GOUT


Overview

Gout is an inflammatory type of arthritis caused by the deposition of needle-like crystals of uric acid in a joint. It causes sudden inflammation and pain that usually affects single joints and sometimes affects multiple joints at once in severe cases. 

Purines are substances in animal and plant foods that our body converts to uric acid. If the body can't flush the uric acid out through kidneys, it can build up in the bloodstream and be deposited as needle-shaped crystals in your joints.

Symptoms

  • Joint redness.
  • Swollen joints.
  • Joint pain(rapid onset)
  • Warmth of the joint.
  • Nodules under the skin called tophi ,a small joint at the base of the big toe is the most common site for an attack. Other joints that can be affected include the ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows.

According to Ayurveda there are three elements present in our body : vata, pitta and kapha which should be in balance. Gout is known as vatarakta as the main element involved is vata and it affects rakta dhatu( blood tissue). Because of the above said causes three elements along with rakta dhatu get impaired and vitiate the blood causing damage to the tissues and bones of the joint resulting in vatarakta.

  • When Vata is severely vitiated - Symptoms are pain, twitching, pricking pain, swelling which is dry and black, stiffness of body parts, aversion or aggravation of symptoms by cold, numbness.
  • When Rakta is severely vitiated - Symptoms are swelling, severe pain and pricking pain, copper colour of the skin, itching and moistness predominate.
  • When Pitta is severely vitiated - Symptoms like severe burning sensation, sweating, fainting, thirst, tenderness, pain, swelling and suppuration will be predominantly found.
  •  When Kapha is severely vitiated - Symptoms are  numbness, heaviness, moistness, unctuousness and coldness will prevail.

Based on its location-

  1. Uttana vatarakta- afflicts the superficial tissues i.e. skin and muscles, symptoms limited to the skin, looks like a skin disease with skin lesions and muscle pain.
  2. Gambhira vatarakta- Involves blood and other deeper tissues like bone and joints and also the internal viscera like a systemic illness with severe symptoms, looks like a joint pathology.

Causes

  1. Eating food before the previous meal is digested.
  2. Untimely food habits.
  3. Incompatible food like having milk and fruits together.
  4.  Excessive consumption of 
    • Spicy, salty, sour, pungent, alkaline food.
    • Vegetables: Radish, Green leafy vegetables, Horse Gram, Flatbeans
    • Nonveg : Seafood, Meat and Dry meat
    • Sugar cane
    • Curd
    • Alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose)
  5. People of delicate nature who are exposed to the above said causes.
  6. Fat and people who live in luxury who consume the above said causes
  7. Substance abuse like smoking, alcohol, etc.
  8. Excess physical activity
  9. Stress and anxiety
  10. Regular habit of sleeping in day time 
  11. Regular habit of awakening at night time
  12. Medical conditions -  untreated high blood pressure , diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart and kidney diseases.
  13. Family history of gout.
  14. Recent surgery or trauma associated with an increased risk of developing a gout attack.

Treatment

Treatment protocol aims at :

1.Relief from pain and swelling in joints 

2.Regulate uric acid level and prevent progression of disease .

3. Rejuvinate the whole body and improve overall health of the body.

The first line of treatment should always be avoiding the causative factors. If the problem persists then consider the following treatment protocol.

  • Redness, pain and warmth of the affected joints, - Uric acid deposition causing pain and inflammation. Guduchi, Kokilaksha, Gokshura will neutralize the increased uric acid level in blood. Guggulu, Punarnava, Gokshuradi guggul and Musta for managing pain and swelling. It will also cure other symptoms due to uric acid decomposition causing inflammation.
  • Prevent progression of disease and improve overall health of the body - Shatavari which is good for orthopaedic health and good for overall health.

(The above mentioned Ayurvedic drugs are Herbs and Herbomineral preparations)

Other therapies - Virechana/Purgation therapy (cleaning digestive tract and purifies blood), Vasti (enema) to reduce inflammation and cleanse the system. Lepa (Lepa: A type of therapy wherein paste of drug is applied to the affected part).

Herbs

Guduchi, Kokilaksha, Gokshura, Guggulu, Punarnava, Gokshuradi guggul ,Musta , Shatavari


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