AyuKarma Ayurveda

Gout

WHAT IS GOUT?

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid in the joints, resulting in stiffness and swelling. Uric acid is a breakdown product of purines that are part of our nourishment. An abnormality in uric acid content results in the crystallization of these compounds in joints. A person with gout can trigger painful attacks of arthritis, stones, and blockage of the tubules within the kidneys, due to uric acid crystals.

Normally, gout causes attacks of pain at night, mostly disturbing the sleeping pattern of an individual. A person with gout experiences a fire sensation in the big toe. Even the weight of the paper seems to be intolerable. Swelling, redness, and tenderness in the joints are most common in the big toe.

Signs of Gout attacks can flare up quickly and keep returning over time. This results in inflammation in the area affected, and this can be intensively painful. Hypertension, cardiovascular, and obesity are risk factors for gout.

Though attacks of gout can occur in any age group, more instances can be found in the elderly.

Types

Gout progress through different stages, which are also referred to as different types of gout.

Asymptomatic Hyperuricemia

It is possible for a person to have too much uric acid without any apparent signs. This is called asymptomatic gout, for which no treatment is required usually, though urate crystals cause slight damage to the joints.

Those with asymptomatic gout mia are be advised to take measures to prevent any possible factors contributing to uric acid flare-ups.

Acute Gout

This stage occurs when crystals of urate abruptly cause acute inflammation and intense pain. This sudden development in the signs of gout is referred to as a ‘flare’ that normally subsides within 3 to 10 days. Flares can be triggered by alcohol and drugs, as well as cold weather.

Interval or Intercritical Gout

This stage is the time interval between attacks of acute gout. Subsequent flares may not occur for years but can last longer if not managed well. In this time period, additional urate crystals may start to deposit in the tissue.

Chronic Tophaceous Gout

Chronic tophaceous gout is a severe type of gout. Permanent damage may have developed in the joints and the kidneys. During chronic tophaceous gout, tophi, which are big lumps of urate crystals may start to appear in the cooler areas of the body.

It takes a long time without any treatment for an individual to reach this stage of chronic tophaceous gout. In a rare condition only, a person receiving proper treatment would advance to this stage.

Pseudogout

The signs of pseudogout are very similar to that of gout, just that they are usually less severe.

The main difference between gout and pseudogout is that the joints are inflamed by calcium pyrophosphate crystals rather than the urate crystals.

Pseudogout has a different treatment approach to gout.

Symptoms

Some people have too much uric acid in their blood, but no usual signs. This is called asymptomatic gout.

In cases when signs are visible, they are mostly linked to night flare-ups which may usually include:

  • Intense joint pain. Gout primarily affects the big toe, but other joints in the body may likely get affected. It can trigger pain in the ankles, knees, fingers, elbows, wrists, among others. The pain is severe within the first few hours and stays for up to 12 hours.
  • Limited motion. As gout progresses, you may not be able to move the joints normally.
  • Discomfort. Joint discomfort may last from a few days to one or two weeks. Later attacks are likely to last longer and affect more join.
  • Inflammation. Inflammation is the major symptom of gout attacks, causing redness and swelling in the affected area. The affected area could be tender, warm, and red, which usually lasts long.
  • Untreated gout can turn chronic. Over time, hard lumps, called tophi, may start to build up in the joints, the skin, and soft tissue around them. Such hard deposits can disfigure the joints and cause pain.

When to see a doctor

If you feel your big toe is on fire, seek immediate medical care. If you have a fever and sore joints after an infection, consult your doctor right away. The right medical care and support are necessary to prevent gout from turning severe.

Causes

Gout occurs when crystals of uric acid build up in the joints, causing inflammation in the affected area. Uric acid comes from purine, a compound found in most foods. Purines are naturally found in most foods such as red meat, organ meat, seafood, mussels, sweetened fruit sugar, and alcoholic beverages.

As uric acid should be eliminated constantly, it is transported to the kidneys for getting rid of during the filtration process. But, many a time, the body starts to produce too much uric acid or the kidney function is impaired, resulting in uric acid buildup. This uric acid buildup may restore itself to any joint or its surrounding tissue, causing inflammation and swelling.

The other causes may include:

  • Weight. F you are overweight, the body generates more uric acid while the kidneys may not excrete all of it.
  • Medical Conditions. Conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, kidney disease increase the risk of uric acid buildup.
  • A family history of gout. If you have a family member who is experiencing gout, your risk likely increases many times. This is especially true for people with a first-degree relative with gout.
  • Age and gender. Gout is more common in men compared to women, who have low uric acid otherwise. After menopause, uric acid in women also reaches that of men.
  • Surgery. Surgery or physical trauma may trigger attacks of gout. Taking vaccination may also result in a gout attack in many cases.
  • Certain medications. Medications, such as Aspirin or those used to regulate hypertension also increase uric acid levels.

Ayurvedic treatment for gout

For gout, aggravation of Vata and Pitta doshas and Rakta Dhatus are the cause of Vata Rakta or Aadya Rakta.

As per Ayurveda, there are several factors that contribute to the development of gouts, such as the excessive intake of Salty, Sour, Pungent, Bitter, Oily, Hot, Dried, Preserved, and Alkaline food. Incompatible food combinations, alcohol, daytime sleep, eating at midnight, staying awake in anger, etc. can also disturb the natural tendency of doshas.

Vatarakta or Gout is classified into 2 types

  • Uttana (superficial) – Located in the skin & muscles.
  • Gambhira (deep) – Located in the dhatus, deeply situated, and are intense in nature. Tophi or nodule formation occurs.

AyuKarma, we have the ayurvedic treatment and Panchakarma therapies to ensure the vitality of the patients and sustain overall health. The aim of therapeutic procedures is to ensure detoxification of the body and pacification of the doshas, aggravation of which results in gout.

In every case, we take utmost care to prevent the signs from subsiding and help you get rid of any health disorder.

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