to the gym and workout on the elliptical without any issues. I currently have no pain so all my attention is focused on just getting the remaining fluid out of my middle finger. Now while I appreciate modern medicine and the help I get from it, I really am looking for alternatives to treat my gout. No matter what I take there are short and long-term sides effects that I truly do not wish to experience. This post is about my new approach that I started 3 days ago.
I want to give you a little background about my current gout attack and medications I am taking. My current attack started in early December. My doctor wanted to have me switch to Allopurinol to help decrease my uric acid levels in the long-term. About 4 days in I knew I was about to have an extreme attack when both my knees, both elbows, my hand, and my ankles were sore. I tried to stick it out through the pain but it eventually got to the point where I was crippled in bed and no pain medication, ice, heat or anything else brought me relief. I was up for days and only fell asleep when absolute exhaustion set in. I literally was lying in bed like a starfish and crying in agony. If you couldn’t have guessed, I got to the point where I knew I had to stop the Allopurinol. Typically, the plan whenever someone goes on Allopurinol is to ride out the pain and take Cholchicine and other meds until the pain subsides. This just wasn’t happening for me and I couldn’t spend two weeks in pain and confined to the bed. After about a week my extreme pain finally started to subside. All I took during this time was Cholchicine and Ibuprofen. I also drank about a gallon of water a day. Slowly my elbows, ankles, and one of my knee’s got better. The only issues left after a few weeks were my right knee and my fingers on my left hand. Another week and a half later and my other knee started to get better. Now I just needed to work on my middle finger and I will be back to normal.
Once I started to get better I knew I had to find an alternative to the Allopurinol. That’s when i started looking up some more natural methods. I was already making sure I kept myself plenty hydrated by drinking around a gallon of water a day. In addition to that I started taking Tart Cherry Extract. Tart Cherries are high in anthocyanins, antioxidants and potassium, all nutrients that act to reduce inflammation and contribute to alkalizing the body. When the urine and blood are slightly alkaline, acidosis is less prevalent and uric acid passes from the body in urine rather than depositing as crystals in the joints. It is recommended though that you use fructose-free tart cherries. Some studies have shown that the amount of fructose one consumes can cause a gout flare-up. Flare-ups can also come from fruit juices and soda beverages that have high fructose contents. Personally, I use a USDA organic certified tart cherry extract. It has the natural sugars of the cherries but nothing extra has been added. I currently am taking 3 tablespoons of tart cherry in the morning and at night. That is roughly the equivalent to eating about 250 cherries a day.
The new natural remedie I have researched and started about three days ago is Celery Seed extract. This was something I had no real knowledge about. Over the weekend I was driving home from work when I was stopped at a traffic light and saw a nutrition store. I have been wanting to visit a nutrition store because of the research I have been doing lately on celery seed extract. It was important that when I found one that the staff was knowledgable and they had a variety of products to select from. I talked to the owner of the store and she stated lots of people come in for celery seed. I figured since it was only celery seed tablets I might as well try it. Nothing to lose. I bought one bottle containing 60 pills. Each pill contains 250 mg’s of celery seed extract and is taken twice a day. I then came home to jump on the internet and research the celery seed extract even further.
I found that the celery seed is an old-time remedy that has been used in all forms of arthritis and gout treatments. Although there is not a vast amount of research on the subject there were some studies that seemed promising. According to web-site for Dr. David Williams:
In one 12-week pilot study, 15 subjects (suffering from osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or gout) received 34 mg of a proprietary celery seed extract standardized to contain 85% phthalides twice daily. Participants experienced significant pain relief after three weeks, and most achieved maximum benefit after six weeks of use.
In a larger 70-patient study, participants received 75 mg of celery extract twice daily for three weeks. At this higher dosage, subjects reported even better results than in the pilot study. Statistically and clinically significant reductions were noted in pain scores, mobility, and quality of life.
There seems to be a wide range of recommended dosages across various sites. It looks like the range is from 68 mg to 300 mg daily. These dosages were spread out over 2-3 times per day. The pills I have are actually 250 mg per capsule. The bottle suggests taking it twice a day for a total of 500 mg. Of all the studies I have seen, patients who took a higher dosage amount experienced better results. I am hoping this proves to be true for myself as well. I am also going to look up side effects just so I can monitor any changes or adverse reactions.
I am now on day 3 of my new regimen. I will keep everyone posted as to what the results are and how I am doing. Below you will see a list of what I am taking. Please remember, everyone is different and while this may work for me someone else might have to try different alternatives for relief.
As always consult your physician before trying anything new.
Water: As close to a gallon a day as possible. I split it up into 4 32 ounce segments.
Tart Cherry Extract: I take tablespoons in the morning and 3 and night. I just do it as straight shots but you can mix it in water or make some form of smoothie with it.
Celery Seed Extract: 2 capsules a day. One in the morning and one at night.
Cholchicine: 1 pill daily until the swelling is gone in my finger.