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Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Rite of Spring, Revisited

Every spring since 2001, I have gotten gout—often a bad case. By bad I mean I couldn't walk, I had to use crutches or a cane. It would last sometimes 8 weeks or more.

But not this spring. No gout. Gone.

Over the last two years, I've been able to address the things that my doctor suspected were at the root of the problem.

One hereditary problem she identified a year ago was methelyenetetrahydrofolatereductase polymorphism (try saying that real fast three times). It affects about 10 percent of the population, and people with this mutation don't process homocysteine well. That's me.

High levels of homocysteine can cause inflammation, which leads to gout. High levels can also cause heart disease and cancer. My father and his mom both died of heart attacks. Anyway, the treatment for this little problem of mine is rather simple: just take a few supplements. B12 and B6 vitamins and folate. I take those daily, plus D3 with Vitamin K also a lot of frozen cherries. Those things seemed to have made a huge difference.

I have had some big problems with my teeth for a number of years. Those things are all fixed now, including the removal of all my old fillings, many of which were cracked or falling apart. From the day that work was done, I have felt so much better. It was like night and day. In fact, I have not had any major gout symptoms or to take any gout medication since then.

During the last few years, my doctor has also suspected that I have problems with heavy metals. I was finally able to get that theory tested a number of weeks ago. And we discovered that I do indeed have a problem there. For example, I have about eight times the normal level of lead in my system. I don't know where that came from, but suspect it was something I was exposed to in my childhood. I have high levels of several other metals. I need to address these problems now, but the current symptoms are not too bad (but they could get worse if I don't start taking care of this now).

But right now, I am very grateful that my twelve year old spring fling with gout is under control. I won't say it's behind me, but it's under control, without medication.

I am incredibly blessed.

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