Is this old-fashioned illness creeping up on you?

The Good Life Letter

12th March  2010

  • When you can take the good life too far...

  • The treatments with the nasty side effects

  • The natural ways to tackle gout

  • How you could change your life for the better in 
    just ONE MINUTE - take a look at this amazing 

I met an old friend of mine on Tuesday - Kevin -
probably the oldest friend I have...

We met back when we were both ten. Yes, that's
right, back in the days when dinosaurs still
roamed the earth.

In fact I think the Big Bang had happened the
previous Tuesday.

I just thought I'd get that all in before you said it.

Anyway,  this friend of mine is - on the surface of
it - a pretty fit chap...

He goes to the gym every so often, he's not
particularly overweight, he eats pretty well...

But when I met him, he made it clear he couldn't
have that much to drink. Not that we had planned
to - but you know what it's like when you meet
up with a really old friend.

You reminisce, you laugh about the old days, you
order a SECOND bottle of wine...

Anyway, there was none of that on Tuesday,
because good old Kev announced that he had

That's right - gout. That staple of black and white

In fact, one of my favourite Laurel & Hardy films
is based around one of the boys' uncles getting his
gout-ridden foot trodden on, slammed in car
doors, and attacked by a dog...


So for years, if I heard about anyone suffering
from gout, it brought a smile to my lips. Terrible I
know, but I just couldn't help it.

Besides, gout was always associated with living
the high life. Too much wine, too much rich food
and gout would rear its comedy head.

But the truth is far from funny...

When you can take the good life too far...

If there was an awards ceremony organized by the
country's illnesses and diseases, Gout would
definitely win the Best Comeback category.

It currently affects around 600,000 people in the
UK, with us men being the main targets. 

Now, you may think this is down to the fact that
we like our food and drink more then the ladies,
and tend to overdo it when Wales win a rugby

But that not the whole truth.

Over indulging in beer and wine, and stuffing
your face with food will INCREASE your risk of
a gout attack, but it's not the CAUSE.

No - the blame for this 'fashionable' disease lies
in the way your body deals with a natural
chemical called urate.

I can't seem to find what urate actual does
(answers on an e-mail please), but we all have it.

The problem is we sometimes have too much of

Now usually, your body gets rid of excess urate
through the kidneys. Problem solved. But some of
us just can't get rid of enough, which causes the
urate to build up and form crystals in the joints.

And boy are they painful. 

So what can you do?

Well, as ever, the mainstream just can't reach for
those pills fast enough...

The treatments with the nasty side effects

There seem to be two treatments favoured by the

Bad and badder.

The first port of  call is to treat this condition with
acute attacks of gout non-steroidal anti-
inflammatory drugs.

That's right - the dreaded NSAIDs are back!

And on the surface they seem to do a pretty good
job in dulling the pain and helping ease

But NSAIDs are notorious when it comes to side-
effects.... indigestion, rashes, headaches,
dizziness, even asthma can all be triggered by
these man-made beauties.

And if that's not enough, your doctor may be
forced to reach for his prescription pad and get
you on a course of cortisone drugs.

In short - steroids.

Now, if you or a family member suffer from gout,
and your doctor prescribes you either of these -
I'd have to tell you to go along with it. Always
remember, your doctor's advice should ALWAYS
be acted on.

But I'm here to give you other sides to the story -
ones which will make you more informed and
more in control of your life.

The natural ways to tackle gout

- Colchicine is an old-fashioned remedy
  from meadow saffron (the autumn crocus)
  and as far as I can tell, it works just as well
  as NSAIDs. But without the side effects.

- Tart Cherry - tart cherries have long been
  used by traditional healers as a folk
  remedy for gout, because cherries are
  thought to lower urate levels in the body,
  due to a brilliant little substance called

  Anthocyanins block two enzymes, COX-1
  and COX-2, which help produce yet
  another long, complicated word
  prostaglandins. All I understand is you
  DON'T want these hanging around -
  because they seem to be a vital part of the
  whole process of inflammation.

- Lose weight. If you're overweight, there's
  a greater chance that your urate levels will
  be higher than normal, so shifting a few
  pounds is a priority. However don't go
  mad on this and look like a WAG. 

  Starving yourself to death or running till
  you collapse doesn't help anyone. In fact,
  losing weight too fast can actually increase
  your urate levels! So take it easy, and lose
  weight bit by bit.

- Cut out this kids' 'nightmare food'. If
  you want to tackle gout, you'll need to
  give up all those offally treats like liver
  and kidneys. Offal is rich in a substance
  called purines, which urate is formed

Finally today, something I've really fallen in love
with recently. If you want to know how the 'good
life' feels, you should check this out...

And all you need is ONE MINUTE....

Sometimes I read something or try something that
I really strikes a chord...

And this is one of those things.

I don't want to spoil the surprise, because I think
the whole idea of this is to immerse yourself in it
and just TRY one of these ideas.

It's up to you which one you think suits you most.

But here's the thing - it will only take you ONE
MINUTE to take it in and make your selection.

And if you follow it through it could make a
HUGE difference to your life.


Just take a look, and pick an idea...

That's all for today. Enjoy your weekend, keep an
eye on your eating and drinking (but don't act like
a monk!) and I'll be back before you know it.

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