Symptoms of Gout
Gout is an inflammatory condition. The inflammation is usually in one joint. An increase in blood uric acid is usually present due to a metabolic disorder. Acute gouty arthritis happens suddenly. Excess alcohol, some infections, drugs and surgical operations may increase blood uric acid and lead to acute gouty arthritis. The most affected joint is the joint of great toe, but it may affect other joints such as the knee, feet and ankles. The affected joint is very painful, swollen, red and warm. Fever is usually present. After the attack, the patient may be asymptomatic for years. Later, gout may become a chronic disease with a serious disability and deformity.
Bed rest is very helpful in the treatment of an acute attack. Hot and cold compressors may be helpful for some patients. Avoiding excess alcohol consumption, restriction of high purine foods like meat, kidney, sardines and liver, and avoiding drugs which increase blood uric acid such as diuretics are recommended.
Eating a well balanced diet is very important. Eating more fresh vegetables and fruits and whole grain foods is recommended. Cherries are recommended for gout sufferers as some studies show that eating cherries may help in decreasing the uric acid level. Eating vitamin C-enriched foods such as oranges and guava is helpful. Drinking plenty of pure water is a helpful way to excrete uric acid. Drinking coffee decreases uric acid level in blood, but its benefits for gout sufferers are not yet proved.
Other alternative medicine therapies
Relaxation techniques and hypnotherapy are helpful in decreasing pain. Yoga and breathing exercises help restore body balance. Acupuncture and cupping therapy are recommended therapies to decrease and eliminate pain. Prayer is a very helpful assistant. Please, before you begin any alternative medicine therapy, consult your doctor.
1-Pan HL. (Observation of 39 cases of gout treated with plum-blossom needling plus cupping) Zhenjiu Linchuang Zazhi, 1997, 13(3):29(in Chinese)
2-Mayo clinic (Gout) - (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gout/ds00090)
3-Medline plus (Gout) - (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/gout.html)
4-NHS (Gout) - (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Gout/Pages/Introduction.aspx)
5-Acupuncture: review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials- World Health Organization- ISBN: 9241545437-2002