This is a kind of metabolic arthritis which means that it occurs as a result of some derangement of the normal metabolic processes in the body. Gout is a state of excess of uric acid in the blood, either due to overproduction or due to under-excretion. Uric acid is normally a by-product of protein metabolism and is excreted via the kidney and gastrointestinal tract. Anything that interferes with this fine balance precipitates the onset of gout. The excess crystals then get deposited in joints and cause inflammation or may be deposited in the kidneys leading to renal calculi ( kidney stones)

What are the clinical features of gout?

Gout evolves through 4 stages,

  1. The initial stage is of elevated levels of urates in the blood. This frequently occurs due to a congenital defect in certain metabolic pathways or may initiate at puberty. At this stage there are no symptoms.
  2. The next stage corresponds to the onset of clinical gouty arthritis wherein the joint involved (the predilection if for the greater toe) becomes suddenly swollen, red and extremely painful with severe restriction of movements. Fever may accompany these symptoms. This attack may last for a few days and then subsides gradually.
  3. After this comes a period of quiescence where the patient is completely free of clinical signs and symptoms. The disease process however continues in most cases. Subsequent episodes of arthritis occur involving the same or other joints and the intensity of these attacks may be severe and prolonged.
  4. Deposition of urate crystals in joints and cartilage become visible to the naked eye in the form of tophi. Renal involvement becomes obvious by this time in terms of calculi in the kidney or in the ureters which may lead to symptoms of obstruction.

What are the factors contributing to gout?

Chronic ingestion of alcohol and obesity have been found to contribute to gout by disrupting the metabolic pathways.

How do we diagnose gout?

Clinical history and examination is fairly diagnostic.

Estimation of serum uric acid levels.

Aspiration and analysis of the synovial fluid.

Can Homoeopathy help to treat gout?

The rectification of fine internal balance amongst various metabolic processes is a prerequisite in treating gout and this can be fairly achieved with Homoeopathy.

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