Western Medicine believes that gout is from deposits of uric acid in the joints. This statement only describes gout. It doesn・t explain the true cause of gout. Symptoms associated with gout are reddish skin in the joint area, swelling, and joints that are sensitive to touch. The most commonly attacked joint is that of the big toe. Other joints commonly affected include the knee, ankle, wrist, foot, and small joints of the hand. After the second attack of gout, more joints often become involved and the pain becomes constant.

Treatment of gout with Western Medicine includes using steroid and painkilling drugs to control the inflammations and pain. Drugs to block uric acid formation in the body are also used to control the symptoms.

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the cause of gout results from excessive consumption of sweet and greasy foods with alcohol. Alcohol alone is not the culprit. (Incidentally, lay people have referred to gout as a .disease of the affluent・ because only the wealthy could afford rich foods). The spleen controls the sweet taste and the spleen also secretes grease (fats) to maintain the body・s temperature. Excessive consumption of sweet and greasy foods will cause the sweet nutrients to become acid in the body. When the kidneys cannot eliminate all the excess acid in the body, the acids will follow the water system and deposit in the joints. Drinking alcohol will allow for more uric acid to circulate into the joints causing painful joint symptoms.

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses herbs to treat painful joint disorders by strengthening the spleen and kidneys. Additional herbs are used to .mix・ with the acid in the body. This is how pain and acid can be decreased. To prevent gout from reoccurring, reduce the amount of sweets, greasy foods, and alcohol you consume.