Your Basket

You have items in your basket worth £0.00


Could a natural supplement end your gout pain?

GOUT IS a type of arthritis, where crystal of uric acid (known as sodium urate) form in your joints. This causes sudden, severe pain along with swelling and redness of the affected joints.

The joint of your big toe is the most commonly affected for two reasons: firstly your blood tends to collect in your feet so your body is less able to clear uric acid build up and secondly, uric acid is more likely to crystalise into sodium urate at lower temperatures. This means that joints at your extremities are at higher risk, but any joints can be affected.

What are the main causes of gout?

Gout is caused by a chemical found naturally in your blood, called uric acid. Uric acid is formed when your body breaks down chemicals called purines - it is normally harmless and is generally passed out when you go to the loo. In gout sufferers, the body is unable to expel all your uric acid, so it begins to build up. It can form into tiny, needle shaped crystals around your joints, but until you have a gout attack, you will not know this is happening.

Some people have high levels of uric acid and do not suffer with gout and some people have low levels of uric acid and do get gout - but as a general rule, the higher your levels, the higher the chances of developing gout.

What are the symptoms of gout?

Sodium urate builds up in crystal deposits around your joints causing swelling, redness and once it gets into the soft lining of your joint can cause painful attacks and loss of mobility. The sodium urate crystals can also build up into hard lumps (called tophi) which can damage nearby bone and joint tissue. These lumps can sometimes be felt under the skin and can occasionally become infected.

Who will be affected by gout?

Gout is far more common in men than women. This is partly because the female hormone estrogen reduces womens’ levels of uric acid and helps the kidneys to remove it. However, after the menopause, uric acid levels in women rise and they can also be suseptible to gout. It is estimated that up to 1 in 70 UK adults have gout – but because age increases your chances, 1 in 14 older men can be affected.

How can gout be diagnosed?

Gout will normally be diagnosed by your GP if you have shown the typical symptoms (especially if you have a family history). If there is any doubt about the cause of the swelling, your doctor may need to take a sample of fluid from the joint for testing. It will be viewed under a microscope to see if it contains crystals of sodium urate.

How do I treat a gout attack?

If you can, try to raise the affected limb (usually your leg) as this will help to reduce the swelling. Many people find this easiest sitting on a chair or sofa and propping their leg with a cushion. Cooling the affected area can also help, so try using an ice pack (or frozen peas) but make sure you wrap them in a towel to avoid the ice damaging delicate skin. This should only be applied for 20 minutes or less.

What are the long term options?

Making some small changes to your lifestyle can have a big impact on reducing the effects of gout. Anti- inflammatory painkillers are often prescribed to relieve the pain of gout, but these can often have unwanted side effects and don’t treat the causes of gout, so it will keep returning.

How about plant extracts?

There are a number of natural extracts which have been shown to help relieve the effects of gout. Artichoke powder has been shown to improve liver function, so this will increase the rate at which you pass out uric acid. Native Americans used Barberry Bark Powder as traditional remedy for a number of complaints including gout and joint pain. Milk Thistle Extract has been shown to be very effective at increasing the rate at which your body gets rid of uric acid and is particularly effective when combined with Turmeric.