Gout occurs as a type of acute arthritis. It develops in an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe. The pain is more severe at night and can damage your joints, tendons, and other tissues. Gout is most common in men and can happen over and over unless it is treated appropriately.
According to western medicine, gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. In terms of Oriental medicine, it is caused by dampness, heat and blood stagnation. At high levels of uric acid in the blood, the uric acid may form hard crystals in your joints. But, many people have high blood uric acid levels and do not have gout. So, it is unclear if you will get gout even if you have high blood uric acid levels.
In terms of Oriental medicine, gout is caused when the spleen and stomach Qi is damaged from eating heavy meals, junk foods, and drinking alcohol. It creates a huge amount of dampness in the body.
Dampness is the water nature characteristic. Dampness usually flows down to the foot where gout occurs most of the time so it harms the toes, ankles, and knees. When dampness accumulates and unites, it produces heat and creates burning pain.
We can see the nature of this phenomenon. For example, if we monitor a heap of damp grass, over time the grass spoils and produces heat.
This is the same phenomenon in the body. Therefore, this dampness and heat blocks the acupoints of meridians, or channels, of the body to cause blood stagnation in the affected area in the lower limbs. In terms of Oriental medicine, the blood stagnation causes pain in the body according to pathological conditions. So, there is more Yang condition during the day, but Yin condition at night.
The dampness and blood stagnation are more of Yin’s nature. That is why people who have gout mostly suffer from pain at night.
The treatment of gout through acupuncture and Oriental medicine helps remove the dampness, heat and blood stagnation to improve the spleen and stomach Qi through blocking production of dampness. Plus, treatment with acupuncture and Oriental medicine has no side effects if treated properly.