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Category Archives: Chronic Inflammation

Alternative Therapies for Gout

Alternative Therapies for Gout

Gout is an inflammatory arthritis that occurs from the precipitation of uric acid into the joint space. It affects more than 3% of the population and is more common in men than in women. This is because uric acid levels in the blood are generally higher in men than in women. Other things that increase the risk of gout include weight gain, diabetes, high fructose corn syrup, alcohol and certain medications.

Gout is excruciatingly painful, and as anyone who has had a gout attack knows, it can leave a person severely debilitated for many hours to days after an attack occurs. The joint that is affected (usually the big toe) will become very red, swollen and painful to use within minutes to hours. If it affects the lower limb at all, it can impair walking or any movement during that time.

Conventional Treatment for Gout

Pharmaceutical treatments usually involve trying to reduce pain and inflammation during an attack. Medications like ibuprofen and colchicine are often used to reduce the pain and swelling in an attack. More long-term medications such as allopurinol can help reduce the likelihood of a gout attack by decreasing uric acid in the blood. These types of medications do not help attacks when they occur though.

Alternative Therapies for Gout

While medications can sometimes be helpful for preventing or treating gout attacks, diet and lifestyle changes are incredibly helpful.  Diet by far is the best way to prevent a flare and to help reduce uric acid levels.  Reducing foods that are high in purines (proteins that produce uric acid), such as red meat and fish can help to reduce uric acid in the blood.  Fructose and alcohol intake have also been associated with increased uric acid.  Foods that contain high levels of fructose are often processed foods. Therefore, eliminating or greatly reducing alcoholic beverages and processed foods can make a huge difference.  Increasing the intake of dairy subsequently also helps reduce uric acid.

To help reduce pain and swelling in the moment, try icing. Applying ice to the area and elevating it during and attack will short it’s duration. Short term fasting for 24 hours with water can also help reduce inflammation quickly.

Long term management strategies should also be implemented. Working on weight loss and treatment/prevention of diabetes or high blood pressure reduces gout attacks over time. The best treatments though include individualized plans for each person to identify specific triggers. If you want to learn more about how you can identify your own specific inflammatory triggers for gout, contact our office today to schedule a free introductory consult with one of our physicians.

BOTANICAL REMEDIES USED IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

BOTANICAL REMEDIES USED IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Written by Emily Wittenhagen, Community Herbalist   Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation mainly presenting in the joints. The most common type of inflammatory arthritis, RA can cause significant discomfort and decreases in mobility and motor skills for those living with the condition. At Aria, we see many clients withContinue Reading

The Flu and You – How Viruses Affect Autoimmune Diseases

The Flu and You – How Viruses Affect Autoimmune Diseases

It’s finally fall.  And while fall brings many wonderful things such as crisp evenings, beautiful foliage and pumpkin spice lattes it also brings with it the flu.  Most cases of the flu and common cold are relatively benign for most people, but for those with autoimmune diseases viral infections can mean symptom flares for theirContinue Reading

Irregular periods?  Get to the root cause!

Irregular periods? Get to the root cause!

Wouldn’t it be great to have your period less often, or at least consistently?  Every woman likely asks herself this at some point.  Starting your period (also called menses) more or less frequently than every 21 to 35 days can actually indicate an underlying problem. Infrequent and heavy menses are typically triggered by hormonal irregularities. Continue Reading

Understanding Adrenal Fatigue – When Being Tired is More Than Being Tired

Understanding Adrenal Fatigue – When Being Tired is More Than Being Tired

Fatigue – it is by far the most common complaint heard by physicians from their patients.  But it is also one of the most common symptoms that is easily dismissed by physicians.  Sure, everyone feels tired now and again, but how do you know when fatigue is actually a serious symptom that should be lookedContinue Reading

Chronic Inflammation and Its Many Symptoms

Chronic Inflammation and Its Many Symptoms

The immune system is a powerful thing.  I love the immune system, but then again I work with it every day.  In essence, the immune system is your body’s national army.  Its job is to identify harmful intruders and destroy or minimize their existence.  It’s absolutely essential for life.  Without our immune system our bodiesContinue Reading

Hormones and Chronic Inflammation – How Are They Affecting You?

Hormones and Chronic Inflammation – How Are They Affecting You?

The hormones in your body, which comprise the ‘endocrine system’, are essential and extremely nuanced chemicals that have intricate functions in virtually every system in your body.  Variations in the closely-regulated levels of specific hormones can have a marked impact on the difference between health and disease.  Because hormones often work hand-in-hand with the immuneContinue Reading

Stress and Autoimmune Disease – How it Affects Your Symptoms

Stress and Autoimmune Disease – How it Affects Your Symptoms

Autoimmune conditions and symptoms are caused by the immune system’s erroneous response to inflammation by attacking the body’s own otherwise healthy tissues.  Reducing these inflammatory reactions in the body is frequently one of the primary goals in holistic treatment of autoimmune conditions. Chronic psychological stress can inhibit the body’s ability to manage and decrease inflammation,Continue Reading

Zinc Supplementation Can Help Support Your Immune System (in more ways than you may realize)

Zinc Supplementation Can Help Support Your Immune System (in more ways than you may realize)

Would you like to decrease your chances of catching a cold this season or developing an autoimmune condition?  Perhaps appropriate zinc supplementation can help.  As naturopathic physicians and acupuncturists, we get fantastic questions from our patients about supplements on a regular basis.  We’d like to explain some of the ins and outs of zinc whichContinue Reading

Intestinal Bacteria and the Immune System

Intestinal Bacteria and the Immune System

The medical community has known for a long time that the bacteria in our intestines is important for a healthy body.  With the emergence of antibiotics, we have seen that overuse of these types of medications can lead to severe health consequences, especially from depleting the bacteria in our intestinal tract.  From yogurt to probiotics, more people areContinue Reading