Gout is a disorder of purine metabolism in which a high serum uric acid is found and there is deposit of urate crystals within joints causing exquisite pain and tenderness. The pharmacological treatment relies upon non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the acute stage, and prophylactic drugs in the chronic state to control the level of circulating uric acid.
In traditional Chinese medicine an over-rich diet is thought to cause a build-up of damp and heat internally that causes phlegm to stagnate. There is also disturbance of the Spleen and Kidney. Treatment thus involves Spleen and Stomach acupuncture points (SP.3 and 6, and ST.36 and 40) to control heat and damp and reduce phlegm. Other local points are used according to the joint involved.
A case history is discussed illustrating the treatment and a series of 10 patients is reported in which there is a 70% success in reducing the chronic level of serum uric acid and the frequency of acute attacks.
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