Gout is an extremely painful type of arthritis in which crystalline deposits of uric acid form within the joints. Although it typically strikes the base of the big toe, it can occur in any joint. An estimated 840 out of 100,000 people, usually between the ages of 30 and 50, get gout. It is 20 times more common among men than women are. Women rarely get gout before the onset of menopause. Some families are genetically predisposed, and African-Americans as well as individuals with poor kidney function are more likely to suffer gout attacks.
How Does Gout Develop?
Gout is caused by elevated blood levels of uric acid, a waste product of the breakdown of cells and proteins. This excess can be due to an increase in uric acid production as well as the inability of the kidneys to adequately clear uric acid from the body. Certain foods, such as shellfish, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages may increase uric acid levels and precipitate gout attacks. Obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and medications can also increase uric acid levels. With time, the elevated levels of uric acid in the blood may form needle-like crystals in the joints, leading to acute and very painful gout attacks. Uric acid may also collect under the skin, which is known as tophi or in the urinary tract as kidney stones.
What are the Symptoms of Gout?
The most common symptoms of gout are inflammation, swelling, tenderness, warmth, and redness in the affected joint, usually the big toe. Touching or moving the affected joint is intensely painful, and patients often say it hurts to have as little as a bed sheet over the affected joint. The pain may be accompanied by a mild fever. Gout develops quickly, and although it typically occurs in only one joint at a time, on rare occasions symptoms may develop in two or three joints simultaneously. In most cases, however, if these symptoms occur in joints throughout the body, the condition is probably not gout.
Conventional medical treatments may help relieve the symptoms of gout, but they do not address the root of the problem. By strengthening structural weaknesses and addressing imbalances in the body, as natural treatments do, pain associated with gout may be alleviated permanently.
Natural vs. Modern Medicine's Approach to Gout
Modern Medicine's Approach to Gout
The goal of modern medical treatment is to stop the pain and inflammation associated with initial attacks of gout and pseudogout, and to prevent future attacks. This is approached in several different ways, including joint aspiration, in which fluid is withdrawn from the affected joint with a needle and syringe to relieve the swelling and to analyze the fluid found in the joint. Modern medical doctors may also use x-ray technology as a diagnostic tool to locate the crystals associated with pseudogout. However, this tool does not always properly diagnose the pain source. Another problem with this approach is that it does nothing to strengthen the weakened ligaments caused by the inflammation and degeneration associated with these two conditions and, thus, does not alleviate the chronic pain that afflicted individual’s experience.
Another standard practice of modern medicine is the use of medications. For example, colchicine is used to reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation associated with acute gout and pseudogout attacks. It works by decreasing the inflammation caused by uric acid crystals within the joint. However, it does not decrease the uric acid levels in the bloodstream. Steroids and anti-inflammatory medications are also used. However, in the long run, these treatments do more damage than good. Although cortisone shots and anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to produce short-term pain benefit, both result in long-term loss of function and even more chronic pain by actually inhibiting the healing process of soft tissues and accelerating cartilage degeneration. Plus, long-term use of these drugs can lead to other sources of chronic pain, allergies and leaky gut syndrome. Codeine or other analgesics may also be prescribed for pain relief. In addition, a diet low in purines may also be prescribed.
The Natural Approach to Gout and Pseudogout
Chronic pain is most commonly due to tendon weakness, ligament weakness or cartilage deterioration. The safest and most effective natural medicine treatment for repairing tendon, ligament and cartilage damage is Chiropractic. In simple terms, Chiropractic stimulates the body to repair painful areas.
If you are interested in more information about natural treatments or to schedule an appointment, please contact Central Health and Wellness at 817-649-9800 or use the online Inquiry Form
Disclaimer: The preceding is to provide information about relief and the benefits that may be derived. It is not intended to claim a cure for any disease or condition. It should not take the place of your doctor’s