Gouty tophi

Gouty Tophi, singular tophus, are an ugly, deforming, painful nodular mass of uric acid crystals that may be deposited in different soft tissue areas of the body. They are a typical sign of Gout, a very treatable medical condition which is seen not infrequently in the chiropractic office.

The word tophus comes from the Greek word 'tophos' meaning a porous volcanic stone. Gout is but one of over 100 arthritic conditions.

Healthy living tips

There is currently an explosive outbreak of gout in the western world, probably related to the poor Western diet, responsible for so many other chronic diseases also. Instead, why not visit our Healthy Living Tips page regularly for ideas about healthy food? In short, eat like grandmother did, and not what your mother taught you. It's her generation that saw the move away from natural, healthy foods, to the junk churned out, at great cost I might add, that proliferates on the supermarket shelves.

These horrid lumps and bumps can appear in any of the soft tissues, but usually they form in the foot, elbow or fingers. They can also form in the ear and in the spine causing back pain.

Know you have gout periodically? Make sure you tell your chiropractor.

Gouty tophi

Treatment @ chiropractic help

The most usual treatment of gout is a course of antiinflammatory drugs when the pain and inflammation begin. In more difficult cases, daily medicine may be needed.

Instead, perhaps consider a diet rich in fruit, salad and veg. That will also lower your cholesterol, fix your constipation and a host of other diet related diseases.


Tabbouleh bulgar wheat is a delicious healthy Lebanese parsley, tomato and mint dish. The first step to dealing with gouty tophi is to dramatically increase the fibre in your diet. This increases excretion of both waste products and substances like cholesterol that you have eaten. Tabbouleh bulgar wheat is a traditional Mediterranean dish.

On a personal note, I suffer myself periodically from episodes of gout. The most recent, just after Christmas when we indulged in much ham, turkey and roast beef, was highly predictable. Significantly, simultaneously I also had pain in the fingers and lower back pain. A visit to the chiropractor is not what was called for. Rather a visit to the fruit and veg market.  And staying away from the butchery.

Only one episode has resulted in severe pain and swelling in the great toe, and required anti inflammatory drugs for a few days.

Interestingly, beer is thought to be one of the worst culprits, and over the years I have indeed drunk too much beer. What is odd, though, is that it was giving up beer permanently that provoked the first episode of gout. I have never had gout whilst a beer drinker. Beer makes a good servant but a bad master.

I have a strong suspicion that it was cutting down on my liquid intake when I quit beer that was the villain of the peace. Now I drink a lot more water, teas and have only small amounts of fruit juices, always freshly squeezed.

Usually, a couple of doses of alkalising drops, and cutting back hard on red meat for a week does the trick.

What keeps the gout at bay, in my case is Helen's 15 euro salad. The alkalising effect of what our friends call our rabbit food works like a charm. And it's they of course that are are described in the literature as the phytochemical foods rich in antioxidants that prevent dread disease.

Gouty tophi, don't let them happen. Make the changes in your diet that are necessary, or in time you will suffer the severe disability and pain of advanced degenerative arthritis in your joints. The cure, as the bard reminds us, oft lies in our own hands.

Water is certainly part of the solution, in the minds of some the biggest part. So, drink more water, up to eight glasses per day, though weak teas, with no sugar or milk, using fresh fruit for sweetening, is fine.

There are many confusing dietary recommendations. For example, avoid foods high in purines which includes all protein foods including legumes. However, we can't survive without dietary protein.

Plus gout and obesity go hand in hand, and most diets today recommend a move away from starches, together with a moderate increase in protein.

You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't!

My advice is to eat less red meat, more legumes, but keep a gout diary. Often you can directly relate an attack of gout to some indiscretion.

Personally, I eat a huge amount of hummus, made of chickpeas, and green beans, and I can't say I've noticed any connection with gout.

There is some research suggesting that high doses of vitamin C may help, though that dose is likely to have other side effects. How about a long glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, topped up with water. Not OJ, that's a junk food with a very high glycemic index. Avoid.

Orange juice facts tells the story.

The omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is important in all the arthridities. Change from seed oils to olive oil and increase your anti inflammatory omega 3.

Beer makes a good servant but a very bad master.

Useful links

Immobilisation arthritis is  another much more common cause of joint pain.

  1. Chiropractic Help
  2. Foot pain
  3. Gouty tophi

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