Gout is characterized by inflammation of joints and recurrent swelling. It is a chronic condition with spurts of severe attacks. Gout commonly affects men in their 40s/50s, and post-menopausal women. The disease has been known to mankind for several years and it is known to have affected many popular men such as Newton, Millet, Louis XIV, Dr. Johnson, Luther and Alexander the Great. Physicians of ancient Greece and Rome also knew about Gout.
Symptoms of Gout
Gout attack usually brings with it severe pain in big toe. The toe becomes tender, swollen and hot within few hours time. When the condition is severe, it cannot take any weight. Gout can also affect other joints such as knee, wrists etc. Gout attack usually starts in middle of the night or early morning. The patient might get up with severe sudden pain. The attack may continue for a week’s time. During the attack the patient might run fever and may not want to eat.
Duration between gout attacks varies with reoccurrence after many weeks or months. Frequency of Gout attack increases if it is not treated.
In chronic cases of Gout, chalky lumps may be found in Joints and beneath the skin. In complicated cases, Kidney stones may occur which may cause severe pain and result in poisonous waste getting back to the blood stream.
Causes of Gout
Uric acid crystals formed in joints, skin and kidney primarily cause Gout. These crystals are formed due to presence of excess uric acid in the blood. Excess uric acid in blood could either be due to more production of uric acid in the body or excretion of less uric acid from body through urine. Uric acid is an end product of various chemical processes which normally occur in body. When concentration of uric acid in the blood stream becomes very high it crystallizes into needle shaped crystals in joints, this leads to gout.
Heredity, alcoholism, consumption of foods rich in protein and carbohydrates, and sedentary lifestyle make some people more prone to the disease than others. Stress also contributes to Gout. In a stressful situation, body’s reaction is such that several body cells get destroyed and uric acid gets released from these cells.
Naturopathy or Natural Home Remedies for Gout
Fasting is a very effective treatment of acute condition of Gout. Fresh orange juice and water fast must be undertaken for four to five days. During initial phase of fasting, uric acid gets dissolved and goes back into the blood stream for excretion. This stage might be difficult for the patient, but if fasting is continued, the condition improves. In acute condition of gout, fasting could be undertaken for smaller periods of three days or so. During the fasting period, warm water enema may be taken in order to cleanse bowels.
Once symptoms of Gout subside, one may switch to an all-fruit diet for three to four days. The patient may take three servings of juicy fruits (grapes, oranges, pears, peaches etc) during the fast. Afterwards, one may continue on a diet consisting of breakfast (oranges, figs, apple, mangoes, whole wheat bread and milk or butter milk), lunch (beets, lettuce, celery, carrots, tomatoes, squash, turnips, potatoes, cabbage, cottage cheese, butter milk and rotis - whole wheat breads) and dinner (whole wheat bread with butter, sprouts of alfalfa and moong daal, raw vegetables such as carrots, cabbage and tomatoes). Uric acid generating food items such as meat, fish, and eggs must be avoided. One should also refrain from consuming intoxicating drinks such as alcohol, coffee, tea, sugar-rich drinks, and processed food.
Cherry consumption is known to be very effective in natural treatment of Gout. The effectiveness of Cherry as a natural cure for Gout was first discovered by Ludwig Blan (ph D) who himself suffered from the disease and found it extremely beneficial cure for Gout. His findings on cherry as a cure for Gout were published in a medical journal and subsequently several patients of Gout got relief after consuming cherry. At the beginning of the therapy one may consume 15 to 25 cherries per day and slowly keep consumption as less as 10 cherries per day for sustenance.
Preventive foods for Gout are those rich in potassium such as potatoes, banana, green leafy vegetables, raw vegetable juices, beans etc. A combination of beetroot, cucumber and carrot juice is very effective in controlling Gout. Freshly prepared juices of French beans, pineapple, potato are also effective in curing the disease.
Epsom salt foot bath and biweekly full-body bath with Epsom salt soothes the condition. Cold packs may also be applied to affected area. The patient should strive to maintain an active lifestyle and learn to keep stress at bay.