My 38-year-old brother, a paramedic, has the most intense pain from an attack of gout in his big toe. He is taking prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatories, but is there a natural remedy?
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid in the body. This waste product forms as the body breaks down chemicals called purines in the cells.
If you produce too much or excrete too little uric acid, the excess can cause tiny needle-shaped crystals to form in and around joints, most often in the big toe. A flare-up, brought on by inflammation, causes severe pain, swelling and redness.
Gout often runs in the family, and affects one in 14 older men and one in 35 older women. Pre-menopausal women are protected by the hormone oestrogen, which reduces uric acid levels.
Your brother is taking the standard medication. He may be prescribed the uric acid-lowering drug allopurinol to prevent future bouts and asked to reduce purine-containing foods, such as red meat and seafood. Pharmacist Shabir Daya also recommends not eating asparagus, spinach, peas, cauliflower, lentils, beans and poultry. Read More…