Gout is a form of
arthritis which is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in
joints. In this condition, due to a metabolic dysfunction, there is
deposition of uric acid in and around the joints causing severe
painfulness, swelling and restricted mobility of the affected joint.
The underlying cause of gout is a disturbance in Purine metabolism of
the body. Purine is a substance found plenty in the living cells as well
as in many food articles. Uric acid is a body waste product, which is
produced in the body after the breakdown of Purine. Underexcretion of
uric acid through the kidneys and large intestines or excess formation
of uric acid due to certain factors (such as alcohol, lack of physical
activity, crash diet, meat, etc.) leads to accumulation of excess uric
acid in the blood, eventually leading to Gout. The exact cause for the
underexcretion remains unknown in many cases, and it is believed to be
more genetically determined.
Gout is an intensely painful condition, which mostly affects
only one joint (monoarthritis) at a time, most commonly the
big toe. However, Gout may also affect elbows, knees,
ankles, wrists or small joints of the hands and feet. The
classic history in a patient suffering from Gout is of
excruciating and sudden pain, swelling, redness, warmth and
stiffness of the joint. Low-grade fever may also be present.
The skin overlying the joint can also be swollen, tender and
sore if it is touched even lightly. Patients with
longstanding hyperuricemia (high levels of uric acid in
blood) can have uric acid crystal deposits called tophi in
other tissues as well, e.g. the helix of the ear.
Gout has four distinct stages:
Asymptomatic: High levels of Uric acid in blood but
no joint complaints
Acute phase: Acute complaints described above occur
for a brief period
Intercritical phase: There is no pain or swelling of
joints in this phase, the patient is relatively
Chronic: Gout attacks may become frequent during this
phase and the condition may affect many joints at a time (polyarticular).
Tophi formation may also be seen.
Suggestion about homoeopathic treatment:Having understood
that Gout is caused by the constitutional factors, it calls
for constitutional approach towards its treatment. The
constitutional approach involves evaluation of the
individual factors inclusive of one's personal and family
history (ascertaining the genetic tendency), while planning
a long-term treatment. Homoeopathic approach to Gout
treatment is more of a totalistic approach. Homoeopathy helps
in controlling the pain during the acute attack of gout as
well as helps in preventing the recurrence of such episodes.
It helps in reducing stiffness and improves the mobility of
the joints. Homoeopathy is very strongly suggested for the
treatment of Gout.