Gout is often thought of as something that happens to old men, but it’s actually a common form of inflammatory arthritis. It can occur at any age, and is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood. Medication can be prescribed, but if you’re looking for a natural or alternative gout treatment, a cleanse may be beneficial.



Theory

The pain and inflammation associated with gout are a result of a condition called hyperuricemia, or elevated levels of uric acid. Uric acid is a normal waste by-product and is usually filtered from the bloodstream by the kidneys. If the uric acid is not removed from the blood, the excess is deposited in the joints as sharp crystals, which cause pain and swelling. Cleansing is intended to help remove uric acid and other toxins from the system to reduce pain and swelling, and to help the kidneys and liver continue to cleanse the system more efficiently.

Process

A gout cleanse is really a full-body cleanse made up of several components: a bowel cleanse, a kidney cleanse, and a liver cleanse. Begin with the bowel cleanse, which in its simplest terms is an enema. Enemas can take many forms, and the best one to use is a matter of personal preference — coffee enema, vinegar, wheat grass, salt and soda, or traditional Epsom salts.

The next step is a kidney cleanse. The idea is to flush out the kidneys and remove any accumulated salts or toxins. This both removes the waste product from the body, and improves the functioning of the kidneys. A kidney cleanse can be a simple as a juice fast of three to five days, consuming nothing but vegetable juice or water during this period. For a juice fast, drink juices that are organic, or at least fresh juices that are preservative free, not canned juices. Another good option for the kidney cleanse is the Lemonade Diet, also known as the Master Cleanser.

The final component is a liver and gallbladder cleanse. Advocates of the liver cleanse believe that poor diet results in the liver and gallbladder becoming congested by thickened, fatty bile. This can lead to blockages and stones, as well as impair the liver’s ability to filter toxins from the body. There is a variety of liver cleanse suggestions, but one frequent recommendation is the olive oil and lemon juice cleanse. This cleanse also lasts three to seven days.

Warnings

Because of the multiple steps involved in a gout cleanse, the basic process can easily take two weeks. Gout sufferers having an acute attack may prefer to continue with traditional medical treatment if it is providing relief. These cleanse regimens tend to be safe for most people, but always consult with a doctor before beginning any cleanse or detox diet.