Gout causes attacks of painful inflammation in one or more joints. It is a type of arthritis (although it is very different to the more common rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis). The pain of a gout attack can be severe.
Gout is caused by a chemical in the blood called uric acid (urate). Uric acid is usually harmless, and is made in the body. Most is passed out with the urine, and some from the gut with the faeces (stools). In people with gout the amount of uric acid in the blood builds up. From time to time the level may become too high and tiny grit-like crystals of uric acid may form. The crystals typically collect in a joint. The crystals irritate the tissues in the joint to cause inflammation, swelling, and pain - a gout attack.
Gout affects about 1 in 200 adults. Men are more commonly affected than women. A first attack of gout typically develops in middle age, but it sometimes occurs in younger people. It tends to run in some families as there is a family history of gout in about 1 in 5 cases. It may be that the genetic make-up that you inherit from your family may be a factor in becoming an under-excreter of uric acid.
It is thought to partly result from aging, and from a buildup in the joints of sharp crystals of uric acid, a breakdown product of purines which are found in meats, some fish, and alcohol.
Gout usually occurs in attacks. An attack typically develops quickly over a few hours. It usually causes severe pain in one joint. The base of the big toe is the most commonly affected joint. Walking can be very painful and even the weight of bedclothes can hurt.
However, any joint can be affected. Sometimes two or more joints are affected. Affected joints usually swell, and the nearby skin may look red and inflamed. If left untreated, a gout attack may last several days, but usually goes completely within 7-10 days. Less severe attacks can occur which may be mistaken at first for other forms of arthritis. Weeks, months or even years may go by between attacks. Some people only ever have one attack.
Gout is usually diagnosed if you have the typical gout symptoms and a raised blood level of uric acid. If there is doubt as to the cause of the pain and swelling, your doctor may take some fluid out of a swollen joint. This is done with a needle and syringe. The fluid is looked at under the microscope. Crystals of urate (uric acid) can be seen in the fluid to confirm the diagnosis of gout. Always consult your doctor for the correct diagnosis.
Scenar can be effective with Gout sufferers. Gout can attack both small and large joints, most often starting in the big toe.
We have seen a patch of intermittent gout to become pain-free after just one session of treatment. However severe the gout, Scenar should help with pain relief, calming down the nerve endings, and improving circulation and elimination, although long-term improvements will require dietary changes and detoxification to reduce the uric acid load.