Unfortunately, the season of holiday celebrations is also a season of pain for many folks. And it’s not just the pain of being seated next to your least-favorite relative at a family gathering.
Because it turns out, there’s another form of agony that’s even worse than Uncle Charlie threatening to show you his scar again. And that’s gout pain.
Gout often flairs up this time of year because the foods we tend to serve at our celebratory feasts are typically big triggers for this common form of arthritis.
Now, the drug companies are promising they have a way to avoid the pain, swelling, and tenderness that come with the condition. And all you have to do is pop some of the worst prescription pills to ever hit the market.
BIG risks for little rewards
Not long ago, the Big Pharma execs were convinced SGLT2 inhibitors would be the hottest thing since peppermint bark. But it wasn’t gout they were targeting. It was diabetes.
More than 4,100 Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every single day. And being able to sell them a new pricey med is just the kind of payday drug companies are always looking for.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to their bank accounts… cha-ching.
But instead of the straight-up windfall they expected to be celebrating, the drug companies had unleashed a disaster. SGLT2s quickly became known for something other than blood-sugar control. Studies show that they could DOUBLE the risk of lower-limb amputations in some cases.
The problem is so bad that it earned the drugs a rare FDA black-box warning. But for hundreds of folks who had limbs amputated, that warning came far too late.
The biggest danger zone? Those same toes and feet that gout typically targets.
In other words, they’re claiming these drugs that could cause you to LOSE a foot or toe can instead SAVE them from intense gout pain. Which I think you will agree is more than a little ironic.
But dig a little deeper, and it gets worse.
When you do, you’ll find the numbers for the SGLT2s versus gout aren’t exactly what you’d call impressive. Once you adjust for all the other possible risk factors, the benefit is just 11 percent.
That’s it. And you need to ask yourself if a lousy 11 percent reduction in the risk of gout pain is worth potentially losing a foot or toe over.
In my book, the reward to risk ratio is way off balance. So it would be a solid no from me.
Especially not when there are better options for beating gout. And no dangerous diabetes meds will be necessary, either.
Reduce gout risks without dangerous drugs
The best way to reduce your gout risk is to avoid things that trigger it. But that will take some work on your part. Because those foods can be harder to avoid during the holidays than Uncle Charlie.
Just about every holiday spread contains some triggers. Those can include red meat (especially organ meats used in pates), seafood, cheese, sweetened drinks, alcohol, and even some sauces and gravies.
But the good news is you don’t have to cut those foods from your diet entirely unless you’re already in the middle of a flare-up. Just limit them. Moderation is key here.
Plus, it’s a good idea to keep track of what foods seem to cause your gout to flare, so you’ll know precisely which ones to avoid. (Now, if it were only that easy to avoid Uncle Charlie too.)
The second solution is to boost your vitamin C. It’s a natural way to flush uric acid out of your system. If left to accumulate, the acid can form painful glass-shard-like crystals that can lead to pain in the big toe and foot, often the hallmark of gout.
In one long-term study, guys taking 1,500 mg of vitamin C per day had a 45 percent lower risk of developing gout than those who took 250 mg or less.
Next, try one of nature’s best gout-busters, pure cherry extract with no added sugars. In some cases, it can help break up the uric acid crystals preventing or ending gout pain. And don’t forget to drink lots of water to flush the uric acid crystals out of our system.
But whatever you do, don’t ignore that tell-tale pain. Because those same uric acid crystals have been linked to a deadly heart condition. You can catch up on the link here.
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