Friday, 3 August 2012

NATURAL TREATMENT FOR GOUT

 GOUT AND HERBAL TREATMENT

Gout is a disease that has seen an increased occurrence in the last couple of decades. There was a time when it was known as ‘the disease of kings’ or ‘rich man’s disease’, because of its predisposition to afflict portly people mostly from the upper strata of society. This, however, is no more the case, with the disease being increasingly common among individuals of both sexes, due to certain lifestyle factors such as dietary changes, increased life expectancy, and metabolic syndrome.

So, what is gout? Gout is a medical condition of the joints, and it is characterized by recurrent inflammatory attacks of an acute nature. This form of arthritis presents as a joint disease with tender, red, swollen and hot joints, which are painful to touch. The big toe is the joint most commonly affected. However, as the disease progresses, other joints like the foot and knee are also involved.
Natural Home Remedies for Gout, Cures


Gout is generally caused when there is an elevated level of uric acid in the blood. This uric acid then crystallizes, and the crystal deposits collect in the joints, tendons, and tissues, especially in the extremities such as the big toe and the knee.

A clinical diagnosis of this disease is confirmed when the uric acid crystals are seen in the joint fluid on microscopic examination.

Symptoms of Gout

The signs and symptoms of gout are very acute, with a sudden onset. They are characterized by the following:

Severe Joint Pain: There may be severe pain in the big toe, feet, knees, ankles or hands, with patients describing the sensation of warmth in the affected part. Such pain can last for a day or a week, and may gradually go away depending on treatment.

Itchy and Peeling Skin: Once the bout of pain and inflammation subsides, the skin in the affected area feels itchy and may peel off.

Inflammation and Redness: The affected patient’s joints will be red, tender and swollen.

Fever: In some patient’s, fever is also an accompanying symptom.

Decreased Flexibility: Patients may also experience limited or reduced mobility, indicating loss of flexibility.

Nodules: In some cases, it is seen that gout can present as tophi (nodules) and appear in the hands, elbows or ears.

No Symptoms: In some patients there may be no symptoms at all. Such cases may go on to develop into a a chronic form of gout.


Causes of Gout

Gout occurs when the uric acid levels in the blood are high. Uric acid is formed when chemicals known as purines (available in the food we eat) are broken down by the human body. Purine is a natural chemical produced by the body and is also a part of foods such as anchovies, mushrooms, asparagus, and herring. These purines produce uric acid, which dissolves and is excreted by the human body through urine. However, if these levels increase drastically, then the excess begins to accumulate in the joints causing gout and the characteristic pain, inflammation and swelling.

 

Remedies of Gout

Since gout is a disease caused by excess accumulation of uric acid in the blood, the condition can be remedied by making suitable dietary modifications. Cutting down on purine rich foods will lower uric acid levels in the blood stream and thereby prevent accumulation in the joints. Medications can only offer symptomatic relief by reducing the pain and inflammation for a period of time. Therefore, they should never be relied on alone to provide relief from gouty symptoms. Since there are other factors that contribute to the development of the disease and flaring of symptoms it would be practical to make lifestyle modifications that can help reduce the severity of symptoms and the frequency of flare ups.

It has been seen that drinking alcohol can aggravate the problem. This is because alcohol increases the production of urate and impairs its excretion. Avoiding alcohol is therefore a definite way to minimize the accumulation of urates.

Certain medications have been found to contribute to hyperuricemia, and avoiding these has been found to present positive results. These medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and diuretics. Contact your health care provider before discontinuing or switching any medications.

Obesity is also found to be a contributing factor in increasing blood urate levels. Therefore, losing weight is found to have beneficial results.

Gout pain is also found to be greatly improved by the avoidance of foods that contain high levels of purines, such as shellfish, bacon, and organ meats.

Relief from the symptoms of gout can actually be achieved to great affect with natural methods alone, involving diet and lifestyle modifications. Although these might be called ‘alternative therapies’, they should complement and not replace medication. Making such changes will however help to reduce your dependence on and need for medications.

Some of the natural remedies with beneficial results are as follows.

Vitamin C:
Latest evidence seems to suggest that vitamin C may play a big role in reducing blood uric acid levels. Many studies have been undertaken to prove this point. In one study of 184 people, half were asked to take vitamin C supplements (500 milligrams per day) and the other half were asked to take a placebo. After two months, the people taking vitamin C saw a significant reduction in uric acid levels compared to those who were on placebo. Like this, many other studies too suggested similar trends. Although not conclusive, it is thought that vitamin C may help to either prevent or treat gout to a large extent.

Vitamin C can be consumed in the supplement form, but on the advice of a doctor, or as a part of the natural diet. Citrus fruits, bananas, and watermelons are among the best sources of vitamin C in its natural form. Cherries too are very popular as a home remedy for gout, and although the research is inadequate, they are believed to help reduce uric acid levels in blood significantly.

Yoga, traditional Chinese medicine, acupressure, acupuncture, and aromatherapy are also some of the alternative treatment methods that people opt for. However, it is best to consult a doctor or professional before trying any of these at home.

Diet for Gout

Although it has been seen that the very presence of uric acid in the body is actually a result of the metabolism of naturally occurring purine in certain foods, eating purine rich foods also contributes to increased uric acid levels in the blood.

Various studies have shown that diets high in purine rich foods including red meat, sea food, and meat organs should be avoided. Instead, try and follow a low-fat diet with low fat dairy products, whole grains, and citrus fruits like limes, also including carrot juice as such diets tend to bring about a significant reduction in purine levels in the blood.
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1 comment:

  1. The blog is looking so nice having the essential content of the Gout problem which helps to prevent it, Thanks for sharing the nice post.

    ReplyDelete