Gout is a type of arthritis, due to an error in Purine metabolism. This results in an increase of uric acid levels in the body. The body tries to excrete the excessively formed uric acid through urination. But those which are not excreted gets accumulated in the joints of the toes and in later stages on other joints of the body like ankles, knees, joints of hands and feet, the wrist and elbow which causes a lot of pain, discomfort and burning sensation. In Ayurveda, this disease is described as vatarakta or vatashonita. The ayurvedic treatment for gout involves panchakarma that helps in removing the excess vata and rakta thereby relieving the symptoms.
It is characterised by the following symptoms:
- severe pain, redness, swelling and tenderness.
- Limited or restricted movements of the affected joints.
- Sleep disturbance due to pain.
- Sometimes you may get fever also.
- Contractures of the fingers
- Stiffness and severe pain
- Loss of function of joints
- Dislike for cold
- Coppery, blackish or red colored skin
- Burning sensation
- Pricking and/or pulsating sensation.
- Swelling that is converted into ulcers
In a Sanskrit text on ayurvedic diseases called Madhava Nidana, the pain caused is described as ” vrischikavat vedana” which means that the pain is like that of a scorpion bite.
Causes of Gout:
- Regular consumption of uncooked food like salads, seafood, horsegram, blackgram, sesamum paste, vinegar, curd, alcohol and wine
- Intake of viruddhahar – food that are mutually contradictory in nature like dairy products along with meat or fish, dairy products with sour fruits – this includes milk shakes and fruit yogurt, drinking of a mixture of excessive cold water with very hot water, intake of freshly harvested rice and grains, intake of improperly formed curd
- Eating during indigestion
- Excessive anger
- sleeping during the day time and awakening in the night
- Renal failure
- Being obese.
- Hyper parathyroidism
In Ayurveda, this disease is described as vatarakta or vatashonita. Due to the above mentioned causes, the vitiated vata combines with the rakta (blood) dhatu and gets bocked in the channel of rakta dhatu (raktavaha srotas) and thus causes the symptoms.
Generally it starts from, the feet but sometimes it may start from the hands, getting increased and spreads to the entire body swiftly like rat poison .
X- ray of affected joints and blood test for uric acid will confirm the diagnosis.
Normal Uric acid levels are 2.4-6.0 mg/dL (female) and 3.4-7.0 mg/dL (male). Uric acid levels above this particular range confirms the condition.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Gout
The treatment ranges from managing the symptoms with panchakarma and other treatments to internal medications. Ksheera vasti is best suitable in this condition. Other treatments like abhyanga with madhuyashtyadi tailam or balaguduchyadi tailam, snehapana, virechana, kashaya vasti, taila vasti, shashtika shali pinda and rakta mokshanam, lepam prove to be very effective in this condition.
Some of the single herbs that are helpful in this condition are guduchi, kokilakshaka, manjishta and shatapushpa
- Kaishore guggulu and Amrutadi guggulu are effective in management of pain.
- Guluchyadi kashayam, kokilakshakam kashayam, balaguduchyadi ksheeram and Maha tiktaka ghritam helps to reduce the symptoms.
- Externally Balaguduchyadi taila, Narayana taila and Ksheerabala taila, madhuyashtyadi taila can be used.
- Useful in health conditions involving joints, skin.
- It promotes natural wound healing and helps in quick and early wound healing in diabetics.
- It improves digestion.
- It is also useful in inflammatory conditions.
- Inflammatory Arthritis.
Avoid spicy deep fried food items, refrigerated foods, sweets, curds, fish and minimise the intake of dairy products, fermented and sour foods.
Dos and Don'ts:
Patients suffering from gouty arthritis or high uric acid should
- pitta aggravating diet and lifestyle.
- sour fruits and vegetables (grapes, cherries, sour pineapple, sour mangoes, plum, berries, tamarind, lemons, peaches), horsegram, radish, turnip, tomato, cauliflower, cabbage and mushroom, soy products, urad dal, curd, nuts, hot spices, red meat and sea food.
- day sleep.
- direct exposure to hot sunlight.
- intake of alcohol.
- consumption of barley, wheat and rice which is one year old.
- Soup of mung bean, pigeon peas , masur dal mixed with ghee.
- Turkey or chicken soup, chickpeas, and asparagus with added ghee.
- Cow milk and cow's ghee is beneficial.
Home remedies for gout:
- 5ml Juice extract of neem giloy gives relief from the symptoms.
- Consumption of haldi doodh relievees the inflammation.
- Taking 2-3 garlic pod in an empty stomach in the morning helps.