Today’s gem addresses why there’s an increase in elevated uric acid & gout worldwide.When I started having health problems in 2001, before learning how to restore my health from the foundation up, one of the first clues was joint pain, all over, after my steady, 12-year, daily Tai Chi practice. I remember it like yesterday. I felt horrible and my joints ached, especially my knees, my hips and, as is typical in gout, my big toes would start to hurt.
For years my uric acid had been elevated. I ate a grain-based, macrobiotic, low-purine diet which all my “medical” information told me was “just right.” Although this diet sounds “wonderful,” it is actually a set-up for health problems.
Joint pain was to be the beginning of what was to be a 6 year odyssey into steadily-worsening health, and going from being a critical care nurse, to becoming a critical care patient. Had I known then, what I am going to share with you now, and what I shared in detail in my article Vital Health in Five (Simple) Steps, I would have been able to restore my vitality rapidly. But it took me more than 6 years to just begin to put the pieces together.
My experience of joint pain after doing Tai Chi happened in the winter. In the Spring I had a full laboratory blood panel done at a health fair in Colorado. My uric acid was elevated, to the point of receiving a diagnosis of “gout.” I also had protein in my urine.
As a well-trained “healthcare” consumer (actually sick care), I went to a member of the medical priesthood and he told me what I already knew, as a seasoned critical care nurse of many years, and as someone fully competent in doing a Google search, as well, and reading long articles written in the politico-religious language of “medicalese.”
I have a real talent for languages – even ones where perfectly ordinary and obvious aspects of life, biology and health are woven with twenty circumlocutions (“talking-in-circles” literally), and then hemmed in a fine brocade of pseudo-Latin so that ailing commoners who only speak Germano-Celtic versions of Pig Latin, like English, become stunned, spell-bound and mesmerized at the sanctimonious speech of the medical priesthood and thus thoroughly convinced that they must genuflect (bend the knee, hmmm… not a great position to assume in front of someone you don’t fully know, trust and… well… let’s not go there), offer obeisance (“Yes me lord, I shall obey”), bring burnt offerings (“fuck! there’s nothing but ashes left in my bank account!”), and meekly and mildly lay down upon the altar (with one’s pants around one’s ankles, or ass hanging out of a ridiculous gown, and one’s privy parts offered up for palpation and examination), only to receive the pronouncement of the Sacred Oracle (a Temple/State-sanctioned officiator of the official orifice which devours your burnt offerings) who will now bring down from the mystical precincts where the magical medicalese comes from, the Sacred Verb:
“You have gout and proteinuria.”
To which my humble reply was, “Yeah, doc, I’m a critical care nurse, I already knew that. Any idea WHY I ‘have gout’ and protein in my urine?”
My physician was a very, very nice, kind, patient guy, and he replied with a collegial (see, he knows I’m in the “medical shtick” with him, so there are things that we know that the “uninitiated” don’t-like the fact that we’re dealing in a lot of “protocols” and “algorithms” established by “experts” whose “rationales, counter-indications and side effects” we know by heart, but which we administer more as technicians than as true scientists), knowing, thoroughly-congenial, kind, sympathetic, humble, and with an air of “oh well, yeah, well, it’s a drag, but “gout” isn’t THAT BIG of a deal:
“You know, there are a lot of reasons for “gout,” a lot of them are genetic, and a lot of people have protein in their urine with age and, with gout. We can do genetic testing, if you’d like. In the meanwhile, you already know to eat a low-purine diet.”
Yes, I’ve been eating a low-purine diet for decades, already.”
“Well, it sounds like you’re already doing everything you can. If it gets worse we can start you on some allopurinol.”
I didn’t pursue the genetic testing route. I already knew what that leads to: a lot more information leading to medication.
“Thank you, doctor, I’ll call you if I decide to take that route. Thank you.”
(A very nice physician, by the way. The overwhelming majority of people I worked with in the medical field are kind, ethical, efficient, well-intentioned and well-trained. Intellectually, however, most are far too busy with their professional, personal, and family responsibilities to ever truly engage with the science behind medicine in a truly autonomous, self-led way. Just maintaining certifications and competencies in the pharmacological model, in conferences and courses offered by mandatory and official “certifying bodies,” and fulfilling professional duties, means that what little free time medical professionals enjoy is generally devoted to something outside of “revisiting the science behind the medicine we practice.” That came as a surprise when I entered the field. But medical professionals that I have worked with are wonderful, honest, and very busy people, doing our best to help people and far too busy, from school, internship and ongoing training, onwards, to our professional duties, to ever have the time to truly and deeply re-examine and question the “protocols” that we parrot and administer to patients and to ever come to a coherent grasp of health, which isn’t really explored in medical training.
I didn’t want more “information” and “test results.” I wanted information that would help me to recover my health, and not to make my illness “better,” with lifelong dependence on ministrations and medications by the medical priesthood. “Better for WHOM?” is the question most laypeople don’t ask, and that most medical people already know the answer to.
In olden days, what we now call “genetic” was spoken of as “thou hast been damned by god/ the gods/ the fates.” That sounds “antiquated” today, now that Temple-State sanctioned “sacred language” of medicalese is used instead. Of course, the proper way to stay on “the good side” of “the god/ gods/ fates,” is to ingest a “sacred wafer” duly administered (now “prescribed”) by a Temple-State-sanctioned priest (now a “doctor”) which has been made smaller and thicker and is now called “a pill.” The temple priests administer all manner, shape, and color of “pills,” or sacred wafers, based on the pronouncement of the officiating orifice licensed, certified and approved to “mouth the holy language.”
Fortunately, before studying and practicing nursing I had studied microbiology, and genetics was my passion. So I was very well aware that the “genetics-as-fate” model still being upheld by most of the medical profession was another example of general medicine being grossly behind the latest science. Many genes can express themselves, in our lives, in absolutely opposing ways, depending on a whole host of factors including diet, stress hormone levels, activity, toxins and a whole host of other facts. This is known as “epigenetics,” a fascinating domain of study.
Right now more and more people have elevated uric acid levels, and there’s an increasing incidence of “gout.” More and more of our foods are filled with high-fructose corn syrup and such.
Had I read this article at the start of my “health odyssey,” the whole damn thing would have been short-lived, as it was once I put the pieces together. Before I send you to the article, let me point something out to you whose significance you will discover once you read the article:
Once my joints started hurting like hell I went on a “health kick.” I already ate a mostly-macrobiotic diet (not recommended) and decided I would start supplementing with “smoothies.” On a daily basis I began to blend lots of kale, spirulina, chlorella, blueberries, bananas, apples and whatever fruit was available.
All of the aforementioned being said, none of this should be misconstrued as offering any kind of medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or even help, and is only provided as an intellectual curiosity. I highly recommend that you bring all of your “medical” problems to a Temple/State-sanctioned priest and practitioner of the medical arts, duly licensed, certified, bona-fide, approved and duly having made his burnt offerings to the State Temple, as required, lest the gladiators come and round you up. Okay? None of this should be even remotely construed as medical advice.
The following is only offered as a fascinating look at the metabolism of sugars, which I found relevant and useful in my own curious case and may, or may not, prove useful in your case, depending on how much responsibility, curiosity and commitment to your wellness you bring to your Life adventure. Only YOU can equip yourself to assume it.
This is a missing chapter from Tim Ferriss’ excellent book, which I found both useful and fascinating, called The Four Hour Body.