Gout is one of the most common inflammatory diseases that afflicts a large number of patients. It is a disease caused by abnormalities of high uric acid in the blood known as hyperuricemia. This happens when uric acid accumulates and is not excreted through the kidneys. The accumulated uric acid crystallizes in the form of urate in the tissues around and around the joints, causing inflammation in the affected joints. As a result, sufferers can experience severe pain, swelling, and redness around the affected area, such as the thumb, foot, finger knuckles, knee joints, ankles, wrists, elbows, and shoulder joints.
How does gout happen? What is the cause?
As mentioned above, gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid that cannot be excreted sufficiently, causing accumulation in the joints. In integrative medicine, uric acid is seen as a waste product caused by the breakdown of purines, which are one of the components of organic matter in the cells of the body.
Therefore, whenever the cells in our body are inflamed due to injury or stress such as lack of sleep, lack of rest, or exposure to toxic chemicals, free radicals are formed in the body, causing inflammation at the cellular level until the body releases these uric acids.
However, we face these causative factors in the food we consume, the lifestyle we practice, and the environment we are in. These factors play a big role in stimulating inflammation in the body, causing the release of uric acid like the other triggers mentioned above. Research studies have shown that sugar in the form of fructose from fruit can cause inflammation down to the cellular level. Therefore, those with a history should pay careful attention to the type of food they consume.
Signs and Symptoms
Gout can be asymptomatic or acute. Some sufferers do not know they have gout until they experience pain, swelling, or redness in the joints, or until the level of uric acid in the blood is detected. Uric acid levels for symptoms to show:
- In males, when the levels of uric acid in the blood are higher than 7 mg/dl,
- In females, when levels of uric acid in the blood are higher than 6 mg/dl,
Most of the time, it usually starts with pain in the ankle and swelling, followed by a reduction in joint movement. At this stage, if properly treated, there is a chance that it can be cured. But if the pain is inflammatory or chronic and not properly treated, sufferers may be at risk for arthritis, deformity, and, if severe, kidney complications.
Diagnosis and treatment of gout
When symptoms or suspected signs arise, one should see the doctor for an examination. If the patient has pain, swelling in the joints and blood test results, found that there is a higher-than-normal value of uric acid in the blood. Sufferers may be symptomatic of gouty arthritis.
For the treatment of gout, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for symptomatic treatment and also to reduce uric acid in the blood. Whenever uric acid is reduced, inflammation is reduced as well. Once the inflammation decreases the physician would normally prescribe Allopurinol to help maintain the level of uric acid.
However, for patients who do not want to take a large amount or long-term medication, you can now choose the natural treatment or integrative treatment pathway. Integrative medicine emphasizes the importance of nutritional pharmaceuticals with natural nutrients. This is done by selecting nutrient types such as essential fatty acids, Omega 3 from fish oil, sesame oil, olive oil, curcumin extract, Boswellia extract, primrose extract, and astaxanthin extract from red algae, among others. They have properties that can help reduce and control inflammation.
What should I do if I don't want to get sick with gout?
With an integrative medicine approach, physicians put their focus on addressing the root cause of the problem. Therefore, if sufferers want to reduce the risk of gout problems, they would also need to change their lifestyle, get proper sleep, exercise, and maintain good mental health. On the part of nutrients, good nutraceuticals, antioxidants, and the detoxification of excess toxins can help support good kidney function. It can help to balance out the acidity and alkalinity of the kidneys to boost their function and reduce the chance of acute kidney failure.