I Took a Chance on an Alternative Treatment—and It Paid Off
Many of you who have read my other articles, especially the gout sufferers, know that I have suffered for nearly 40 years with this painful malady. I have even gotten to the point where my orthopedist—running out of options—strongly suggested knee and ankle replacements. I was in pain all of the time and walked everywhere with a cane. I needed to wear special orthopedic shoes that were very expensive. It had even cost me a job. I developed a lot of tophi deposits (uric acid crystals) and calcium deposits in my joints and under my skin that were very painful, and looked like cottage cheese in the soft tissue.
Causes of Gout
Steroids and Pain Killers Are Only Temporary
About five years ago, my doctor gave me some relief by injecting steroids and pain killers directly into my joints. At first, the relief lasted a few months. But as time went on, I found I needed them more frequently, along with an injection of Toradol, an anti-inflammatory drug. The day following the injections, I felt great, but it was short lived. Within a week, I was hurting again, and within two weeks, I needed more shots.
The tophi also kept accumulating. My orthopedist and my rheumatologist both insisted that I take large doses of the drug Allopurinol to keep my uric acid levels under control. I refused because large doses of any drug like that can’t be good for your body.
Too many steroids, I found out, can also cause damage to your adrenal system. It can cause you to have an “adrenal crash," which is like major attack of fatigue that takes forever to come out of. Couple that with the fact that I also have an autoimmune disorder (Hashimoto’s disease), it can be majorly debilitating.
Trying an Alternative Solution
But then my wife discovered in her own research that vitamin C can be good for controlling inflammation in the body, so I began checking it out. There are a lot of studies on the benefits of vitamin C for gout. The majority of them found that vitamin C effectively lowers uric acid levels in the body, but there are also some that found there is no effect.
Regardless, in September of 2018, I began a regimen of vitamin C—super high doses of it, 1500 mgs at a time, three times a day. It is now six months later. I have not had a single injection of steroids or Toradol since I began the regimen. The tophi in my fingers, knees, and feet are dissolving. I can walk normally and briskly and stay on my feet for hours now without using a cane. I don’t even need to wear the orthopedic shoes anymore. I can even hike short segments of the Appalachian trail! I feel great!
I still have some pain issues though, but not like before. 38 years of having gout has done it’s share of damage to my joints, and there is wear and tear because of it, but I do notice a difference!
Is Vitamin C the Solution for You?
Please keep in mind that everybody reacts to gout differently! What causes gout in one person may not be what causes it in another. The same goes for methods of relief. Your body may have a different reaction to vitamin C than mine does (too much at once can cause diarrhea).
I am not a doctor, I am just sharing my experiences with gout relief. Please consult your doctor before trying this or any treatment. But don’t be surprised if they try to talk you out of it. A lot of doctors are “pill pushers” because of the kickbacks they get from pharmaceutical companies. Get a second opinion and do your research!
The worst time of year for any gout sufferer is the holiday season of November through January. There are so many tempting foods to eat and beverages to drink, many of which will raise your uric acid to dangerous levels in just a couple of hours.
I had successfully made it through the holidays with little or no discomfort. mainly because I was aware of what I was putting in my body. But I got a little too sure of myself and in early April I began to eat a bit too recklessly (I love chili dogs!). I ended up having to have another round of shots again. It was a strong reminder to myself that even though the Vitamin C regimen is incredibly effective for me, I still have to have a certain level of self discipline. Like I said, everyone reacts to gout and treatments differently. Listen to your body! Eat with your brain, not your taste buds!
Natural Relief for Gout
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Del Banks
Liz Westwood from UK on March 04, 2019:
Thanks for sharing your experience to help others. I am only sorry you didn't find out about vitamin C sooner.