Gout and herbs

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Gout is a type of arthritis condition due to a metabolic abnormality involving uric acid.

Either a patient produces too much uric acid or they are unable to excrete (get rid of) the uric acid. The end result is deposits of uric acid in the body, most commonly the joints and the kidneys.

Among the more common signs and symptoms are:

• Extreme pain in a single joint, usually the base of the big toe, but other joints can also be affected (such as the feet, fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, or ankles)
• Joint is discolored (shiny reddish-purple), swollen, hot, and stiff
• Fever as high as 39°C (102.2° F) with or without chills
• Attack develops over a matter of hours and may get better over a few days or weeks
• In later attacks, tophi (deposits of uric acid) form under the skin in the outer ear, hands, feet, elbow, or knee

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) may help with the pain and swelling. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and avoid foods that trigger attacks. Besides NSAIDs, colchicine and steroids are sometimes used for acute attacks.

Nutritional tips include:

• Maintain a healthy weight. It is important to avoid rapid diets and rapid weight loss.
• Drink plenty of water because dehydration may make gout worse.
• Restrict purines in the diet. Purines are converted to uric acid. Foods with a high purine content include beef, goose, organ meats, sweetbreads, mussels, anchovies, herring, mackerel, and yeast. Foods with a moderate amount of purines include meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish not listed above. Spinach, asparagus, beans, lentils, mushrooms, and dried peas also contain moderate amounts of purines.
• Abstain from alcohol, especially beer and red wine.
• Cherries—One half pound of cherries per day (fresh or frozen) for two weeks lower uric acid and prevent attacks. Cherries and other dark red berries (hawthorn berries and blueberries) contain anthocyanidins that decrease inflammation. Cherry juice (8 to 16 oz. per day) is also helpful.
• Vitamin C—8 g per day can lead to decreased blood uric acid levels. However, some people with gout will actually get worse with this vitamin C.
• Folic acid—10 to 75 mg per day inhibits xanthine oxidase, which is required for uric acid production.
• EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) inhibits pro-inflammatory leukotrienes. Dose is 1,500 mg per day.
• Niacin—Avoid niacin in doses greater than 50 mg per day. Nicotinic acid may precipitate an attack of gout.
• Vitamin A—There is some concern that elevated retinol levels can aggravate attacks of gouty arthritis.

The following information came from one of the homeopathic/natural remedy websites. I'm not sure which one and for that I apologize. If you know which one let me know so I can cite the source

Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day.

•Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) reduces pain and inflammation. Dose is 1 to 2 g three times per day of dried powdered root, 4 to 5 ml three times per day of tincture, or 400 mg three times per day of dry solid extract during attacks.
•Bromelain (Ananas comosus)—proteolytic enzyme (anti-inflammatory) when taken on an empty stomach. Dose is 125 to 250 mg three times per day during attacks.

Some of the most common homeopathic remedies used for gout may be effective. Usually, the dose is 3 to 5 pellets of a 12X to 30C remedy every one to four hours until your symptoms get better.

•Aconite for sudden onset of burning pain, anxiety, restlessness, and attacks that come after a shock or injury
•Belladonna for intense pain that may be throbbing; pain is made worse by any motion and better by pressure; joint is very hot
•Bryonia for pain made much worse by any kind of motion; pain is better with pressure and with heat
•Colchicum for pains made worse by motion and changes of weather, especially if there is any nausea associated with the attacks
•Ledum when joints become mottled, purple and swollen; pain is much better with cold applications and is worse when overheated

Get more information about gout and herbs and related issues as well as...

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Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

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