Based on my research, there doesn't seem to be much to the Acid/Alkaline theory. However, based on my experience, there seems to be something to the theory.
My experience: I've been able to alleviate my gout attacks last three times by drinking baking soda dissolved in water. This is courtesy of anecdotal accounts of getting out of gout attacks by rapidly changing the pH.
The latest thinking is that gout attacks are not actually triggered by high fructose consumption or high serum uric acid levels but the acid-base imbalance. That is, while fructose consumption may increase uric acid levels, to actually precipitate a gout attack, you need to deviate from the narrow band of normal blood pH range: 7.35 to 7.45. Ideally you wanna be at 7.45 or slightly above. If you're close to 7.35, you would be in "acidemia" and vulnerable to gout attacks, if you're genetically susceptible to gout (I'm, according to 23andme) and/or if your uric acid is high.
Another way of measuring the acid level is to test your urine with pH test strips (I've ordered some from Amazon): keeping your pee's pH equal to or above 6.8 could stave off gout attacks, especially at night while sleeping (which is when gout attacks typically occur) when the stomach is not producing any juice -- "acid tides". This is what the above site claims (and I do concur with its findings based on my experience).
During recent gout attacks, instead of taking NSAIDs (prescription Naproxen), I drank 3-4 tbsps of baking soda dissolved in water over 4-6 hours. Each time, the attack went away in about 3-4 hours. Had I taken NSAIDs, it may have taken somewhat longer. (Given my autoimmunity and apparent dysbiosis, I'm trying to stay away from NSAIDs by any means). The baking soda seems to have done the trick by turning my body alkaline quickly. Now I'm trying to permanently cure myself of gout by conducting an extended experiment with the baking soda, complete with monitorying my pH levels (urine and saliva) daily.
So what kind of bearing does this have on the acid-alkaline theory? I remember several past gout attacks which followed my having been out in the cold without proper clothing or when I exercised too hard -- in other words, when my pH balance would have been disturbed through external factors. Altering the pH through internal means (i.e., diet) could be another way of triggering gout attacks -- by eating too many acid-forming foods: several of my attacks followed after eating bacon (there is no question bacon was responsible for some of my attacks). But the point is that the bacon may have raised my uric acid AND pushed my body into acidity. It's a two-prong phenomenon.
Look, most conventional medicine folks believe purines are behind gout. They tell you to cut back on red meat and especially organ meats, which are by definition acid-forming and raise the uric acid. Aren't we really saying the same thing here? Taubes and Johnson might be right that it is really fructose that's really behind the elevation of uric acid (rather than redmeat). But even with uric acid elevation, you need the pH tilting toward acidity -- this could happen by being out all night or eating beef liver or kidneys. Before pooh-poohing the acid-alkaline theory, it might be that there're kernels of truth in all theories that are more or less overlapping. You'll see that if you examine these closely: low carb vs. high carb; processed carbs vs. whole food carbs; low-glycemic vs. high-glycemic; n-3 vs. n-6; low PUFA vs. high PUFA; low sugar/fructose vs. safe starches; low salt vs. potassium/sodium balance.
asked byNamby_Pamby (5152)
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on April 17, 2012
at 04:24 PM
I too have used baking soda as a cure for my gout...after having been in a study and on allipurinol for months at a time, I started to investigate my PH and gout. I have kept a diary of all the foods I ingest all day every day for over 3 months. I have been diligent and have eliminated all red meats, eat chicken and turkey sparingly, no alcohol. I just started testing my PH two days ago and I was very alkaline two days ago, yesterday I was acidic all day. Today after doing my daily stretching routine (it is the only exercise I don't fear doing without an attack) my ankle started to tighten up, the first signs of an attack for me. I checked my PH and I was acidic. I took 1 level tsp of baking soda with 8 oz of water and within 30 minutes I was alkaline and my ankle feels much better.
I am going insane with this because for over a year I have had my Uric acid levels checked and been on and off meds with below average results. I firmly believe my PH and gout attacks are related, and am working toward making my body more alkaline thru diet but will also supplement when necessary with the baking soda. I don't care what any doctors or "experts" say I have prevented at least 3 attacks over the last 6 months using the baking soda.
I am 49 and not overweight, and prior to my first attack last year in perfect health...no issues what so ever. I really look forward to your experiment..please update...and I will as well.
on December 12, 2011
at 07:29 PM
Sorry I should clarify about the water drinking business. I get gout, and had some flare-ups recently, having started on a paleo type diet change. For any fellow sufferers out there, I'll tell you what I do to avoid it now, and describe what the mechanisms are as I understand them.
Firstly, my preventative is similar to that of Namby Pamby; alkalinize the urine. I use sodium citrate which is used for cystitis (bladder inflammation). It's cheap from the chemist,though obviously not cheaper than bicarb, but it is more efficient and contains less sodium. If I feel stiffness in my feet coming on, I'll also take 25mg diclofenac before bed. This has worked very well so far.
But the other thing is about drinking more water. When we made bright blue copper sulfate crystals is chemistry class, the solution needed to reach a point of saturation for the crystal to grow. Uric acid crystals must be similar although certain things also help their growth, like inflammation. So we want to reduce the concentration of urate. This can be done by reducing solute (urate) or increasing solvent (water). In addition, the excretion of the extra water will take urate with it. I am certain that I have had some attacks, which came seemingly out of the blue, due to dehydration.
That's my ten pence worth.
on December 10, 2011
at 01:09 AM
The importance of bicarbonate ions on preventing acidosis seems likely:
"The historical shift from negative to positive NEAP (Net Endogenous Acid Production) was accounted for by the displacement of high-bicarbonate-yielding plant foods" (1)
Perhaps supplemental bicarbonate in the form of baking soda reduces localized acidity and thus the ability of uric acid to precipitate. I don't know, but it's interesting topic nonetheless. I'm curious how your experiment goes, best of luck to you.
on December 09, 2011
at 02:01 AM
Here is one question I always had about acid-alkaline theory:
Sure, much of the theory is bunk. Our kidneys and lungs are there for a reason. And urine pH is not blood pH. But pH is on a log scale, so even the normal range is not as tight as it seems. 7.35-7.45 is not a tiny range, right?
A few weeks ago, I tried to do a literature search on subclinical acidosis and got nowhere (mostly because I became bored and hungry). But I want to know how your experiment turns out. I've got a blender coming in the mail soon, and am planning on approximately doubling my plant intake with it. Whether or not that changes my pH significantly, who knows. But I've seen other accounts of the baking soda cure for gout, and it seems so gosh-darn simple that I can't help but to think PODIATRIST CONSPIRACY THEORY.
on January 20, 2014
at 09:10 PM
I am suffering from gout right now and this is my 4th time. The last 3 attacks happened also during winter time and I was curious why it happened to me only during cold weather. Does the outside temperature affects my PH balance? But with this article, my eyes were opened and additional precautionary measures for me. Cold temperature and over-exercise are also some of the culprits, not just the food. Thank you for this article!
on July 15, 2013
at 04:21 PM
just come across this site on Gout/PH. Great. i recently had a routine blood test through work and came up with too much Uric acid + "discreet glucemia" in my blood - this coincides with a throbbing pain under my big toe & stiff ankle of which i thought was caused through by a bad kick in football about a year before. i,m 44 years old and physically OK (correct weight/height).
Could there be a relation to the onset of diabetes?
on March 29, 2012
at 03:07 PM
This message is for Nance, I apologize if I should contact her in another forum, I'm not sure how to. I've been researching why I can't wear analog watches, I had five that quit working within a week, went and bought a brand new one and it ran slow within the first hour, then stopped. I've since then switched to digital watches they seem to work fine. Have you learned anything new?
on December 12, 2011
at 07:36 PM
Background: I'm intrigued by body pH because I'm one of those people who can't wear a mainspring watch--within 20 minutes it freezes forever. I was told way back when to wear anti-magnetic watches but I overcame those too. Even the first electric watches ran fast/slow but other people could wear them and they functioned perfectly. When cheap quartz watches flooded the market, I was delighted to find I could wear them; the only problem I've had is when the battery wears out replacing the battery doesn't seem to work so I usually have to buy a new watch.
I assume my "magnetic personality" is founded in body pH so I'll read all articles/questions/answers with great interest. :-))
on December 09, 2011
at 02:44 PM
try just drinking the volume of water and see what happens. Useful test.