Ayurvedic treatment for Gout

Gout

Know More on Bone Diseases

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Gout Ayurvedic treatment

Gout is a type of arthritis that shows sudden but severely painful attacks, swelling, redness and tenderness in small joints such as that of the thumbs and toe.1

According to Ayurveda, Gout is comparable to the condition called as Vatarakta. It is caused by the vitiation of vata dosha and rakta (blood). In this disease, both vata and rakta vitiate each other and get settled in the inter-joint spaces causing redness and pain.2  Vatarakta has two stages 1. Uttana and Gambeera. Vatarakta mainly affects Asthi Dhatu (Bone)and causes pain.

Causes

Gout

Gout is caused when uric acid crystals get accumulated in the joints, leading to many symptoms. Uric acid is produced in the body as a by-product and it gets excreted through the kidneys via blood and urine. When the body produces excess of uric acid, they get accumulated in the joints.1

Symptoms

Gout

Gout presents with painful swollen joints. The symptoms generally occur suddenly at night. They include:

  • Severe pain in joints
  • Swelling and redness in the affected joint

Stiffness and immobility of the joint

Diagnosis

Gout

Diagnosis of a slipped disc is done based on the symptoms mentioned above.1 Some additional tests to diagnose gout include:1

  • Joint fluid test – Using a needle, fluid is drawn out from your affected joint and examined under the microscope for urate crystals
  • Blood test – to measure levels of uric acid and creatinine in your blood
  • X-Rays – to confirm gout and rule out other causes of joint pain
  • Ultrasound – to detect urate crystals in the joint
  • CT scan – imaging test to look for presence of urate crystals in the joint, even when the joint is not swollen or painful

Management

Gout

Management of gout involves managing the acute attacks and providing proper treatment to reduce complications. For this purpose, gout treatment usually involves medicines. 1

For acute attacks and to prevent future attacks, pain reliever medicines such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine and corticosteroids are commonly used. To prevent gout-related complications, medicines that block uric acid production in the body, and medicines that help excrete uric acid from the body are commonly used.1

For treating gout, Ayurveda recommends Vata hara and Rakta prasadaka measures like shodhana (expelling) treatment - especially siravyadh (blood-letting with the help of surgical instruments) from the localized joint.2

Shodhana therapy

Shodhana is a purification therapy. The aggravated Doshas from the body are expelled out in this procedure, thereby eliminating the internal causative factors of the disease. Metabolic process causes generation of large quantities of toxic byproducts in the body. Toxins deposited in various tissues vitiate Dosha, Dhatu etc and thereby causes diseases. Shodhana therapy removes toxins from body and restores the equilibrium of Dosha. Shodhana therapy consists of a three-stage purification process as follows:3

  • Purva Karma – preparatory purification prior to the main purification
  • Pradhana Karma – the main five purification methods (known as Panchakarma treatment)
  • Paschath Karma – post rejuvenation therapy

In Vata rakta the best Shodana karma is Basti karma

Additionally, Ayurveda also recommends a combination of healthy diet (ahar) and lifestyle changes (vihar) in order to manage the condition effectively. These include:2

 

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Consume healthy foods including nuts, dairy etc in diet
  • Langhanam (dieting) to reduce weight helps in reducing the burden on joints
  • Avoid carbonated drinks, packaged foods and junk food

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Follow a systematic daily way of life (Dincharya)
  • Avoid activities that cause both mental and physical stress
  • Avoid excessive exercise and physical activities

Avoid suppressing your urges (vegavidharan) to urinate, defecate, etc

FAQS

Gout
  1. What is Osteoarthritis? How is it caused?

Osteoarthritis refers to a type of bone and joint problem in which a person suffering from it will have pains in joints. This happens due to the wearing down of the protective cartilage on the bones due to age or other factors. While any joint in the body can have osteoarthritis, usually it happens commonly in the joints of knees, hips, spinal column and hands.

Osteoarthritis is caused due to damage of the cartilages of the ends of the bones. This damage generally occurs due to multiple factors primarily being increasing age. Apart for age, the other factors that cause the damage to cartilage are Obesity, female gender and trauma to the joint.

  1. What is Rheumatoid arthritis? How is it different from osteoarthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) refers to an auto immune disorder where the body’s defense systems turn against the body and mainly affect the joints but may also severely affect the eyes, skin, lungs, heart and blood vessels. It generally manifests as pain in the joints along with swelling and difficulty in movements.

Unlike osteoarthritis which affects the weight bearing joints, RA affects any and most joints of the body. It generally presents with swelling (hot swollen joints) as a cardinal feature and also shows some systemic manifestations (such as affects the eyes, skin, lungs, heart etc) unlike OA.

  1. What is osteoporosis? How is it recognized?

Osteoporosis refers to the condition where the bone becomes weak. Instead of the strong tissue that support the body structure, bones become brittle from inside and are capable of breaking with a minor jerk or fall. This leads to fractures in the hands, hips and legs with minor falls or injuries.

It can be recognized based on specific signs and symptoms and a BMD test. Symptoms are as follows -

  • Easily having a bone fracture
  • Pain in the back
  • Height becomes lesser than usual
  • A dropping posture
  1. What first aid should I offer to a person with a fracture?

If you witness a person developing fracture, take these actions immediately -

  • Urgently call for medical help or arrange for an ambulance
  • Stop any bleeding if there is an open wound. This can be done by applying pressure with a clean cloth or tight bandaging.
  • Avoid moving the injured area.
  • Apply ice packs to the injured part
  • If the person faints of is short of breath, put their head at a lower side and legs at a higher angle
  1. How does one know if a child has rickets?

The signs and symptoms of rickets are as follows –

  • Crooked or bow shaped legs
  • Thick joints of hands and feet
  • Protruded chest bone
  • A delay in growth milestones
  • Muscular weakness
  1. How does one have a dislocated joint?

Dislocations are usually caused due to a trauma or as a sports injury. Falls associated with contact sports such as football, basketball etc can lead to a dislocation.

Additionally, a fall on the outstretched hand and trauma due to a motor accident, too can cause dislocation.

  1. What is a Tennis elbow? How is it caused?

Tennis elbow refers to the pain in elbow due to swelling of the tendons which may occur due to repetitive movements of the wrists. Unlike the name suggests, the condition affects non-athletes as well.

It is caused due to overuse of the tendons resulting in a muscle strain injury. Any activity that requires repeated motions of the elbow and wrists can cause tiny injuries in the tendons leading to tennis elbow.

  1. What is frozen shoulder and how is it caused?

Frozen shoulder refers to a condition where the shoulder seems to be frozen in its movements. This condition cause pain and stiffness in the shoulder and restricts any kinds of movements. Medically, this condition in also known as adhesive capsulitis.

While the exact cause of frozen shoulder is not understood, it is believed to be caused due to a swelling of the joints covering called as capsule. This may happen due to long periods of immobility or trauma to the underlying nerve.

  1. How does a hip get fractured?

Generally hip fractures can be caused because of a trauma due to accident, falls, injuries or rarely violence. Hip fracture is very common in the elderly as it often happens due to a fall from height or sometimes even with twisting of the foot in people with weak bones. Younger people often have hip fracture as an outcome of a motor vehicle accident.

  1. What is meant by slipped disc?

A slipped disc refers to the swelling in the cushion between two bones, most commonly the vertebra (individual bones of the spine). This cushion is supposed to provide mobility and flexibility to the spine. This cushion between the vertebra is called as a disc and is filed with a gel like substance that provides the flexibility.

Slipped disc is the swelling of this disc which causes pain and obstructs mobility of the spine. A swelling in the cushion leads to some of the gel in the disc to protrude out between the bones.

References

Gout
  1. Mayo Clinic. Gout. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gout/basics/definition/con-20019400 accessed Sept 20th 2016
  2. Acharya AK et al. Evaluation of efficacy of siravyadha and guduchi siddhayoga basti in management of vatrakta wsr to gout. IJRAP 2013;4(3): 402-9
  3. Swami Sadashiva Tirtha. The Ayurveda Encyclopaedia: Natural secrets to healing, prevention and longetivity. 2005

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