Can acupuncture help gout?

what you need to know

If you suffer from chronic pain and looking for safe and effective ways to help, give our office a call at (425) 686-4498 to set-up your initial consultation to learn more about how we can help.

Can acupuncture help gout?

Does the light touch of your bed sheet on your feet cause excruciating pain in your big toe? You may have gout. 

Gout aka gouty arthritis is common and is a complex form of arthritis. It occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the blood and accumulate in your joint. It is characterized by sudden, severe pain, swelling and redness, most often in the joint of the big toe.

How can someone develop gout?

Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines, substances that are found naturally in your body. Purines are found in foods such as red meat, liver, anchovies, sardines, scallops, and tuna. In addition, alcoholic drinks like beer and sugary drinks promote higher levels of uric acid formation. Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood but sometimes your body may produce too much and your kidneys are not able to excrete it. When this happens, the uric acid builds up and forms the crystals which end up surrounding the tissues and accumulating arounds joints. 

There are four stages of gout progression:

  1. High uric acid levels in the blood and crystals forming around joints
  2. Acute gout attack when symptoms start to occur
  3. Intercritical gout when you my have remission of pain in-between attacks
  4. Chronic gout when gout pain is frequent

Common treatments are a grouping of drugs such as allopurinol and febuxostat, that help limit the amount of uric acid your body makes. For managing pain of gout, colchicine, an NSAIDs, and corticosteroids are often prescribed. However, the use of these drugs often leads to severe adverse effects such as adverse gastrointestinal effects, chronic renal insufficiency, dysphoria, and immune suppression. Allopurinol has known side effects of However, these drugs often come with side effect such as fever, rash, hepatitis and kidney problems. Therefore, recent research has focused on the potential use of acupuncture help help treat gouty arthritis due to its ability to help with pain management without unwanted side effects.

What do the studies say?

In a recent systematic review and meta-analysis study in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine found that Compared to conventional treatment, acupuncture was significantly better at reducing pain intensity and showed a better effective rate at helping gouty arthritis symptoms. And the combination of acupuncture with conventional treatment significantly improved pain intensity, reduced pain duration, and improved serum uric acid levels compared with conventional treatment alone.  

If you suffer from chronic pain and looking for safe and effective ways to help, give our office a call at (425) 686-4498 to set-up your initial consultation to learn more about how we can help.

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She specializes in chronic and complex cases and commonly treats neuropathy, fibromyalgia, migraines, autoimmune, and infertility cases. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free  and Keep Calm and Zen Out available on Amazon.


Colchicine side effects:

Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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