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This week I was diagnosed with gout in my big toe.

Q. Dear Terry, “This week I was diagnosed with gout in my big toe. Very painful. I am 75 years old.
The condition is improving with an anti-inflammatory medication, but I prefer to use natural means of prevention, if possible. What are your suggestions?” — Glenna A., South Bend, IN

A. Dear Glenna, Gout can be incredibly painful and frustrating since prescription medications do not address the underlying causes of gout. Generally, gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood. The uric acid crystallizes in the joint – often the big toe – and causes severe pain and inflammation.

To address elevated uric acid levels, cherries are the first thing that come to mind. Cherries are an extremely nutritious fruit, containing important nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, beta carotene, vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium and magnesium. In fact, clinical studies have shown that cherries can help to significantly reduce uric acid levels.

I think that tart cherry is especially useful for gout, but make sure it is a freeze-dried extract with no added sugar. Freeze-drying, rather than spray-drying or drum-drying, fully preserves the plant compounds needed by the body to reduce uric acid levels, instead of losing them during processing (by exposing the berries to heat). I would suggest taking tart cherry extract twice per day.

To help with the pain, I believe curcumin enhanced with turmeric essential oil, boswellia, DLPA, and nattokinase can be very useful. I would take these ingredients one to three times per day, depending upon your pain level.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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