Sunday, June 23, 2013

Learning More About Reflexology And Gout

What Is Gout?

Gout is an acute form of arthritis that occurs in joints and their surrounding tendons, characterized by the sudden onset of severe pain or tenderness in an affected joint. Initially it will affect just one joint, and the joint of choice is the metatarsalphalangeal joint of the foot. Other areas that may be affected include the knee, ankle, foot, hand, wrist and even fingers. The first symptom is usually acute pain. As time goes on, the affected joints become inflamed, red, swollen, hot and extremely sensitive to the touch, and in some cases there is fever or chills. Frequent attacks of gout over a long period of time can lead to joint damage.

Gout appears when you have increased levels of uric acid crystals in the blood, tissues and urine. Uric acid is the end product of the metabolism of a class of chemicals known as purines. In people with gout, the body does not produce enough of the digestive enzyme uricase, which oxidizes relatively insoluble uric acid into a higher soluble compound. As a result, uric acid accumulates in the blood and tissues, and ultimately crystallizes. About 70% of people who suffer from Gout produce too much uric acid, and 30% cannot properly eliminate it from their bodies, and about 25% have a family history of gout. The crystals cut through the synovial fluid sacks surrounding the joints, releasing the synovial fluid, and leaving the joint unprotected.

Because uric acid is a byproduct of certain foods, gout is closely related to diet. It also may be inherited or brought on by crash dieting, drinking, certain medications, overeating, stress, surgery or joint injury.
Between 1 and 2% of the western world is said to suffer with gout. It typically affects men between the ages of 40 and 50, but occasionally can occur in younger men. About 90% of the people who suffer from gout are men. Women are usually protected because of female hormones, and tend mostly to develop gout after menopause.   
Acute gout attack may last a few days or weeks. The symptoms seem to disappear until the next attack. After a number of acute gout attack, symptoms of chronic gout may develop.  The joint affected by chronic gout may degenerate, or become deformed, eventually losing the ability to move.

What To Do

There are a number of factors that can precipitate hyperuricaemia ( a level of uric acid in the blood that is abnormally high)  and the resulting painful, recurrent gouty attacks on the joints; and much that can be done to prevent and manage an existing diagnosis. Whilst it is possible to have hyperuricaemia without the presence of gouty arthritis, it is rare. The body will make every attempt
to push toxins externally, away from the body’s core. In the absence of gout, hyperuricaemia may manifest as kidney stones and “tophi” (superficial, painless nodules that result in deformity, if left untreated).

A dedicated multi-factorial approach is necessary to overcome gout. Doctors recommend an avoidance of alcohol, fructose-laden foods and obesity. Exercise, vitamin C, and moderate consumption of coffee and dairy products are known to decrease the risk of insulin resistance and subsequent attacks of gout. Restoring a healthy digestive tract through dietary changes and the use of herbs designed to keep urates soluble provide big benefits to sufferers. During an attack, soaking the foot in a warm epsom salt bath, followed by icing of the joint for 10 to 20 minutes, three times a day is suggested. People have also found relief by using Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils such as:

• A few drops each of Frankincense, Basil, Geranium and Peppermint to the painful area. After application cover with a hot towel compress. Repeat 2-3 times daily.

• Other oils combinations recommended with the same procedure. Lemongrass and Wintergreen or single oils Basil or Peppermint.

Since gout attacks occur more at night, when the body’s temperature has dropped and is tired, sufferers might also want to look at their sleep habits. Get plenty of regular sleep; go to bed before you’re exhausted and keep the body warm.

Reflexology’s Role

Reflexology can decrease the pain associated with inflammation, support the taxed adrenal glands, help to flush the body of excess uric acid crystals and relax a hyper-stimulated body fighting an attack.
Please note that reflexology will assist in the recovery of gout. It is not a substitute for the lifestyle changes necessary to overcome this painful condition.

 Find out more about Reflexology by going to my web page or call me for an appointment to feel the amazing experience of Wholistic Reflexology - 907 317 1331

The medical information provided here is an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.