Is the Paleo diet responsible for my gout or is the fructose guilty?
Yesterday I woke up with a throbbing big toe joint, it was itchy, red and unbearable. I automatically thought it must be the start of a bunion but after researching it online it appears that I have gout. Gout, a type of arthritis, is an autoimmune disorder that causes intense pain and tenderness in the joints. Attacks are usually sudden and severe. Most gout attacks occur in the joint at the base of the big toe. I can only put this down to my nearly two weeks, of stuffing my face, with processed foods – It can only be that nothing else has changed in my life just the change of food. This is so obvious to me that I am even more determined to share my life experiences and nourish and repair recipes.
Meat gets a bad reputation with gout and the paleo diet also gets bad mouthed, but I truly believe that it’s the fructose that has triggered this flare up. Look at the evidence – after months of eating paleo and feeling so much better with no gout and then nearly two weeks of eating processed junk food with a gout flare up – its not hard to see what the real culprit is!
Science has now shown us, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that sugar in your food, in all its myriad of forms, is taking a devastating toll on your health. High fructose intake was linked to gout in a Choi-led study published in 2008. Uric acid is one of the products of fructose metabolism, and there’s good evidence from controlled feeding studies that fructose increases uric acid levels in the blood. Much of the fructose in today’s American diet comes from the high-fructose corn syrup (which is about half fructose and half glucose) that’s used to sweeten soft drinks.
There are two overall reasons fructose is so damaging:
- Your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose. The entire burden of metabolizing fructose falls on your liver.
- People are consuming fructose in enormous quantities, which has made the negative effects much more profound.
Fructose elevates uric acid, which decreases nitric oxide, raises angiotensin, and causes your smooth muscle cells to contract, thereby raising your blood pressure and potentially damaging your kidneys.
Increased uric acid also leads to chronic, low-level inflammation, which has far-reaching consequences for your health. For example, chronically inflamed blood vessels lead to heart attacks and strokes; also, a good deal of evidence exists that some cancers are caused by chronic inflammation.
I have now cut out the processed foods and am hoping that the gout will very soon reverse. I will be also treating my gout naturally with:
- Apple cider vinegar (1-2 tablespoons with a small glass of water).
- Beetroot juice.
- No alcohol.
- No sugar or fizzy drinks.
- Up my vitamin C.
- Reduce my caffeine intake.
- Hydrating with water.