Gout Treatment: Traditional V/S Alternative

You’re done with most of the file work for the day; you stretch and take the much needed break before pausing for lunch. That is when a pain shoots up from your ankles! The pain is unbearable and you writhe trying to get a hold of your senses. What you just experienced is a gout attack!

Gout pain is one that is experienced by millions across the globe and the numbers are way higher for those 45 and above. You never know when you might get a sudden attack, and that is why patients are scrambling to find a release. We look into the traditional and alternative methods of medication that you can try for treating your gout problems.

What Is Gout?

This is an ailment that happens when there too much of uric acid in your body, way more that the healthy limit. This excess of uric acid is either because your body is producing too much of it or is removing too little of it.

As a matter of fact, the term gout is used to only describe a range of this illness and that can vary from acute to something more long lasting.

Where Does A Gout Pain Hurt?

Patients with gout generally suffer from intense bouts of pain that originates from the feet. The swelling, reddening of the ankles is a common sight. The joint right behind the big toe is also a hot spot for this ailment.

Acute gout causes sudden and short lived attacks that affect the major joints and the small joints of the fingers and hands. These come and go.

For those who are suffering from chronic gout ailment will develop a hard swelling known as tophi, at the joints. The tophi is made up of uric acid and grow to quite an impressive size, even to the point of breaking right through the skin.

Traditional Gout Treatment

These treatment methods are well documented and researched well, which is a far sight from alternative treatment. Traditional methods involve making dietary changes and taking in prescriptive medication

The Diet Modifications

The best way to prevent future attacks and its intensity is to best reduce the levels of uric acid in your blood. These include:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Reduce or entirely eliminate alcohol from the equation
  • Try consuming more low or non-fat dairy products
  • Stay clear of foods that are purine rich. These include organ meats like kidneys, liver and oily fishes like sardines and herring
  • Be more of a vegetarian, and limit your meat intake. Instead go for plant-based proteins like beans
  • Eat more fibrous foods like whole-grain bread, fruits and vegetable.
  • Stay clear of sugary sweet treats

The Medications

There are plenty of drugs that are used to control gout pain and uric acid built-up. These include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine and corticosteroids all work towards reducing the joint pain and inflammation that is caused due to the gout attacks.
  • Drugs like allopurinol which is a Xanthine oxidase inhibitor reduce the concentration of uric acid in your body
  • Drugs like Probenecid will work on improving your livers ability to remover the uric acid from your blood

The problems that many of these drugs pose are the side effects. These include:

  • Nausea, Diarrhea, Stomach Ulcers
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cataracts
  • Kidney stones
  • In more rare cases can cause extended liver damage.

The list doesn’t end with this. Although traditional treatment helps control the pain and reduces the uric acid build up, the problems it creates in the future are difficult to look away from. This is the reason why people are also trying out alternative treatments to balance out the ill effects.

Alternative Gout Treatments

These treatment methods also focus on reducing the pain, inflammation and the build-up of uric acid. The side effects close to nil, but the research on these methods of treatment Is minimal. The medical fraternity has mixed opinions about its effectiveness.

Sticking To The Herbs, Supplements And The Food

The following food stuffs have shown promise in reducing gout attacks;

  • Coffee: Drinking a cup of coffee or two each day will lower the risk of gout
  • Vitamin-C: This is directly linked to uric acid. Putting more vitamin-C into your system will lower the uric acid present.
  • Anti-oxidant rich fruits: Black berries, grapes and cherries do a good job in keeping the uric acid under check.
  • Acupuncture

It is an ancient Chinese tradition involving placing thin needles at specific points in the body. Its pain relieving properties are quite promising

Traditional Gout Treatment   Alternative Gout Treatments  
It is well researched and documented Research is minimal and opinions are mixed
Long term side effects are serious at times The long term side effects are close to nil

Check out LA Rheumatology to learn more on how to fight gout.