Gout Cure BSMaybe it’s the gout pain in my wrist that’s making me tetchy.

Or maybe it’s the amount of BS I’m seeing today.

New gout research means hope for new gout therapies?

More like new gout research reaches new heights of BS.

Actually, the research I have seen, is probably of massive interest to those who need to understand how gout pain works. It’s just not relevant to us poor gout sufferers. We need better treatment using the therapies already available rather than wasting time and money on inflicting gout on mice.

Let me explain

I’ve seen an editorial in Arthritis Research and Therapy that summarizes recent research. The research basically looks at how pain signals work in the body (of a mouse), particularly where the pain is a reaction to uric acid crystals. You do not really need to understand the summary, but I’ll include it so you see what we’re up against:

It is well known that urate crystals stimulate monocytes and macrophages to elaborate inflammatory cytokines, but the tissue response of the synovium is less well understood. Microarray analysis of mRNA expression by these lining cells may help to delineate the genes that are modulated. Employing a murine air-pouch model, a number of genes expressed by innate immune cells were found to be rapidly upregulated by monosodium urate crystals.

Some will excuse this bafflegab as cutting edge research that is so advanced that jargon is essential. I don’t. I believe that the researchers know full well that messing around with a bunch of mice is no way to solve current gout problems. But that is where the drug companies are pushing their money.

A new gout pain angle.

A new gout pain therapy.

A new medical income stream.

Cynical? You bet.

The whole medical profession and associated drug company funded research is obsessed with finding new ways to combat gout pain.

Am I overreacting? No way.

The editorial summary I mentioned starts with:

Understanding how uric acid crystals provoke inflammation is crucial to improving our management of acute gout.

No it isn’t. What is crucial, is improving the management of existing urate lowering therapies. If allopurinol and other uric acid reducing treatments were planned and monitored properly, gout pain would be virtually eliminated.

Consider a similar situation, comparing your gout with your car. You have an annoying noise from your engine, often so severe that it affects your ability to drive. The mechanic gives you ear muffs. You’re still not happy, so the mechanic inspects the engine, tells you what’s wrong, then sells you updated in-car entertainment with extra volume boosters so you can’t hear the faulty engine noise. You’re still not happy, and friends offer all sorts of advice from extra carpets to adapting loft insulation. And all the time, the fault is wearing away at your engine. It becomes crippled and you can’t use it – just like your gouty old bones.

Fix the fault.

Lower uric acid to the point at which uric acid crystals dissolve. Easy for most gout patients, but even where there are complications, there is a range of options. Nothing will happen if you do not try. Actually, worse than nothing, because uric acid crystals are dangerous.

The summary ends with:

These findings provide new research avenues to investigate the physiopathology of gouty inflammation, and may eventually lead to new therapeutic targets in acute gout.

More gobbledygook saying “Hey lads, just look at all the money we can spend finding new ways to muffle the fault”

I’ve added a new page to my main gout website today, highlighting the dangers of bone erosion in advanced gout. Crumbling joints are a real threat to all gout sufferers. Each year your uric acid stays high, urate deposits are slowly eating away at your bones. No amount of pain relief will change this – you are simply masking the problem until the fateful day the doctor says “Sorry, there’s nothing more we can do.”

And you join your car in the junk yard.


  • Brian

    I’ve seen the research and they are about the mechanics of how this stuff works. Frankly, what most gout sufferers want to know is how do I prevent the attacks? How do I get my joints to feel normal? The research that is going on, even if it were magically finished today, would not answer those questions.

    I hate to keep bringing it up but Fanucci’s Facchini’s [see next comment] research work with the twelve subjects established that iron was something we might be able to work with to control the number and severity of the attacks. He went to the extreme by basically keeping these twelve people in a state of near anemia for twenty eight months. He used extreme measures which included blood withdrawing and injections of iron chelators. It was extreme but it worked! The number of gout attacks dropped to practically nothing and what attacks occurred weren’t as severe!

    What if all that is needed is donating a pint of blood or two each year? Then doing some simple things like avoiding taking vitamin pills with supplemental iron in them or consuming foods that are enriched with iron might be enough! (Believe me, for the average American, iron supplements aren’t needed.) The researchers will figure it all someday but when? If it is possible to use iron to control the probability of those attacks, then we have something to work with. We have some control! Who knows, we might be able to get a little normalcy back. It would be nice to live a little bit more like you did at twenty! Right?

    I made an appointment on September 17th with the Red Cross to donate blood. I purchased some vitamins for senior citizens that have no iron in them. These are small steps. My only way of knowing if they help will be the “toes test”. While the acute pain of my last attack is gone, my smaller toes on my left foot still hurt some. It might take time and more blood donations to know but I will keep donating. It might not make any difference at all!

    I was out in the woods today and the idea occurred to me that there are people who have made more than one donation a year for a good many years. Some of them do so because of blood disorders, but not all. If we could only ask some number of those people to see if they suffer gout attacks, we would know if iron control worked!

  • No worries, Iron Brian.

    As you’re contributing so much, the least I can do is a little editing.

    I really appreciate all your comments and forum posts. My mind’s in a bit of a whirl trying to digest everything.

    I’m drinking a cup of green tea in your honour, to try and chelate some of that iron.

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