4

votes

Acid / Alkaline Theory: Does Body's pH Trigger Gout Attacks?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 09, 2011 at 1:55 AM

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.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 19, 2012
at 04:56 AM

Keeping it at 1 tbsp per day in divided doses morning and night doesn't seem to affect my BP. I'm 110/70 like clockwork.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 18, 2012
at 07:36 PM

The idea is to keep your body alkaline at all times and especially when you're vulnerable to gout: at night when body is acidic, after working out, etc. Keeping your diet relatively alkaline and taking a glass of water w 0.5 tbsp of BS doesn't seem to be hypertensive. It may be another story if you have severe hypertension and kidney problems to begin with, however. So, yes, you should check your BP.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 18, 2012
at 07:33 PM

I've experimented with it and 1/2 tbsp night and morning for a total of 1 tbsp per day does not affect my BP. However, if you're taking BS whille having an attack, you might be taking a larger dose, say 3-5 tbsp over a short period. In that case, I did experience BP going up, so you do have to watch it if you're hypertensive to begin with. If that's so, you might want to stick to alkaline foods rather than BS, or alkaline water and Glyco-Thymoline. The How I cured My Gout Site specifically mentions tracking your BP. It will raise your BP somewhat if you're hypertensive. It

4cafd1bf8cb0b8829559af9091aed427

(10)

on April 18, 2012
at 05:44 PM

Namby are you worried about the possible long term side effets of using baking soda regularly? High blood pressure...ingesting to much sodium...

4cafd1bf8cb0b8829559af9091aed427

(10)

on April 18, 2012
at 05:33 PM

Is anyone who is using baking soda on a regular or semi regular basis concerned with long term effects such as High blood pressure, or ingesting too much sodium? I feel I can get away with 1 tsp every other day or longer. Anyone been using Baking soda for more than 6 months? and if so what or are have there been any side effects? thanks for everyones imput. Lou

4cafd1bf8cb0b8829559af9091aed427

(10)

on April 18, 2012
at 01:10 PM

I am checking my PH with a strip from Enzymedoca...got it from my local health food store. I have no idea if it is good or bad. If anyone has a recommendation for other strips I am all ears... I check my levels with urine only.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 18, 2012
at 06:52 AM

Did saliva but it tends to be a bit higher (0.25-0.5) than the urine, so I stick to pee now only, thinking that will catch the worse pH.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 17, 2012
at 10:12 PM

Just like saying we share 99% of our genes with a chimp. That 1% can be the difference between a human and an ape.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on April 17, 2012
at 05:23 PM

Are you guys measuring urine pH, saliva pH, or both?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 17, 2012
at 04:40 PM

Uric acid levels are a bunk. Check your pH with a good pH strip with 0.25 intervals every night and at afternoon. I take 1/2 tbsp of baking soda at nigth and in the morning. No gout attack in a year: actually 1 but I gave it a bum's rush by taking more baking soda. You can also take alkaline water and Glyco-Thymoline, which are also good.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 17, 2012
at 04:36 PM

I've prevented umpteen attacks and even after an attack I've mitigated it by taking baking soda. Like I said, it's a 2 prong attack: you cannot suffer from an attack unless your body is acidic. Under 6, you're vulnerable. I test my pH everyday and especially before going to bed, as that's when you're most vulnerable to gout. How's your insulin resistance, by the way? The latest theory also has that pancreatic beta cells become nonfuncitonal (i.e., diabetes) when you're body is too acidic.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:43 AM

Who's really worried about the balance when the diet is overwhlmingly acidic? Those who believe in the alkaline/acid view basically tell you to eat 80% alkaline stuff -- all that means is eat lots of vegetables, fish ... less acidic fruits and no sodas, candies, beer. It's like trying to have n-3/n-6 balance by eating today's diet: not really possible unless u supplement. About 4 to 1 is the best you can do.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:39 AM

The range between 7.35 and 7.45 is huge: if you deviate too far from it, it's fatal. That's why you can move from one extreme to another and that could have a huge bearing on health.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:36 AM

Eat beef liver, which has high pH but will raise the uric acid. Fish is high in pH but contain uric acids. If you eat purine-rich foods, just wash them down with baking soda in water or mineral water. Based on my testing, green tea has higher pH than balck tea, so another reason for drinking green tea.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:31 AM

By contrast, if you're a cola fiend, your body can become acidic very quickly, as its pH is under 3. So not only do sodas contain fructose, they also may promote gout by making the body acidic, increasing the chance that the uric acid will not be soluble and trigger gout attacks.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:29 AM

Actually tap water's pH is about 7. That doesn't beat mineral water or baking soda, which are ~8. But that's why supposedly drinking lots water helps during gout attacks: the solubility of uric acid increases as pH goes up. But you get more mileage with mineral water (i.e., baking soda).

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:21 AM

This fits in with the theory that we've depleted minerals from our soil and what we harvest these days are different from what our ancestors ate. That's supposedly the reason for supplementing with copper, zinc, iodine, etc. Aside from fish, kale, asparagus, broccoli, etc. the pH of what we generally consume is not very alkaline. Mineral water and baking soda are the two best options for keeping your pH up.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on December 09, 2011
at 02:22 AM

I'm thinking of two other things to move pH the other way: add a little baking soda when I feel the need to drink a protein shake, and consume less muscle meat and more gelatin.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 09, 2011
at 02:15 AM

That's why I'm willing to test: see what my pH is before an attack ... see what it is when I get out of an attack. That would be a very simple n-1 experiment which could support the pH theory. Mind you, I already believe in it though based on results.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 09, 2011
at 02:13 AM

U won't believe it unless you're a gout sufferer and actually gout out of these nasty attacks by doing something that simple. In theory, you could also do that by drinking alkaline water, widely regarded as snake oil. Alkaline water would be even more alkaline than baking soda dissolved in water.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on December 09, 2011
at 02:11 AM

A little bird told me the most important thing is not eating too much protein. The PRAL formula pral = 0.49 * protein (g) + 0.037 * phosphorus (mg) - 0.021 * potassium (mg) - 0.026 * magnesium (mg) - 0.013 * calcium (mg)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 09, 2011
at 02:03 AM

Stephen has told me that getting adequate alkaline minerals is the most important thing, not the balance.

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10 Answers

1
4cafd1bf8cb0b8829559af9091aed427

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.

Regards,

Lou

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on April 17, 2012
at 05:23 PM

Are you guys measuring urine pH, saliva pH, or both?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 17, 2012
at 04:36 PM

I've prevented umpteen attacks and even after an attack I've mitigated it by taking baking soda. Like I said, it's a 2 prong attack: you cannot suffer from an attack unless your body is acidic. Under 6, you're vulnerable. I test my pH everyday and especially before going to bed, as that's when you're most vulnerable to gout. How's your insulin resistance, by the way? The latest theory also has that pancreatic beta cells become nonfuncitonal (i.e., diabetes) when you're body is too acidic.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 18, 2012
at 06:52 AM

Did saliva but it tends to be a bit higher (0.25-0.5) than the urine, so I stick to pee now only, thinking that will catch the worse pH.

4cafd1bf8cb0b8829559af9091aed427

(10)

on April 18, 2012
at 01:10 PM

I am checking my PH with a strip from Enzymedoca...got it from my local health food store. I have no idea if it is good or bad. If anyone has a recommendation for other strips I am all ears... I check my levels with urine only.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 17, 2012
at 04:40 PM

Uric acid levels are a bunk. Check your pH with a good pH strip with 0.25 intervals every night and at afternoon. I take 1/2 tbsp of baking soda at nigth and in the morning. No gout attack in a year: actually 1 but I gave it a bum's rush by taking more baking soda. You can also take alkaline water and Glyco-Thymoline, which are also good.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 18, 2012
at 07:36 PM

The idea is to keep your body alkaline at all times and especially when you're vulnerable to gout: at night when body is acidic, after working out, etc. Keeping your diet relatively alkaline and taking a glass of water w 0.5 tbsp of BS doesn't seem to be hypertensive. It may be another story if you have severe hypertension and kidney problems to begin with, however. So, yes, you should check your BP.

4cafd1bf8cb0b8829559af9091aed427

(10)

on April 18, 2012
at 05:33 PM

Is anyone who is using baking soda on a regular or semi regular basis concerned with long term effects such as High blood pressure, or ingesting too much sodium? I feel I can get away with 1 tsp every other day or longer. Anyone been using Baking soda for more than 6 months? and if so what or are have there been any side effects? thanks for everyones imput. Lou

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 18, 2012
at 07:33 PM

I've experimented with it and 1/2 tbsp night and morning for a total of 1 tbsp per day does not affect my BP. However, if you're taking BS whille having an attack, you might be taking a larger dose, say 3-5 tbsp over a short period. In that case, I did experience BP going up, so you do have to watch it if you're hypertensive to begin with. If that's so, you might want to stick to alkaline foods rather than BS, or alkaline water and Glyco-Thymoline. The How I cured My Gout Site specifically mentions tracking your BP. It will raise your BP somewhat if you're hypertensive. It

1
0ad4ed16f0afccc544f92e51945482f7

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.

1
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

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.

(1) http://www.ajcn.org/content/76/6/1308.full

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:21 AM

This fits in with the theory that we've depleted minerals from our soil and what we harvest these days are different from what our ancestors ate. That's supposedly the reason for supplementing with copper, zinc, iodine, etc. Aside from fish, kale, asparagus, broccoli, etc. the pH of what we generally consume is not very alkaline. Mineral water and baking soda are the two best options for keeping your pH up.

1
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

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.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 09, 2011
at 02:13 AM

U won't believe it unless you're a gout sufferer and actually gout out of these nasty attacks by doing something that simple. In theory, you could also do that by drinking alkaline water, widely regarded as snake oil. Alkaline water would be even more alkaline than baking soda dissolved in water.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 09, 2011
at 02:15 AM

That's why I'm willing to test: see what my pH is before an attack ... see what it is when I get out of an attack. That would be a very simple n-1 experiment which could support the pH theory. Mind you, I already believe in it though based on results.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:39 AM

The range between 7.35 and 7.45 is huge: if you deviate too far from it, it's fatal. That's why you can move from one extreme to another and that could have a huge bearing on health.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on December 09, 2011
at 02:22 AM

I'm thinking of two other things to move pH the other way: add a little baking soda when I feel the need to drink a protein shake, and consume less muscle meat and more gelatin.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:36 AM

Eat beef liver, which has high pH but will raise the uric acid. Fish is high in pH but contain uric acids. If you eat purine-rich foods, just wash them down with baking soda in water or mineral water. Based on my testing, green tea has higher pH than balck tea, so another reason for drinking green tea.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 17, 2012
at 10:12 PM

Just like saying we share 99% of our genes with a chimp. That 1% can be the difference between a human and an ape.

0
41c490e7010d6cc05d72a3d3ed198293

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!

0
64e03e79115673f1db3e0218b95080bf

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?

Regards,

0
946d33b97019ca90becaf119310a447e

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?

0
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

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. :-))

0
0ad4ed16f0afccc544f92e51945482f7

on December 09, 2011
at 02:44 PM

try just drinking the volume of water and see what happens. Useful test.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:29 AM

Actually tap water's pH is about 7. That doesn't beat mineral water or baking soda, which are ~8. But that's why supposedly drinking lots water helps during gout attacks: the solubility of uric acid increases as pH goes up. But you get more mileage with mineral water (i.e., baking soda).

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:31 AM

By contrast, if you're a cola fiend, your body can become acidic very quickly, as its pH is under 3. So not only do sodas contain fructose, they also may promote gout by making the body acidic, increasing the chance that the uric acid will not be soluble and trigger gout attacks.

0
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on December 09, 2011
at 03:55 AM

Would Magnesium citrate help? It reminds me of a alkaline with the bubbling. I

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