Gout arthritis is the most frequently recorded medical illness throughout the history of mankind. It is a progressive disease which is believed to be caused by inherited abnormalities which hinder the body in processing uric acid. It is produced in the body when body breaks down purines which are present in many types of food which a person normally eats.
The over production of uric acid or lack of body's ability to dispose uric acid causes formation of crystals called as urate, these crystals gets deposited in the tissues of the body and particularly in the joints. The presence of these crystals in the joints causes severe attacks of arthritic pain and inflammation.
Continuation of this disease leads to large deposits of uric acid in the tissues of the joints which later form hard lumps. These crystals with the progression of disease infect synovial fluid and synovial lining which causes sudden and severe attacks of pain and inflammation. With the reaction of body's immunity system the redness, swelling and feeling of warmth is experienced in the joints.
The crystals of uric acid present in the blood can get deposited in the kidneys to form kidney stones or can block the kidney-filtering tubules. Simply excess presence of uric acid in the blood does not suggest presence of gout arthritis or kidney related problems, it is the crystals of urate which initiate these problems.
Though increased levels of uric acid certainly increase the risk of gout arthritis but levels of uric acid are not defining factor for its presence. The other risk factors which may promote gout is obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal kidney function, alcohol intake, diuretic and tuberculosis medicines may increase uric acid levels in the body. People suffering from certain diseases also become prone to gout arthritis these diseases are leukemia, lymphomas and hemoglobin disorders.
Pain and inflammation attacks in the joints are symptoms of most of the arthritic condition but in gout arthritis the pain starts from the joint in the big toe. This pain can spread to other joints like knee, elbow, fingers and spine. The joints also develop tenderness at some points which become very sensitive and painful.
Treatment of gout arthritis includes treatment of pain and inflammation and to reduce the levels of uric-acid. NSAID are recommended for pain relief while other medicines depending on the condition of the patient are prescribed to lower uric-acid levels. Alternate treatment with herbs is also effective in treating gout arthritis.
Herbs like devil's claw, hawthorn, celery, bilberry, gravel root and cherries can effectively lower down the levels of the uric-acid by helping the body in flushing it out. Adequate consumption of liquids during the day, weight control and mild exercises particularly for joints, also help the treatment.
Hydrotherapy, hot water therapy and massages are also helpful in controlling pain and inflammation during gout arthritic attack and improving the movement of the joints when symptoms have subsided. Yoga poses and exercises are extremely helpful to prevent and treat gout arthritic symptoms, breathing exercises in yoga are considered helpful in flushing the toxins out of the body to control the progression of the disease.
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