Gout is a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream.It starts from the joint in the base of the big toe. Sudden and intense pain ,or gout attacks can make it feel like your foot is on fire.
Gout happens when high levels of substance called serum urate build up in your body. When this happens needle shaped crystals form in and around the joint which leads to inflammation and pain in the joint. As most often affected joints in gout is big toe but sometimes other joints like knees ,ankles , elbows,thumbs or fingers also get affected .On treatment symptoms usually disappear after a few days , but they may reccur at any time. Gout occurs more often in men than women .Men usually develop it between the ages of 30 & 50. Women usually prone to it after menopause.
• Intense pain –
The pain is likely to be most severe within the first 4-12 hours after it begins. Usually attack of gout occurs suddenly in the middle of the night with feeling of fire in your big toe.
• Inflammation and redness –
The affected joint become swollen ,tender ,warm and red.
• Limited range of motion –
As gout progresses ,you may not be able to move your joints normally.
• Lingering discomfort –
After pain symptoms subsides ,some joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks.
Gout is caused by too much uric acid in blood stream and accumulation of urate crystals in tissues of the body. These crystals deposits in the joint causes pain ,inflammation like symptoms. Uric acid is normally found in the body as a by product of the way the body breakdown certain proteins called purines .Causes of an elevated blood uric acid level are as follows –
• Certain medications like diuretics
• Chronic decreased kidney function
There are different stages through which gout progresses and these are sometimes referred as different types of gout.
• Asymptomatic hyperuricemia –
When elevated levels of uric acid don’t show any symptoms it is called as Asymptomatic hyperuricemia.In this condition you are advised to advised to avoid the causes of your uric acid make up so that urate crystals don’t cause any damage in joints.
• Acute gout –
This stage occurs when the urate crystals that have been deposited suddenly causes acute inflammation and pain. This sudden attack is referred to as a flare and will normally subside within 3-10 days.
• Interval or intercritical gout –
It is the period in between attacks of acute gout . Subsequent flares may not occur for months or years. During this intervals further urate crystals are being deposited in tissue.
• Chronic tophaceous gout –
It is the most debilitating type of gout . Permanent damage may have occurred in the joints and kidneys. Patients develop tophi ,big lumps of urate crystals in cooler areasof the body such as the joints of the fingers. This stage takes long time around 10 yrs to reach in such condition.
• Pseudogout –
The symptoms are very similar to those of gout , although flare ups are usually less severe. Major difference between gout and pseudogout is that joints are irritated by calcium pyrophosphate crystals rather than urate crystals.
Risk Factors –
• Diet –
Eating diet rich in meat , seafood, drinking beverages sweetened with fruit sugar , alcohol consumption especially bear increases levels of uric acid.
• Obesity –
If you are overweight your body produces more uric acid and kidneys faces difficulty in eliminating it.
• Medical conditions –
Medical conditions like high blood pressure , diabetes , metabolic syndrome ,heart and kidney diseases increase risk of your gout.
• Certain medications –
Certain medications like diuretics ,low dose aspirin also affects level of uric acid.
• Family history of gout
• Men are more prone to gout and females becomes prone to it after menopause.
• Recent surgery and trauma also increases the risk of developing gout.
• Recurrent Gout
• Advanced Gout
• Kidney Stones
• Joint fluid test
• Blood test for creatinine and uric acid levels.
• X – ray
• NSAIDs like Ibuprofen , Naproxen , Indomethacin
• Clochicine- one of type painkiller.
• Corticosteroids – It may be in pill or injection form.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
It is known as Vatarakta or Adyavata in Ayurveda . Vata dosha ,pitta dosha & rakta dhatu are especially vitiated to cause Vatarakta.
Line of treatment –
Shodhan chikitsa –
• Raktamokshana – Vatarakta is best treated with this therapy in Ayurveda.
• Snehana –
• Avagahan Sweda-
• Basti –
• Rasayan Therapy – Ashwagandha ,Mulethi like known Rasayan are given to boost immunity.
Yoga and Pranayam-
• Surya namaskar – It is beneficial for joint flexibility.
• Pranayam – Do pranayam atleast for 30 minutes a day.
Some effective herbs –
• Guduchi –
• Chopchini –
• Punarnava –
• Shunthi –
• Manjishta –
• Turmeric –
Some effective medicines –
• Kaishore guggul
• Chopchini churna
• Saunth churna
• Gokshuradi Gugglu
• Navkarshik churna
• Aarogyavardhini vati
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