January 17, 2018 at 10:24 am #7436chris morkidesParticipant
Yeah, I know. The word ‘fasting’ is scary. But I’ve done Intermittent Fasting for six months, it hasn’t been difficult and I’ve been gout-free since early January (an eternity for me) after 24 years battling a disease that was taking control of my life. My uric acid level is normal, my blood pressure finally is normal and, not that I did this to lose weight, I’ve dropped 30 pounds.
I won’t go into the science about intermittent fasting because I am not a scientist. And it’s too complicated for a post like this. In short, IF means not eating for, ideally, 16 or more hours between meals. You can drink water while fasting or, if you’re like me, drink black coffee or tea while fasting. I eat one meal a day two — sometimes three — days a week. My wife, who started IF before me to lose weight, does it every day and has lost over 60 pounds. For more info, I recommend the YouTube videos “Eat, Fast and Live Longer” and “5:2 Diet.” Both feature Dr. Michael Mosley. Both are BBC productions.
Now, my story. I’m 61 and suffered my first attack of gout when I was 37. I’ve taken probenecid, uloric and allopurinol at various times. All had bad side effects. I’ve gone the black cherry extract/apple cider vinegar/name-your-natural-healing-method-route and none have worked for me. If they work for you, great. I’m just telling my story. Before intermittent fasting, the gout had gotten so bad that I was hobbling around for, I’m guessing, four months a year. When I wasn’t hobbling, I was avoiding things — walking too far, drinking a glass of wine — that could possibly trigger gout. I had to take a month off from work earlier this year to deal with my gout and high blood pressure.
Enter intermittent fasting. I started on Jan. 24 when I began my one-month leave from work and plan to continue for the rest of my life. I can walk long distances now. I can enjoy vacations (just got back from Maine, where I ate lobster and walked on stony beaches; contrast with last year, when I got on a plane to Paris without the gout, got off the plane with the gout and spent my “vacation” staring forlornly at the Eiffel Tower from my apartment couch). I’m back at work and enjoying it more. Hell, I’m enjoying life more. My blood pressure is down. My mental acuity is up (although my wife might disagree).
I’ve never posted about gout. So, you know that I’m passionate about this.
Also, talk to your doctor before starting this if you have diabetes. IF proponents claim that it reverses diabetes. My friend’s endocrinologist disagrees.
Good luck! It’s been a life-saver for me.
January 17, 2018 at 10:24 am #6341
5:2 Diet For Gout
Hi there I had a question about the 5:2 diet. Previously I didn’t think I would be able to manage it on the fast days having only 500 calories but they have upped it to 800 calories. No I would prefer not to have any lectures about whether I should or shouldn’t diet the best way to lose weight etc I really want to lose a stone for myself and my health as I’ve put on quite a bit recently. I am unable to exercise at the moment due to a bad injury to my ribs and arms. Also have painful knees as well due to a fall that has really screwed me up! I would just like to give this diet I go for a week or so and see what happens so I would just like to know as I have heard that fasting can raise uric acid levels what they actually mean by fasting. 800 calories a day while incredibly low is not the same as fasting that some people do which means eating nothing and that’s something I could not do. If I drink plenty of water and eight sensible foods with good levels of potassium on those days I just wondered what the evidence is or if there is any about fasting and uric acid as I have heard conflicting reports with some suggesting that fasting can help gout. I would be grateful if anybody has done this Diet before thank you very much
January 17, 2018 at 11:17 am #6342
Non-sustainable diets aren’t recommended for gout patients. I don’t know if what you’re planning to do is sustainable. Anything that would result in rapid weight loss is going to be a problem.
But I guess short fasts might not be a problem depending on your metabolism (if you don’t feel weak or very hungry, I’d take that as a good sign). I can do eat-nothing fasting but I wouldn’t recommend it for longer than a day. The shorter your fasts, the safer they’ll be.
Allopurinol should keep you safe anyway, at least if you increased your dose a bit to accomodate an otherwise dangerous diet. In doubt, get a uric acid test after starting the diet.
January 17, 2018 at 1:07 pm #6343
Thank you I’m only planning on doing it for a week initially just to see how I get on bearing in mind it’s only two days of the week that you fast. I will make sure not to do them on consecutive days. I’ve read a few reports from people with gout who have followed this diet successfully and not had any issues with uric acid. They have made sure that they stay well hydrated but I never have any problems with that cause I drink plenty of water anyway. The way I see it what I’m doing at the moment is not sustainable for me as I feel very miserable and even though I’m eating sensibly my weight is just stuck. I could not do a no food fast it just would not be possible for me as I have previously suffered with bulimia and I’ll be honest and say that I do have issues over body image that will never go away. I’m 54 and currently nearly 12 stone I normally try to stay away from diet fads and all the nonsense in the new year about detoxing which in my opinion is a load of bull. But I’m at the stage where I’m willing to try anything and I know that there is some science behind this diet though how reliable it is I don’t know. It makes sense that my allopurinol thank you for that suggestion perhaps on the days that I fast I will take 200mg rather than my normal 100 mg. I’m pleased to report that I haven’t had any gout attacks for a few months now I still get twinges and pain around the area sometimes but I’m pleased to still be on 100 milligrams. Not sure if it is something I’ll be staying on for Life allopurinol but I’m guessing it is I just hope it hasn’t been responsible for my weight gain.
January 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm #6344
Sorry I’m not 54 lol I meant to say I am 5 foot 4! I’m 41. Thank you for your answer by the way and for not lecturing me about dieting. If I hear one more smug person say it’s calories in vs calories out I will probably scream! Exercise in the past for me whilst help me tone up I’ve never given me much in the way of weight loss. Also falling down stairs means that it’s virtually impossible right now to do much apart from drag myself around the house!
January 17, 2018 at 2:45 pm #6345
It’s too soon for you to quit allopurinol but in time, if your blood tests stay good are you’re experiencing no symptoms, it should become safe to quit the drug and see if that helps with your weight.
Not ending up in the ER on account of one’s diet isn’t a simple matter of calories in/out, that’s for sure.
If I was going to lecture you, I’d tell you falling isn’t the recommended procedure to descend stairways or that 12 stone is OK if you have no medical issues like pre-diabetes which make it especially important for you to lose that unnecessary weight.
January 17, 2018 at 4:45 pm #6346
Thanks I guess I’m just feeling down in the dumps after my fall I spoke to my mum about it and she thinks I should concentrate on healing my poor ribs right now rather than dieting! Maybe I will look into the 5:2 when I’m a bit better. Luckily my cholesterol is normal my blood pressure is low as is my blood sugar so I have been told that I’m very healthy otherwise. I’m normally very happy when I’m around 11 stone and because I’m quite well proportioned with a fairly small waist I actually look really at slim 11 stone, so I’ve never worried about getting to an impossible weight or BMI. I hear if women who are 8 or 9 stone and I don’t think I’ve seen that since I was a child! I wonder if 100mg of allopurinol would be responsible for weight gain tho as it is such a low dose.
July 22, 2018 at 9:11 pm #7438
So you’re basically doing Ramadan?
As I understand it, 5:2 is something else (violent caloric restriction).
I occasionally indulge in this sort of light fasting (without counting calories when breaking the mini-fast). The hunger is typically more stimulating than debilitating, and makes for a change in one’s routine. The most obvious benefit however is simply that not eating saves time during the day.
I didn’t lose much if any weight by skipping meals but in hindsight it may have helped with my uric acid, BP and diabetes numbers. Something certainly helped. Maybe what did the trick was simply eating fewer simple carbs.
I’ve also tried proper fasting (eating nothing for a whole day or more) and I wouldn’t recommend that.
While simply losing 60 pounds (aside from any effect one’s eating patterns might have) could be enough to cure some people’s gout, a couple of warnings:
-light fasting might possibly reduce your uric acid during one part of the day rather than throughout the day (so take that into account when planning your tests)
-having merely “normal” uric acid is often not enough to get rid of gout for good (certainly it wasn’t enough for me)
July 24, 2018 at 11:58 am #7440
I was under the impression that fasting can raise uric acid levels? I don’t think I would be able to do that because I also have incredibly low blood sugar. The 5 2 diet sounds very punishing I think if I was able to do intermittent fasting I would probably do the 16/8 which is basically not eating until say 12 noon, then eating again in the evening but nothing after 8 p.m. to be honest a lot of people probably eat that way anyway accidentally. Years ago I never used to have breakfast and would eat at around 1 p.m. and then stop eating after 9 o’clock I wouldn’t say it helps my weight and I still got gout. If it works for you then however then go for it
July 24, 2018 at 12:24 pm #7441
Fasting can certainly raise uric acid.
But exercise raises uric acid more than fasting, yet exercise is still recommended. It looks like regular exercise can lower one’s average uric acid as one’s metabolism adjusts even though it causes an immediate increase in uric acid. Weight loss also raises uric acid while you’re losing weight but lowers uric acid afterwards. Maybe something similar happens with mild fasting. Bottom line: your uric acid tests will tell.
In any case moderation is recommended. Whether it be exercise, weight loss or fasting, I would take the way you feel as a guide: if you’re feeling fine, you’re probably not overdoing it. Some of us can fast longer than others.
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