This topic is created to share my experience of gout with other gout sufferers in regards to the use of baking soda.

I am currently on 21 years old, male, and approximately a month ago I began experiencing pain in my left big toe.
I have always been very active in sports, loved to exercise and have been always very careful with my diet. One of the downsides to this story is that I have always been a very heavy drinker... especially beer(For the past month I've been binge drinking approx a 12 pack of 1L beer a few times a week)and a smoker(half pack per day) . Approximately a month ago, I began experienceing a sort of numbness/pain in my left foot, big toe area. At first I didnt realy think of it much and tried to just ignore the uneasiness in my foot. Aprox a week later, the swelling and pain began to build up.
During that week, I kept drinking almost everynight thinking that it had nothing to do with the pain in my foot.

I went to see a doctor that following day(currently residing in china... so the doctors use mixed herbal chinese medicine and western pharmacuticals) and the doctor told me to get my blood checked out.

The results came in 3 days later with my urate levels being at 555�µmol/dL or aprox 9.4mg/dl. Having no clue what that ment, I was only told that I had a high uric acid and most definetly causing the pain in my foot... Thats when I started to worry and began doing some research on the internet about hyperuricmia and gout.

I was told that gout was only common in people above the age of 30...I never thought that I would experience this at this age. The doctor prescibe a week of some herbal chinese medicine which i am suppose to boil with water and drink... Quite skeptical about the herbal medicine but to my suprise, the doctor also prescribed .5g soidium bicarbonate(house hold baking soda) tablets which i am to take 3 times daily. I was very to suprised to see Baking soda actualy prescribe by the chinese doctors as I thought taking baking soda was only an urban myth with no realy scientific proof.

A few questions I want to ask...

From what I have seen on the net, the normal level for uric acid in the blood is around 7mg so is 9.4 considered a very high level ?

What were your levels or uric acid when you experienced your first gout attack ?

Has anyone experienced and negative side affects from using baking soda ?

... I will try taking the sodium bicarbonate tablets without taking the chinese herbal medicine.

I will keep you guys informed about my results and will try my best to keep this updated

ps. please feel free to share your thoughts and insights on this post !
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First Helper lauchilung

replied August 15th, 2009
man, u're in for a LONG run.. lol. I havent tried yet the baking soda, I JUST read about it today. When I get home from Iraq, I'm gonna try it out. Yes, being a soldier w gout sucks, although, I've got a job to do. I do eat everything I want, almost n I dont drink things I know that will cause a worse flare up. There is going to be damage to tendons/muscles/ catrlidge n bones. Just be prepared. I have to have my knee drained about once every 3-4 months. Hey man, if u can take care of this n nip it in the butt... do it!
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replied October 7th, 2009
I'm very skeptical about such remedies, too, but keep in mind that almost all pharmaceuticals came from herbal remedies in some shape or form. That said, pharma drugs are going to be more pure of form and easier to standardize, so I'd recommend them over their herbal counterparts, any day.

I have been a sufferer since about your age, and I'm only 31 now, so the young are also at risk. The last time I felt an attack coming on, I stirred a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of warm water, and drank it down. It really did seem to make a difference, but it could have been wishful thinking.

It's not terrible to get down, but I wouldn't want it for a sippin' drink.

From what I've read, it's best to take some right before bed, and some right after waking. This 'alkalizes the urine' and helps to reduce the overall acid content of your body, which can neutralize some of the uric acid and keep it from crystalizing out. This is my layman's understanding of it, anyway.

Another common remedy that I like is lemon water. Which is just what it sounds. Juice of one lemon squeezed into however much water you want, to make it palatable, or at least drinkable. This sounds paradoxical because lemons are acidic, but it does seem to work. The mechanism I've heard is that the acid in your gut forces your body to release more bicarbonate ions into your blood to counteract, and these ions interact with the uric acid in the blood before getting to the kidneys to do the job they were released for. This has become my new morning drink, instead of coffee, which can trigger gout attacks.

These are not miracle cures, but they can prevent attacks if made part of your routine, and shorten the length of an attack if they are taken after the onset.

If you are prone to high blood pressure, i would probably only do the baking soda to shorten an attack, as there is a lot of sodium in it, and can cause other effects you don't want, but the lemon water is harmless, tasty, and if it even helps a little, it's worth a glass of something sour in the mornings.
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