Herbal Supplements
Gout and Herbal Remedies
General
 
One of the most typical arthritis forms which usually appears as an acute attack is the gout. The person is usually woken up by the pain at night and finds one or two of his joins swollen and red. This is how gout usually starts. The pain and swelling usually last 12-24 hours, the skin over the joint being red and shiny.
 
The most common place for gout is the big toe. Within time the gout attacks may acquire chronic forms and become more severe, affecting many joints. Males are those less lucky ones, and it is them who suffer from the gout in the majority of cases. Although, females in their after-menopausal stage develop gout, too.
 
Symptoms
 
The gout symptoms are typically acute – they occur suddenly (mostly at night), without any preceding signs. Intense joint pain affects feet, ankles, knees, hands and wrists. It usually decreases after 10 days, and over one or two weeks completely goes away. Inflamed joints usually look swollen and red; the skin on them becomes tender.
 
Causes
 
The cause of gout is connected to the condition called hyperuricaemia. It occurs when the levels of uric acid in blood raise and instead of completely getting dissolved from the body, the uric acid forms microscopic crystals that settle in joints. These crystals are the reason of the inflammation, also known as acute gouty arthritis or acute gout. The causes of increased levels of uric acid are obesity, alcohol taken in high amounts, drugs that are used to treat high blood pressure, and sometimes kidney disease.
 
Traditional Approaches
 
To prevent uric acid from accumulating in the body, it is essential to avoid such foods as red meat, offal foods (kidneys, liver, sweetbreads, and tongue), shellfish, scallops, peas and beans. For acute attacks, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) show to be effective if taken as soon as the first signs of gout appear. Swelling, redness, and warmth of the affected joints is also handled with colchicines and corticosteroids. Treatment usually lasts for a few days. Although, to reduce high uric acid levels, it is essential to increase water intake – extra 4 or 5 glasses will solve this issue.
 
Alternative Approaches
 
Some herbal remedies are helpful both in relieving the joint pain and inflammation, as well as alkalizing body from the uric acid.
 
Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) possesses diuretic, sedative, digestion-stimulating properties. This herb relieves pain, reduces inflammation and is also able to reduce acid built up in the joints.
 
Bromelain (Ananas comosus) contains an anti-inflammatory enzyme; it reduces redness and swallow of the inflamed joints.
 
Flaxseed decreases the level of leukotrienes in the body; these chemicals are involved in the inflammatory reactions of the body. The herbal preparations of this plant also remove general tissue inflammation.
 
Celery seed (Apium graveolens) helps kidneys dispose the waste products and reduces the general acidity in the body. The seeds also produce carminative and mild tranquilising effects.
 
Also, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties of guaiacum are beneficial and valuable in treating the gout.
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