Fasting and Gout

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  • Hi all
    New user here and just reading the book for the first time.
    I’m curious if anyone has experienced gout and has the 5:2 lifestyle helped.
    I used to get a small gout attack every year or so, however have had one for over 9 weeks now. Worst and most painful attack yet and normal medical treatment doesn’t see to help.

    Just interested if anyone else with gout has had any success or issues?

    Oh I have no idea about Gout, sorry 🙁 I hope someone with experience can give you some advice.

    There seems to be a lot of health improvement on the 5:2 in different areas though. It can’t help to try, right? Maybe you’ll become the spokesperson for 5:2 and Gout 😉


    I do not have gout but I came across a mention of it in “Why we get fat; and what to do about it” by Gary Taubes – well worth a read. He says that an exacerbation of gout is experienced by people who do carbohydrate restricted diets and may be helped by adding salt back into your diet.

    Is your doctor knowledgeable and sympathetic with fasting/low carb diets?

    OK I have had gout attacks and took drugs for some years UNTIL I started 5:2 in February 2013 and my blood tests were so good in May the Dr decided I could try without the drugs and I haven’t had an attack since. I do carry antiinflamitories in case when I travel and make sure I do drink plenty of water particularly if I drink? Once or twice I’ve had that feeling in my big toe joint and went and drank lots of water and rubbed anti inflammatory cream into the joint and I was fine. I’d talk to your Dr before you try anything though.

    I am 54yrs old and a Gout sufferer since age 30. The medical advice as I understand it is that fasting can adversely affect Uric Acid levels in the blood and hence increase the likelihood of a Gout attack. Hyperuricemia gets worse with increase in age and Gout attacks occur more often and become more severe. As a result I have just started to take Allopurinol permanently and am hoping that this will offset the chances of me having attacks whilst starting this diet.
    Suffering Gout is difficult as it has a stigma attached and as such is not taken as seriously as other diseases but in itself can be an indicator of Type 2 Diabetes onset, Heart Disease, high Blood pressure and Metabolic Syndrome. If you believe you have Gout then try and get advice from a Dr who knows about this and will take you seriously.
    If you want a better understanding then I bought two books:
    Beating Gout, by Victor Konshin (a good layman’s approach – read first)
    Getting rid of Gout, by Bryan Emmerson ( much more Technical – don’t bother if you think it may be too detailed)
    I am very interested in Beavegong’s post above. I have recently had all my bloods done and will have them repeated shortly so will have a good starting point to reference.
    Good luck

    I take what you say and as I realized the danger of a gout attack with fasting I took my doctor’ s advice and drank lots of water!!!
    As my doctor told me gout was a form of arthritis I kept some anti inflammatory pills handy and if I felt my big toe joint feeling tender I rubbed it with poke root ointment an old fashioned gout and arthritis remedy a chemist made up for me and here I am 6 months after stopping Allopruninol and haven’t had an attack but I’m prepared with tablets in my bag if I do. I’m not saying this approach is for everyone and I’ve followed my doctor’s advice to the letter.

    Hi Beavergong,
    Thanks for clarifying a few things – mainly that you were on Allopurinol ( and saw your age from your profile). I am going to follow my bloods with interest as I progress this diet as, from what I’ve read and been told by Drs, Hyperuricemia is permanent and only the severity differs, which can be improved by diet but only by 15-20% of the overall Uric Acid concentration.

    I’m a keen advocate of not taking medication unless absolutely necessary and have some hope from what you’ve written that it could be achievable. However we may differ greatly on our Uric Acid levels and mine is pretty high (Urea last measured at 461uMol/L – local ref range being 200-430 and the Consultant recommends below 330!).

    Hi Stevie – as GP I would agree with Beavergong’s sensible suggestion about the value of drinking plenty of water of fast days. As the gout is set off by the precipitation of uric acid dissolved in the blood into crystals in joints, it would make sense that remaining well hydrated should reduce the chance of a flare up.
    Research on increasing fluids seems to support this

    I guess it worth remembering one of the basic rule of fasting that when reducing food intake remember to keep up adequate fluid levels by drinking plenty of water…
    I hope this helps as gout can be excruciatingly painful

    Hi Clare,
    Wholeheartedly agree and it is advice I have received from numerous GPs and advice I try to follow at all times.

    I’m not sure if this helps but I looked up my Uric Acid from my blood test after 3 months on 5:2 and it was.36 .It is recommended it be between .15 and .4 in Australia. So my doctor was happy with that and I stopped taking Allopruninol and haven’t had a gout attack since.

    Hi Beavergong,
    I’m not sure about your figures as the other way I’ve seen them expressed is in mg/dl. Could be yours is expressed in mg/l and if so then the high end of your range equates to the low end of my range – interesting!

    Stevie J
    Just rechecked the units for Uric acid on my blood test. it says mmol/L . I live in Australia.

    This is my first post
    I’ve been on the diet for 3 months and lost 6 kgs
    I have had gout for about 25 years on and off maybe once or twice a year
    Felt twinges in my toe but if anything I’d say I’m improving
    Google Gout and Fructose and read any number of posts and blogs
    Highly recommended

    Hi All,

    There’s some further information within the booklet in following link:

    The dietary measures section of the booklet makes interesting reading-warning of the possible pitfalls of fasting for Gout sufferers.

    Personally, I’ve just experienced an attack of gout after a couple of weeks on the 5:2. This may have been due to my shift to a lower GI (but Purine richer) foods, and inadequate hydration.

    It’s kind of ironic that weight is a factor which influences gout, and in an effort to reduce mine by adopting a 5:2 regime, I end up with a sore big toe.


    My diet, it would seem, needs further tweaking.

    Just joined this site and saw this about gout, sorry if I’m a bit late!!! My husband suffered really badly with this while we lived in France 20 years ago. He was given Allopurinol tablets. He’s been taking it ever since and he’s not had any problems at all for the last 20 years.

    Hi all, I am a 59 yo Australian that suffers from gout and high bloody pressure, I take medication for both daily. I am a little overweight and do very little exercise. BUT I am about to start the 5.2 diet with an exercise program. I will keep you all posted with the progress and medical issues if any. Thanks for all the info thus far.

    Just a hint from a 61 year old Australian who was on gout medication when I began 5:2 over a year ago. Drink plenty of water on fast days. I personally found when I went off gout medication at my doctor’ suggestion, I rubbed poke root cream,an alternative anti inflammatory cream, into my big toe joint and drank extra water at the first tingle of the gout pain and I,ve been fine for 18 months.

    I began suffering from gout about 7 years ago — on a 3000 mile bicycle trip. Didn’t know what it was but couldn’t proceed for 2 weeks. I have since learned hard exercise, dehydration and the high carb & sugar intake loved by cyclists all can precipitate gout in susceptible persons (especially the heavier set cyclists who exercise primarily to control weight.) Uric acid was indeed elevated. Thereafter I got bouts a couple times a year. A fellow cyclist (I later learned) developed the same problem to the extent his bouts became almost continuous. He had to take time off work.

    Then three years ago I went on a temporary very low carb diet, which, after extensive reading, I decided to make permanent. As referenced in a post above, author Gary Taubes warns that starting such a diet can indeed launch an attack but the danger soon subsides. Likewise Volek and Phinney (“Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living”) stress that low carb eating is not a danger in and of itself but going on and off it repeatedly is. Luckily as my BMI approached 25 my gout ceased and never returned. My Uric acid dropped to normal (a 33% fall.)

    Further reading in Taubes’ writings revealed that fructose consumption (not so much purines by themselves) was pegged as a likely precipitator of gout in susceptible people and reduction of fructose was an effective treatment. But then along came allopurinol and research was dropped — it was effective and didn’t require a change in diet, so why bother worrying about fructose?

    I passed this information to my suffering friend. He had been struggling on a low purine diet — no beer or wine, no meats or cheese, etc but his Uric acid scarcely changed. He switched to a paleo diet, got to BMI 24, no longer had any gout symptoms, and dropped his prescription of allopurinol. He hasn’t had an attack since (2+ years.)

    Now when I fast hard (water only, 36 hours to three days) I have noticed twinges in my left toe (which was permanently damaged) but very minor, and possibly because of dehydration. But no attacks. I find fasting pretty easy but I’m convinced that’s because I don’t eat carbs and am adapted to subsisting on fat (that is, ketosis.) So, for me, at least, gout is no longer a problem fasting or not. Whether that would be true of a sufferer who eats 600 calories of carbs on their semi-fast days, or consumes a deep dish pizza after going off a fast, I cannot say.

    Hi Beavergong

    I am into the start of my third week of my first gout attack. I gathered information off the web soon after the start, and I am here because I continued to research. I started by drinking plenty of water with lemon added. Then I tried green tea, with apple cider vinager and molasses. Meanwhile I continued to eat but restricted the amount of meat, and quit my favorites, icecream, and rum with coke. Two days ago I decided to go off all food. It has improved. I also applied turpentine to my big toe joint. No foolin” ! I had done some research on turpentine because it was an old time remedy for many ailments. It was medically called “Terabinth”, and was listed in the drug books as late as 1899. The surprise is that it releved my pain in minutes. Now I am looking at fasting as a permanent cure.

    Hello all,

    First post. Had gout this week and instead of taking medication I tried something new (for me) and yet old (been around for a long time).
    LEMONS – the fresh juice in a glass of warm water and the gout disappeared in 24 hours. Here are some of the benefits of fresh lemon juice in warm water.

    • It balances maintain the pH levels in the body
    • Having warm lemon juice early in the morning helps flush out toxins
    • It aids digestion and encourages the production of bile
    • It is also a great source citric acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium
    • It helps prevent the growth and multiplication of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections and diseases
    • It helps reducing pain and inflammation in joints and knees as it dissolves uric acid (source of gout as I understand it)

    Hope this helps

    Thanks for those great ideas Lemon 52 I intend trying them.

    Hi all, I’ve been meaning to share this online for a while but never did so I guess I found the right place 🙂

    So I’ve been a Gout sufferer for the past 10 years and I’m only 34 now. I’ve had it everywhere and have done treatment with Alopurinol which I believe I didn’t have any Gout after a couple of months of treatment but then had it all again, tried reducing purines in food and very sadly beer is what triggers it for me, so I tend to drink cider and I drink a lot less than what I used too. I heard about the cohicchine but never tried and the Cherry juice is something I just learned so will definitely do it loads. Also done the Lemon juice but I end up forgetting about it. Also learned today about Turpentine and Paleo diet, nice!

    So this was a bit of my background, now the good news is, I did the 5:2 diet for a year and I could even drink beer like never before and Gout was something from the past!
    Due to my lifestyle nowadays (basically I have a Mon-Fri job lol ) I cannot manage to do it again but in the future I plan to do it again mainly for my Gout but also for many other health benefits.

    So that’s the share!

    I am 53 and have never had Gout. I started the 5:2 diet 2 months ago. I was 103kgs when I started and now I am 95kgs.I am a FIFO worker that works 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. On my 2 weeks on, I have a drink of beer on our change over day only after the first week, the day after this change over I woke up with what I believe is Gout on my heel on the bone right at the back.. very painful to walk with. I am wondering if there is a correlation with going on the diet as have been told that change in eating habits can cause gout.

    If you truly have gout it is usually brought on by high levels of uric acid. Your kidneys may be under stress or in poor condition. Foods that increase uric acid are meat, fish, alcohol. Also sugar and in particular the fructose component of sugar. Reduce your sweet fruit consumption.

    See a doctor and have some bloods taken to see if your uric acid levels are too high. Could be plantar fasciitis. Take some anti inflammatory medication. Once again see a doctor.

    I did have a gout episode after starting 5:2. I did have a blood test and saw my doctor and took drugs for that episode but now I make sure I really drink enough water like 2 litre on fast days and to date I haven,t had another episode.

    Your results are very interesting and encouraging.

    Re you foot, it sounds like it could be plantar fasciitis and not Gout.

    Someone else suggested Plantar Fasciitis but I googled that and it is the tendon under the foot and you would have pain under the heel… mine is right at the back of the heel… at first I thought it may have been the Achilles but the muscle is not sore just the bone to touch.. problem with being FIFO is I won’t get to a doctor for a couple of days and it may be better by then.. medical soon so they will do a blood test and all that.. thanks for the input…

    Might also be s plantar wart.

    On cause of sharp pain in the heel of the foot is called a “heel spur”. It is a buildup of mineral and the sharpness of the mineral contact nerves causing the pain.
    I am not aware of the medical treatment to get rid of them but you might investigate chelation. There are some over the counter chelation formulas. The Rawleigh company had a Formula #1. I think they were sold and are now Golden-Pride Rawleigh. It is a multi-level company so there may be someone sellin in your area.

    @rednash I am your age and started suffering gout years ago but didn’t realise it, just painful ball of foot and occasionally in hands, which I put down to overuse injuries from training or typing.

    A few points made by different GPs I’ve seen (here in Western Australia) which contradict some advice above:

    1) Uric acid levels are extremely hard to detect as they can vary significantly – by the time it hurts, the acid is deposited out as crystals so it is possible to have gout but still score normal on blood levels.

    2) Gout is not necessarily due to being obese or having other health problems. I’ve suffered gout at times when I’m athletically lean. My resting pulse is often below 50 and my blood pressure at the low end of normal. I cycle, lift weights and practice kung fu to an average of 1.5 hours a day. Sometimes it’s just the generic lottery.

    3) Going off allopurinol because you haven’t had a gout attack recently may not be a great idea – one GP pointed out that kidney damage occurs at lower levels of “high” uric acid than enough to deposit out crystals.

    I realise points 1 and 3 sound contradictory but if your uric acid levels go up and down, you can have damaging high levels and still struggle to pick them up on a blood test, unless you have a LOT of tests.

    With regards to exercise and dehydration, the worst attack I ever had was on returning from holidays in Malaysia – I had been exercising quite a lot over there but drinking massive quantities of water due to the humidity. I returned to Perth and went back to my usual bad habits of drinking black coffee and not enough water and missed a lot of sleep catching up on work. After my first long bike ride here, about 30km, I was in agony.

    Turns out it wasn’t Gout…I think the Doctor said presidious…Subcutaneous calcaneal bursa…some prednisolone and I was cured in 4 days.. Thanks for all the imput… pays to go to the Doctor for their opinion I guess..

    Interesting topic this one!
    I recently suffered bad pain in an ankle in late November until recently, which left me limping and in pain for a number of weeks. I thought it was damage from the walking I do as I try and get out for a 4-5 mile round trip every day.
    The Doctor I visited was in three minds, gout, arthritis or tendonitus. A blood test a couple of months previously at the beginning of October, revealed I was at the higher end of ‘normal’ for uric acid.
    The ankle was swollen, but no redness, just a lot of pain, especially at night, both around the ankle area, top of my foot down to my toes and the heel.
    I have been on 5:2 on and off for about 5 years now, and have never had any problems before this.
    I have upped my water intake enormously, especially on fast days, watching what I eat a bit more than usual, and keeping alcohol to weekends (interestingly, before the ‘attack’ and on 5:2, I didn’t drink alcohol for 2 months August to end of September as a blood test revealed I had highish cholesterol and a high uric acid level). Wake up call to get fitter !
    So far so good, but if the ‘attack’ happens again, I may have to have meds for uric acid if the uric acid levels are high on my next test.
    I eat well, no junk food, cook from scratch etc but admit that my alcohol intake varies, and sometimes I am OTT depending on whats happening socially. I only drink wine, never beer, and the occasional g&t. I am also taking B complex and folic acid. I drink lemon juice in warm water every morning. I am currently 4-5 lbs over my ideal weight maximum, but I am in healthy range with my BMI so not too worried. At nearly 60, I don’t like my face looking too thin, which is tends to do if I loose much more weight.
    I will re-post any info/experience I may gleen, but am continuing on 5:2 in the meantime and hoping that whatever caused the condition, does not return.

    So 5 months on from my last post, I can report that no further attacks and still on 5:2. I upped my water intake but I think the pain was plantar fasciitis.
    Bought some better trainers and so far so good.
    The Doc jumped on the higher uric acid levels I think, rather than the actual pain in the foot. Good news for me hopefully, but hope you gout sufferers find some relief and a solution.

    I know this is a old and long chain but here are my two cents.

    -I have had gout for a decade.
    -Started taking Allopurinol a year ago.
    -Started a fasting diet (6:1, 5:2) for a month.
    -I have a uric acid monitor and was monitoring my levels.

    I wanted to lose weight and the health benefits of fasting were very interesting. Dr. Fung (has a book on fasting and a ton of youtube vids) was the only doctor talking about gout and fasting. He said fasting definitely ups you risk of gout, so I monitored it through my experiment.

    My starting uric levels with Allopurinol was in the 5’s (always tested in the morning). 4 weeks into the fasting diet my levels have stabilized in the 7’s. This is empirical evidence for my body and if I see levels increasing I will consider increasing my Allopurinol or stop the fasting. I would get attacks when I was greater than 8UA so I am somewhat concerned.

    My recommendation would not to do a fasting diet without Allopurinol and a uric acid monitor.

    Cheers, I hope this helps someone.

    I have had gout for a little over two years. I woke up one morning in pain and unable to walk unassisted. From that day on I was determinrEd to avoid becoming reliant on pills. I read up on gout treatment and decided to tough it out using diet primarily. In the past I had done real fasting on nothing but water for as long as three weeks, so I did a short fast on water only. I quit the usual meat, beer, beans, etc.
    I added lemon juice and baking soda to my regimin. It took time and determination. I eat a lot of chicken meals, some beef meals, and I have a single beer from time to time. Almost every day begins with an omelette, with sliced tomato and avacado. I know from a Iridology examination years ago that I have a weak kidney, which might be the reason uric acid accumulation brought on my gout.

    I forgot to reply to my original post on did I get gout from fasting.. It turned out to be a Bursa in the back of my heel caused by old work boots and at the time carry heavy bags inflamed the bursa. I needed steriods to stop the body attacking the bursa and let it settle back down .. I never had gout and I am still doing the fasting with good results.. with excerise I have lost 13kgs in 9 months.. I find the fasting quite easy and don’t do the 600 cal. Just go without but I only do the fasting 4 times a month..

    Hi all, apologize since I am slightly off-topic as I do a daily fast 16:8 or 18:6, but I have suffered from gout since I was 30 and wanted to expand on my experience. From my meagre understanding, you are either an overproducer of acid or under filter acid. I am the latter and since I have started basically skipping breakfast and snacking I haven’t had an attack in the last year. I do feel the hint now and then, but in previous years I would have around 5 and I was heavily reliant on naproxen. I feel like my body has more cycles to do its job without any of the added burdens of introducing digestion/sugar to the system.

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