Gout is considered as a type of arthritis. It is diagnosed as excessively increased levels of uric acid in body tissue. Gout is a metabolic and lifestyle associated disorder, but hereditary cause (40%) is also seen in the patients of gout. Other than family history high triglyceride level, alcoholics, excessive indulgence of sea food, etc are always at the high risk of gout. Although gout can affect a person at any age, it is mostly seen in males 30-40 years of age; whereas, in females gout is commonly seen after menopause due to the hormonal and physiological changes occurring in the body.
It is characterized by recurrent inflammation (swelling with or without pain) of joints, which is caused due to the increased uric acid levels in the blood. The crystals of uric acid get deposited into the joints, tendon and surrounding tissue which leads to redness, tender (pain), increase in local temperature of the joint and swelling. It usually involves the big toe, almost 50% of the cases.
Gout is correlated to the description of the disease Vata rakta in the classical texts of Ayurveda. In gout there is excessive accumulation of toxins due to inappropriate diet and lifestyle habits along with inefficient excretion of the toxins. These toxins get deposited in various channels of body, mainly in the joints. This accumulation and lack of excretion of toxins if not ruled out in initial stages progresses into gout.
Following are the reasons according to Ayurveda:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Improper digestion and metabolism
- Excessive indulgence of salty, sour, spicy taste
- Over eating and bad dietary habits
- Over indulgence of fish and other sea food
- Day sleep
- Excessive physical workout with improper diet and rest
- Stopping or holding of natural urges
- Gout may also develop as a post surgical complication
- Severe pain in one or more joints
- Swelling, and increase in the temperature of affected joint
- Redness or purplish discolouration of the affected joint
- Generalized fever and chills (may or may not be associated sometimes)
- Mostly joints of feet, ankle, knee, wrist, finger and elbow are affected in classical cases
- Nodule over hands, elbow or other joints initially, if classically symptoms are not present. But, this is considered as the initially stage of gout.
There are five limbs of Ayurveda towards the treatment of any disease viz. Herbal medications, detoxification, diet & lifestyle alteration, and exercise, yoga & breathing techniques.
After detailed consultation with the Ayurvedic consultant, an evaluation of your body constitution is done. Going further an herbal combination is prepared using herbs like gudduchi – Tinospora cordifolia, manjistha – Rubia cordifolia, sariva –Hemidusmus indicus, parpat – Fumaria indica, kumari – Aloe vera, neem – Azadiracta indica, ernd – Ricinus communis, triphala, rasna – Pluchea lanceolata, guggul – Commiphera mukul, etc. This customized herbal medication is prepared considering your individual body constitution, nature of diseases, climatic conditions, and diet & lifestyle habits along with your other health issues.
Diet and lifestyle recommendation
Gout is lifestyle associated disorder. According to Ayurveda the first line of treatment to any disease is to rule out and stop the influence of causative factors. This helps to stop the break the pathology even more effectively.
Food stuff which aggravates gout are slowly replaced which helps to control the uric acid levels. Over consumption of bakery products like bread, yogurt, biscuits, etc, fermented food, overindulgence of meat and sea food, etc aggravates the condition. Whereas food stuffs like barley, mung, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower etc are helpful in gout.
Detoxification is advised when necessary by the Ayurvedic consultant to flush out toxins out of your body. This multiplies the effect of the medications and also helps to restore the disturbed equilibrium of the body. Medicated enema, Medicated purgation, etc are suggested after consultation, considering the stage of the disease.
Yoga postures and breathing techniques
Yoga postures like Ardha matsyendrasana (The Spinal Twist Pose), Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose), Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose), Halasana (The Plow Pose), Hastashirasana (The Hand to Head Pose), Januhastasana (The Hand to Knee Pose), Makarasana (The Crocodile Pose), Pavan mukhtasana (The Wind Relieving Pose), Pranayama (Breathing technique), Tadasana (The Mountain Pose), Trikonasana (The Triangle Pose), Uttana Padasana (The Extended leg Pose), Veerasana (The Hero Pose), Vriskshasana (The Tree Pose) , etc help to keep control uric acid levels. It also helps to improves digestion resolving many other health issues. Thus it increases your energy and fitness levels. Breathing techniques or pranayam such as kapalbhati, anulom-villom, bhramari, etc help in doing the same.
Ayurveda body therapies
Therapies like Abhyanga (relaxing full body massage), Mardana (Deep tissue massage), Pindasweda (herbal poultice massage), Udvartana (vigorous powder based massage), etc are also suggested, which helping de-stressing thus acting on the root cause of the disease. This is how reversal of the disorder takes place depending on how well you follow our advice with regular follow up.
If gout is diagnosed and treated in its early stages the chances of reversal of the condition and patient may also get free from the disease. Even in the chronic or late stage the disease threshold can be reduced and the frequency and intensity of gout is brought under control