hyperuricaemia. Over time this build up of uric acid can form into gout crystals, causing formations in the small joints and tendons of the body. These formations are accompanied by inflammation, redness, pain and stiffness,causing what we know as gout. If left untreated, hyperuricaemia can cause recurrent gout attacks, and eventually a type of arthritis called tophaceous gout.
There are a number of risk factors in the formation of gout, including genetics, being male, increasing age, use of certain medications that increase uric acid production (particularly diuretics, cyclosporine and low dose aspirin), intake of purine rich foods, beer and liquor intake.
Uric acid is excreted mainly by the kidneys, but also via the digestive system. The diagnosis of gout is
performed via allopathic medicine, and involves:
Plasma urate assay
Aspiration of affected joint to confirm urate crystals are present
Check of renal clearance of urate if appropriate
Naturopathic medicines relies on a thorough case analysis combined with pathology results to confirm a
Diet & Lifestyle requirements
Diet and lifestyle are the first line of treatment in gout. High purine foods must be avoided for a recovery of gout to occur, and dietary guidelines need to be followed strictly.
Avoid all Foods High in Purines including:
Processed meats - all
Organ meats and offal
Shellfish & Oily fish
Brewers and bakers yeast
Red Wine & Port
Soft drinks, saturated fats and alcohol also need to be avoided
for a full recovery to occur.
Cease consumption of coffee and tea, as these have a diuretic effect on the body and affect cellular fluid distribution. Some alternatives include dandelion root tea, roobois tea, peppermint and chamomile, or other varieties of herbal tea.
Foods to enjoy:
Enjoy complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. These are also a great non animal source of protein for those on a strict gout diet.
Enjoy a wide variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables. Those fruits high in Vitamin C are particularly useful in gout, and include blueberries, papay, kiwi fruit, mandarins, mangoes and guava. Cherries are also recommended for those with gout, as they contain nutrients that reduce urate levels in the blood.
Complex carbohydrates and fresh fruit and vegetables have the added benefit of being high in fibre, helping the digestive system eliminate efficiently.
Hydration is also paramount in gout, both for cellular health and also to flush out uric acid and toxins via the kidneys. A minimum of 2 litres daily is required.
Your naturopath may offer you a variety of treatments for gout, including nutritional supplements, homeopathics and herbal medicines. Anti-inflammatory herbal medicines in particular will work to reduce pain and swelling quickly and efficiently. Speak to your naturopath about which herbal medicines will be best for your individual situation.