Gout was once believed to be the inevitable result of high living and over-indulgence in alcohol, but it is actually caused by an excess of uric acid and other compounds which accumulate in the blood. It can also be a painful side-effect of some modern medicines and diuretics.
The intense pain and swelling in the joints is caused by acid and urate crystals. These crystals can also collect in the kidneys, causing kidney stones. Gout attacks often wear off after a few days, and may never recur, but repeated attacks can lead to permanent damage.
Treating Gout with TCM
Chinese Medicine practitioners will treat patients for Heat and Damp in the blood and liver channel. Sometimes gout is also diagnosed in Chinese Medicine as a Kidney deficiency. The treatment is similar to that for kidney stones or arthritis. Herbs used in Chinese medicine include Dan Zhu Ye (Herba Lophatheri), Da Ji (Herba seu Radix Cirsii Japonici), Mu Tong (Radix Akebiae) and Mu Gua (Fructus Chaenomelis). Acupuncture and moxibustion are usually effective in alleviating pain.
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