This seems to come up a few times a year, especially in the Spring.  There are a lot of athletes out there who get gout. Most of them eat well, hydrate well, and generally take pretty good care of themselves.  So why do they get gout?  And what is the root cause of all these gout symptoms?  I have a theory…  

​Athletes who get gout…play too hard?

​Here’s what I think based on my own experience of getting gouty signs and signals at the beginning of ski season or mountain bike season.  

Anybody who has been playing around with gout for anytime at all, gets the connection between gout and protein consumption from animal products – i.e. red meat being the most common.  If you make it simple, WE ourselves are animals…made out of red meat.  


​We are made out of those same red meat proteins that are high in purines.  

  • For a quick review:  Proteins are purine rich, and the purines metabolize and breakdown into the byproduct uric acid. 

Uric acid actually acts as an antioxidant that protects the entire one-cell thick endothelial lining of our cardiovascular system – that makes uric acid is a good thing.  But it has to be in the right ratio and proportion in the blood stream.  Uric acid only becomes a problem when it becomes excessive. 

​Exogenous purines come from the foods we eat, Endogenous purines come from the breakdown of our own tissues. Guess what?  More of the purine load that can potentially turn into excessive uric acid in our bloodstream comes from the natural death and regeneration of all the cells of our bodies.  Those cells are the ones that make up our muscles, organs, and every other tissue that our we are made of.

Starting to make sense?  All of a sudden, you head out one fine spring day to bust out a big bike ride.  The next day, there you are – dick in the dirt, moaning and whimpering with a gout attack.  You pushed super hard, broke down that muscle tissue, and the result is a big fat load of purine material that your body is now trying to manage.  

Athletes who get gout push too hard, too fast.  You have to build up slowly, carefully, and methodically.  Especially if you’ve got some years on you.

​Athletes who get gout…eat too much protein?

​This could be the other part of the equation.  We know we need to use protein in our diets to rebuild muscle and strength so we can go bigger, better, faster.  The more protein we eat, then the more muscle we breakdown with our sport, the greater the purine load we create.  It’s a real dilemma.  What can we do?

​A couple of things we can do is look for less gout-causing proteins to consume.  My go-to’s are eggs and super high quality dairy in the way of full fat yogurt, heaving whipping cream, and good cheeses.  Mix in a little bit of wild caught salmon, free range chicken, high quality bacon, and some grass fed beef.  Add to that list some beans and legumes – pintos, garbanzos, black beans, some edamame, and lentils.  

Another good source of healthy fats and some protein is nuts and seeds.  But that brings me to what I really want to talk about and bring to your attention – Oxalates.  

You saved me… I’m off the meds and GOUT FREE!

I know that I’ve told you but you really Saved me from Gout Bert. I’m off meds and been Gout free since I called you. You are a life saver. You changed my life for the better and I can never repay you. I guess just riding the Hell out of my bike and living Gout free will have to do. BTW I was doing some Downhilling in AngelFire NM 2 weeks ago and in 11 days we’re headed to Whistler BC for 10 days. Look at my Facebook for pics soon.  Thank you again.


Why does uric acid crystallize?  

​This is the big question that I have been asking for years.  Lots of athletes who get gout REALLY want to know the answer to this question.  The definition of HELL is to be sidelined with a gout attack on a 16″ pow day, or not being able to get on your bike on crisp, cool, cloudless day, or, the waves are pumping your ankle hurts SO bad you can’t even pick up your board.  

I did a post about “crystal-induced arthritis” a while ago.  In that post I mention that Gout Killer Lee turned me on to Sally K Norton.  She is like the queen of the low oxalate diet.

As it turns out, oxalates have a lot to do with kidney problems.  Guess what?  Gout is all about kidney function.  The kidneys (“kidney” in my case) monitor and regular how much uric acid stays or goes in your bloodstream.  The crazy thing is, there seems to be more and more evidence that oxalate crystals are sort of the “catalyst” for getting uric acid to start crystallizing.  Yikes.  Scary, huh?

​Calcium oxalate kidney stones are the most common type of kidney stones.  But, kidney stones can also be made of urate – i.e. uric acid.  The biggest reason you and I have problems with high uric acid is (most likely) not because we make too much…but that we just don’t excrete enough of it fast enough.  

​​The crazy thing is, there seems to be more and more evidence that oxalate crystals are sort of the “catalyst” for getting uric acid to start crystallizing.


​There you are Mr. Athlete – eating tons of spinach, almonds, raisins, and chocolate.  All high oxalate foods.  But you’ve been doing everything else right; drinking TONS of water, minimizing your red meat intake, staying away from gluten and other refined carbs and sugar, eating lots of fresh vegetables (including spinach) and BINGO!  Gout attack!  The kind that lasts for days and days and seems to migrate from your knee to your ankle, to bottom of your foot, then to your toes, and up to the top of your foot.  You know the kind, don’t you?  

Maybe it’s the oxalates.  Maybe it’s time to learn more about eating a low oxalate diet.  Just when thought there wasn’t anything else you couldn’t eat… 

​Vitamin C, Iron, and Oxalates

​This is some interesting stuff that athletes who get gout should study more about.  I’m no doctor or scientist.  I am however, a certified nutritionist.  For as much as I’ve learned about nutrition and how hard I try to stay on top of what I’ve learned, my command of nutritional knowledge is just a drop in the bucket in the great big ocean of information about the subject.  

All that is to say…don’t take my word for anything.  Go out there, dig around, get to the bottom of it yourself.  At the end of the day, we are all biochemically different and what is true for one person may not be for another.

With that said, what I have come learn is that there is a big correlation between kidney stones and iron absorption and oxalates and Vitamin C.

  • Here’s my theory:  Vitamin C helps absorb iron.  Iron binds with oxalic acid to form iron oxalates.  Those oxalates (and others) are the spark for getting uric acid to start crystallizing. 

Here is why I think that…

If you’ve been getting gout for any length of time at all, you and I both know, we wander around through our lives with our blood uric acid way too high too much of the time.  What causes uric acid to, all of a sudden, one day, out of the blue, decide to crystallize?  And why does it pick the joint that it does?  

That brings us to another valuable point for athletes who get gout to consider.  Does it seem like the joints you’ve injured or overworked in the past, are the ones that gout seems to prey on?  That happens for me in my knees.  At the beginning of the ski season or mountain bike season, when I’m starting to push hard, early season, I feel it in my knees. That’s when my poor old knees feel that scary, gouty ache and I bust out the Kill Gout FORMULA.  ​Can you relate?    

I hope all my ranting and raving is helpful to you.  I’ve been dealing with gout for almost 25 years and doing this gout killer thing for more than 10 of those years.  The crap we’ve been hearing all our lives about what gout is, why it happens, and what to do about it…don’t really make sense.  

​As you know, my point of view is that all that crap comes from the pharmaceutical industry trying to convince us that the only way out of gout is to take their drugs.  Don’t get me wrong – their drugs are a resource, one way of working on this gout problem.  It may or may not be right for you.  Only you can decide.

   ☆ ​Bottom-line:  Athletes who get gout have to use more awareness and discipline to manage their susceptibility to getting gout attacks.  It’s just part of the game.  


Bert Middleton

“I know your pain. Let me help you kill your gout for good!  And teach you to advocate for yourself and take ownership of your gout recovery, by showing you how to live the gout-free lifestyle.” Two decades ago, Bert Middleton found himself diagnosed with gout. Like 8.3 million other people in the United States (approximately 4% of the population), he struggled helplessly with the physical, emotional, social, and financial impact that gout left unchecked can have on your life. Prescription drugs were of limited help… And the terrible pain of regular gout attacks left him unable to enjoy even the simplest daily pleasures. His marriage was suffering. His finances were spiraling due to the impact gout had on his ability to work. And maintaining a social life was often nearly impossible. Tophi surgeries left him in terrible pain.  And he found himself depressed … and angry … that gout was stealing years of his life.

Until one day, after hundreds of hours of research and self-experimentation, Bert finally had a breakthrough and created a blueprint for a way of living that would prove to be “the answer” to living gout-free for nearly a decade now. Today, Bert and his “Gout Wife” Sharon devote their evenings and weekends to educating other gout sufferers on how to live the gout-free lifestyle. Showing others his 911 Emergency Response Gout Recovery Plan for getting PAINFUL gout attacks under control in as little as 4 hours. And then, how to make daily choices that keep gout under control for GOOD! So you can finally start LIVING again!