Gout is a complex form of arthritis that causes inflammation in the joints due to accumulation of uric acid. The disease commonly effects the joints in the feet. Gout is characterized with intense pain, swelling and redness in the joints.
What are the causes for Gout?
Accumulation of urate crystals in the joints leads to inflammation and intense pain in the joints.
Urate crystals are formed from excess uric acid in the blood stream. Uric acid is formed when there is break down of purines in the body. The amount of purines are more in case of meats, sea food, alcoholic beverages, and sweetened drinks.
Uric acid dissolve in the blood, processed in the kidneys and pass out of the body through urine. But when too much of uric acid is generated, kidneys cannot process it and leads to acid build up resulting in urate crystals in the blood. These crystals reaches the joints or surrounding tissue that leads to pain and swelling
Obesity – In case of obesity, body produce more uric acid which gets difficult to eliminate from the body
Medical conditions – Associated medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney diseases.
Continuous use of certain medications. Eg: thiazide diuretics.
Family history – Hereditary which runs in the family increases the risk of gout
Menopause – Uric acid levels in the blood tend to increase after attaining menopause.
Age and sex – Gout is seen more in men than women. Men is likely to develop this disease.
Recent surgery or trauma – History of recent surgery can increase the risk of gout.
What are the symptoms of Gout?
The sign and symptoms include –
Intense pain in the joints – Gout usually effect the large joints, especially in the big toe. Other joints that get affected are ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers
Inflammation and redness – the joints affected become inflamed and reddish in the joints
Limited movements in the joints
Gout is known as Vataraktha or Adya vata in Ayurveda. The Vata and Pitta dosha vitiates and lodges in raktha dhatu resulting gouty arthritis.
The causes of vatarakta as per Ayurveda are – Excess intake of food items which are sour, salty, pungent, bitter, alkaline, hot, spicy, oily, preserved or spoiled food, having incompatible food, drinking alcohol, staying awake at night etc.
Based on the location, vatarakta is divided into 2 types – Uttana (superficial) which is located on the skinand muscles, and Gambhira which is located on deeper tissues.
Vatarakta can be managed with panchakarma therapies and internal medications. In severe cases the treatment Rakthamokshana is also adopted to get fast results.
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• Stop purine-rich foods such as fish, ,red meat and organ meat (liver, kidneys).
• Refrain from drinking alcohol, as alcohol is believed to inhibit successful flushing out of the body’s uric acid.
• Limited use of processed carbohydrates, such as sweetened food items, pastries, white bread, etc.
• Look for more vegetables and fruits in your diet.
• Drink plenty of water which helps to flush out the excess uric acid in the body