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Gout

The accumulation of high levels of uric acid in the human blood gives rise to a medical condition called gout. Certain foods and the by-product of digestive processes in the body produce the uric acid, which is a natural waste generated by the human body to be eliminated as waste. Uric acid is eliminated through normal metabolic processes via the urine along with a lot of water. Gout results when the uric acid is not eliminated fast enough or it is produced in such vast quantities that the kidneys are unable to deal with the extra amount and the resulting excess is accumulated within the body itself. The areas of accumulation of this excess of uric acid is in and around the joints and other tissues in the body, the uric acid is stored in the form of needle shaped crystals, these crystal structures cause acute inflammation and the excruciating pain which is the symptom of gout.

While there are underlying risk factors for an attack of gout, the real causes or impetus for a sudden attack of the symptoms is far from certain and it is triggered by as yet unidentified causes. For example gout tends to run in families as on average, a quarter of people who suffer from the symptoms of gout have a family history of the illness, and there are other contributory factors as well as three-quarters of gout affected individuals also have high triglyceride levels in the body, these factor may be a contributory impetus to crystal formation of the uric acid. Susceptibility is also high in men who put on a lot of weight between the ages of 20 and 40, a gain in weight during maturity thus is not a good idea for men particularly with reference gout and more so if they have a family history of the illness. Other contributory factors and triggers for gout may be the use of excess amounts of alcohol at one time, a high blood pressure, any form of renal or kidney disease, some form of severe diets and nutritional restrictions such as crash diets and even an exposure to lead and other heavy metals. The use of some classes of drugs and certain medications, including antibiotics, diuretics, and chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer can all become contributory factors to the development of gout in an individual. The consumption of certain foodstuffs such as liver or anchovies, which contain high amounts of purines, can become triggers for flare-ups of gout in certain people.

Supplements and herbs

The trouble with gout is that there is a great deal of uric acid accumulation in the blood for years on end in many people without any sort of warning or symptoms being produced until an attack is triggered off by some underlying cause. Conventional medications play the most effective actions against an acute attack of gout, which is abrupt in incidence and often occurs without warning. The substance bromelain (found in pineapple) is the supplement of choice to be used during an acute attack of gout. Preventative actions against future attacks can be provided by the other supplements when they are used in tandem. The prolonged and long term utilization of these supplements is very safe and it is suggested that these are used in exactly such a fashion, the best combination of these supplements for long term utilization are a mixture of the extract of the cherry, nettle, the vitamin C. Indeed long-term prevention should be the main goal of the patient.

The anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain may help alleviate some of the pain that comes along with an attack of gout; this substance is a natural enzyme derived from pineapples. The dosage of the bromelain can be decreased and another substance called quercetin can be added to use for long term preventative treatment rather than as a therapeutic measure. The levels of uric acid in the blood are reduced by quercetin, which is a flavonoid; it is added to bromelain because the digestive uptake or absorption of querticin is increased by the bromelain.

Traditional use has been made of the cherries, which can be said to be an old folk remedy for gout, these fruits are very rich in flavonoids, and they can thus reduce the levels of uric acid in the body to a substantial degree, making excellent supplements. Supplementation can be carried out using the extract of the cherry fruits, commonly available at many health-food stores and supermarkets, dosage of the extract can be half a cup each day, the juice of the blueberry is also an excellent substitute if cherries are unavailable. Uric acid can also be freed from the tissues and its rate of excretion via the urine can be increase to a substantial degree through supplementing with incremental doses of the vitamin C. It is best to start using moderate amounts of vitamin C as a supplement, as very high starting doses can remove too much uric acid leading to their crystallization in the kidneys, causing a kidney stone to develop. Topical and external use as well as internal use can be made of another herb, namely the nettle. This herb can be used in the form of capsules to help eliminate and clear out excess uric acid form the tissue spaces. An external use can be made of a tea made form the nettle in hot compresses to alleviate and bring relief to inflamed joints and tissues, whenever an attack of gout occurs.

Certain substances called leukotrienes are involved in the inflammatory reaction during an attack of gout, the oil of the flaxseed can be used to reduce the production of these substances and help deter or reduce the levels of inflammation of tissues. The consumption of natural products such as celery and avocados, and drinking the herbal teas of herbs such as the cat's claw, the devil's claw, or those made from the leaves of the olive are excellent natural ways to bring down the incidence of gout in an individual in the long term as these substances can reduce the production of uric acid in the blood.

Homeopathy

The symptoms of gout such as painful joint pain and inflammation can be alleviated through the use of the homeopathic remedies given below. For the long term treatment of gout and the prevention of attack sin the future, it is best to take the advise of an experienced homeopath for a constitutional remedy that will deal with the disorder in a holistic and thorough way, such treatments will reduce the chances of recurring attacks.

  • Arnica
    Arnica is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of gout affected patients against the uncomfortable and painful symptoms of gout. The remedy as such is usually utilized to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by injuries. The physical symptoms may include difficulty in walking because it hurts, the form of the pain, or the sensation it generates are a sore and bruise-like feeling. Because of the extreme and excruciating pain, the person may not want to be touched or held. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Arnica as a homeopathic remedy to treat the symptoms of gout in the individual.
  • Belladonna
    Belladonna is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals afflicted with gout in which the symptoms appear abruptly and suddenly without any warning signs. The physical symptoms can include the presence of heat in the affected areas, swelling, and throbbing sensations, which can be quite intense and painful. Other physical signs are inflamed and reddened joints, the skin in the affected area is shiny. The pain generated is sharp and violent. The intensity of the painful sensations can be worsened by touch and jarring the affected area. Restlessness is another sign of the condition, and the person's face is flushed, and hot. The presence of one or more of these symptoms needs the immediate use of Belladonna as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the symptoms of gout present in the affected individual.
  • Berberis
    Berberis is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of patients afflicted with gout in whom the symptoms may include joint pains and stitching pains or sensations because of the attack. These painful sensations are increase in intensity and scope when the person moves about or shifts positions continually. Other symptoms may include whole body aches and the presence of a nagging back pain and the susceptibility toward developing kidney stones. The presence of one to more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Berberis as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of gout in the affected individual.
  • Bryonia
    Bryonia is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals afflicted with gout in whom the symptoms may include tearing type of painful sensations and affected and swollen joints that may be very hot to the touch. Any movement or exertion can aggravate or increase the painful sensations generated by the attack. Other physical signs are swollen and inflamed areas, which are extremely painful to touch and cause pain on moving them even slightly. The feet of the patient may swell up and get inflamed greatly and there is also a lot of stiffness in the region of the knees. Other psychological indicators of such patients are that of feelings of insecurity and irritability, the person is aloof and does not want to be disturbed. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate utilization of Bryonia as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the gout in the affected individual.
  • Calcarea fluor.
    Calcarea fluor. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals afflicted with gout in which the symptoms include pain in the knees and the toes there may be swelling in the joints of the fingers, and these are enlarged. The joints may make cracking sounds when moved about and may generate stabbing and painful sensations. The condition so the patient is aggravated when weather changes too suddenly and the condition is improved when warm compresses or external treatments are used as a topical measure on the affected regions of the body. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Calcarea flour. as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the gout in the afflicted individual.
  • Colchicum
    Colchicum is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals afflicted with gout in which the symptoms of the disorder can include extreme and excruciating pain in the big toe and the heel, touching the affected part or moving about may cause a lot of pain to the person. Physical symptoms also include hot, reddened and swollen and inflamed joints, which are very painful. The intensity of the painful sensations peak in the evenings and at night. Sudden rise in intensity of the painful sensations takes place when there are changes in the weather and in the spring. Other symptoms include a persistent chill and fatigue or physical exhaustion in the patients. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Colchicum as a homeopathic remedy to treat gout in a patient.
  • Ledum
    Ledum is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals with gout in which the symptoms may include swelling in the foot and especially the big toe. Other physical symptoms are the generation of extreme shooting pains all through the feet and the ankles, these sensations radiate outwards and upwards towards the knees and cause a great deal of discomfort and pain. The patient may gain some sort of relief from the swelling and the pain through the use of topical cold applications on the painful and affected regions of the body. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate utilization of Ledum as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the gout.
  • Rhododendron
    Rhododendron is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals afflicted with gout in whom the symptoms of the disorder include swelling in the joint of the big toe, the painful sensations generated thus can increase in intensity before the breaking of a storm. The right side of the body seems to more affected compared to the left side, and joints on the right side of the body may ache and swell up enormously. The condition of the patient greatly worsens in intensity if the person stays up too long at night and in the early hours of the morning. The condition of the patient may greatly improve if after the person has eaten some food or when he stays warm and rests in bed. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Rhododendron as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the disorder.
  • Rhus tox.
    Rhus tox. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from gout in which the symptom of the disorder include joints become very hot, turn really stiff, are swollen and extremely painful. The condition of the patient may get aggravated and the symptoms of the disease become worse in cold and damp weather. The condition of the patient improves greatly when undertaking gentle and warm motions. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Rhus tox. as a homeopathic remedy in the individual afflicted with gout.
  • Sulphur
    Sulphur is to be used in the treatment of individuals afflicted with gout in which the symptoms include painful and affected areas of the body that are given to itch. Another physical symptom is a burning feeling in the feet. The other affected parts of the body may be the joints and the knees. The condition of the patient often worsens to a great extent in damp and inclement weather and in the spring, and if any form of heat is applied. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Sulphur as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the gout.

Additional things you may do

To dilute and lower blood uric acid levels it is advisable to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day, these increase urine production and helps in the elimination of accumulated uric acids in the body. Because of its ability to trigger attacks and bring on episodes of symptomatic gout, alcohol must be avoided at all times. Obesity is a factor in the incidence of gout and it is important to keep ones weight down at manageable levels, exercise is important for health and a good way to loss weight. The threat of gout attacks due to obesity is very important and real. Dietary measures can include the elimination of refined carbohydrates and fats from food, avoid excessive consumption of protein, and all types of foods containing purines including organ meats, peas and other legumes, grains like oatmeal, and vegetables like spinach, the asparagus, the cauliflower, and the mushrooms, this is especially so if your sensitivity to purines is great.

Usual dosage

  • Flaxseed oil, one tbsp. daily, in the morning with meal.
  • Nettle, 250 mg thrice daily of standardized extract.
  • Vitamin C, 500 mg daily. Add 500 mg every five days until you reach 1,000 mg two times daily. If diarrhea develops, reduce the dose.
  • Bromelain, during an attack 500 mg every three hours. To prevent further attacks reduce the dose to twice a day.
  • Cherry fruit extract, 1,000 mg thrice daily following an acute attack.
  • Quercetin, 500 mg two times a day between meals. To prevent gout attacks take with bromelain.

Other beneficial herbs

Comments

From Peter C. - Jun-15-2013
I have experience gout pain for some time now. The best home remedy to alleviate the pain is to fill the tub with cold water, and let it run on the affected area. Ease into tip-toe exercise and/or rolling your weight from the ball of your foot up to your toe. Cold water instantly soothes your inflammation and the exercise help break up the crystals in your toe or ankle. Continue with hydrating your body with lots of fluids.
From Status Quo - 2010
Activated charcoal works better than anything I have used. Take 2 three times a day for a week then back off for 3 weeks. It will also help your stomach problems.
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