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Treatment of Gout with TCM

Treatment of Gout with TCM

During my yearly health check-up, I found that blood uric acid is increased, but there were no symptoms. Is it gout?

No. When fasting blood uric acid twice on a different day, male >416.5µmol/L, female >357µmol/L, without arthritis, gout stone, uric acid stone etc., it is called asymptomatic hyperuricemia. Hyperuricemia with arthritis is gout.

What is gout?

Gout is a metabolic disease. Due to the disorder of the purine metabolism in the body, excessive production of blood uric acid, or poor excretion, leads to hyperuricemia. Despite hyperuricemia does not definitely cause gout. The deposition of urate in the joint cavity leads to inflammatory reactions such as redness, swelling, heat and pain.

Who’s susceptible to gout?

  • Middle-aged men over 40 years old, but they tend to be younger recently
  • Persons with a family history of gout
  • Persons who like to drink beer and eat seafood
  • Persons who like to do strenuous exercise
  • Overweight persons
  • Person with diabetes, elevated fat levels in the blood and elevated blood-pressure
  • Sometimes postmenopausal women

What are the causes of gout?

In addition to certain genetic factors and family aggregation, excessive intake of animal offal, pork, beef, mutton, seafood, beer, beans, mushrooms and other high purine foods is the main inducement. Cold, fatigue, trauma, some western medicine can also cause acute attacks of gout.

What are the main symptoms of gout?

Acute attack of gout is characterized by sudden redness, swelling, heat and pain of joints at night. It is the most common in the first metatarsophalangeal joint (big toe) of the foot, followed by joints such as the dorsum of the foot, ankle, knee, finger, wrist and elbow. In severe cases, the affected part cannot be touched and is too painful to walk, and some patients can only wear slippers. Pain has the characteristics of being lighter during the day, worsen during the night and chronic recurrent attacks. If gout is not well controlled for a long time, the formation of gout stones near auricles, tendons and joints will cause joint deformation and dysfunction. Gouty nephropathy may also occur in the later stage.

How does TCM recognize gout?

This needs to be in terms of “too much” and “insufficient”. One is overeating or drinking alcohol, which exceeds the normal load of the spleen, kidney and other viscera, resulting in functional disorder, spleen fails to absorb essence from digested food and transport essence to whole body, pathogen of dampness and turbidity are formed. This kind of metabolite uric acid is called the pathogen of dampness and turbidity in TCM. Or under the condition of normal purine level diet, due to the deficiency of spleen and kidney, it cannot enhance health Qi and reduce pathogen of dampness and turbidity, and uric acid at normal levels cannot be excreted in time, resulting in the increase of blood uric acid. The pathogen of dampness and turbidity flows into the joints and muscles, resulting in Qi stagnation and blood stasis, and obstruction in meridians leads to pain.

About TCM treatment

There are two main therapeutic methods for gout: Traditional Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. According to the principle of treating the symptoms with urgency and treating the root with slowness, the acute stage mainly relieves joint symptoms by clearing heat and dampness, dredging collaterals and relieving pain.

The treatment in the remission period is mainly to strengthen the spleen and kidney, remove blood stasis and eliminate phlegm. Regardless of the stage, the treatment goal is to control the level of blood uric acid, reduce the frequency of acute gout attacks, prevent or eliminate gout stones and prevent complications.

Many Chinese herbal medicines have the effect of reducing uric acid and much fewer side effects than western medicine. For patients who need long-term medication to control their condition, TCM is one better choice.

TCM attaches importance to the holism and reconstructs a healthy lifestyle health tips

  1. Quit drinking.
  2. Avoid animal offal, pork, beef, mutton, seafood, beer, beans, mushrooms and other high purine foods.
  3. Pay attention to replenishing water every day. You can drink natural mineral water, soda water and light tea.
  4. Dress warm.
  5. Ensure adequate sleep.
  6. Exercise regularly and properly, and avoid high-intensity and intense exercise.
  7. Avoid long trips.
  8. Pay attention to the control of blood glucose, blood lipid and blood pressure.

Dr. Zheng Shu Hua offers TCM evaluation and treatments in the Downtown (Xintiandi) clinic. Click here to make an appointment with her.