People often dismiss the pain attached to gout. But victims don’t. Victims understand the degree of pain and discomfort that comes with this form of arthritis. Many are turning to CBD as a solution.
Arthritis is an autoimmune condition which basically means even specialists don’t fully understand causes, symptoms, and treatment. But the mechanism of gout is a bit clearer. It’s an inflammatory condition developing in people who have high levels of uric acid in their blood system. The acid builds — crystals in joints, often the ankles, elbows, fingers, knees, toes, and wrists. And, that causes pain, redness, tenderness, warmth, and swelling.
The Arthritis Foundation describes four stages:
- Asymptomatic hyperuricemia labels a stage where uric acid in high and crystals are forming prior to an initial gout attack.
- Acute gout (a gout attack) occurs when something like a night of alcohol drinking triggers the inflammation. The attack usually hits at night and may last up to 12 hours. The symptoms fade over 10 days unless there is another triggering event. “Some people never experience a second attack, but an estimated 60% of people who have a gout attack will have a second one within a year. Overall, 84% may have another attack within three years.”
- Interval gout refers to the time between attacks when there may be no pain. But gout has not disappeared. It continues to produce low-level inflammation continuing to damage joints. People with guilt may get lazy while the gout is not irritating them when they should be managing it with medication and lifestyle changes.
- Chronic gout develops when uric acid levels remain consistently high. Attacks become more frequent, pain increases in strength and frequency, and loss of mobility from joint damage.
If you have experienced gout or fit the profile, you should plan on treating it with classic and/or innovative therapies.
Do you fit the profile?
No one is immune from gout. But, if you an obese male, you may be in trouble. If you are an alcohol or soda drinker, you may also be more likely to experience gout. If you like a diet high in protein like red meat or organ meat, you may increase your chances of experiencing gout. And, if your diet is heavy in anchovies, mussels, sardines, scallops, trout, and tuna, it could mean trouble for some.
In addition, if you medicate for conditions like congestive heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and kidney problems, the medications can produce the same chain of events.
Is it hereditary?
Your body forms uric acid as it breaks down chemical compounds called “purines.” If the kidneys do not or cannot process the residue, the uric acid is imbalanced. Many factors contribute to elevated uric acid levels including joint damage and infection.
These processes or insufficient processes may be hereditary. But research has yet to prove more than correlations. That is, a predisposition to high uric acid levels may be hereditary, but it has not been differentiated from related conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac problems, and more. And, gout’s connection with diet and alcohol consumption may be nurture more than nature, with gout victims inheriting negative lifestyle habits.
Can you prevent it?
Gout is not easily diagnosed unless you are examined at the height of an attack. That means you have had gout for some time only to have it recently triggered. But if you fit the profile and/or if you have gout in your family line, you can live a life that forestalls if not prevents gout.
- Exercise regularly! Consistent exercise focused on the joints should keep them strong, flexible, and fluid. The exercise would involve low-impact therapies, stretching, and moderate effort. Walking, swimming, cycling, and water aerobics are good options.
- Physical activity! You are encouraged to remain physically active to fight cardiac, kidney, and diabetic conditions. Activity reduces blood pressure and activates body and brain systems. So, you might join group physical activities like scratch basketball games, adult softball leagues, or a yoga or tai chi class.
- Protect joints! If you have injured your joints during your youth or later, you must understand they will never be quite the same. Even the best recovery leaves some damage behind in tissues and muscles, so you and your doctors should revisit those issues to reduce your risk.
- Lose weight! Weight loss improves the working of all body systems. It relieves blood pressure and hormone imbalances. More important, losing weight reduces pressure on the joints.
What can you take?
Mayo Clinic recommends several medications for treating gout pain:
- OTC Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve)
- Prescription NSAIDs including indomethacin (Indocin) or celecoxib (Celebrex).
- Colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare)
- Corticosteroids (prednisone)
Other medications help with prevention. XOIs (xanthine oxidase inhibitors) reduce the amount of uric acid produced. And, uricosurics improve the kidneys’ ability to remove uric acid. Trouble is all these over-the-counter meds and prescribed drugs have side effects: bleeding, increased blood sugar, kidney stones, mood changes, nausea, rash, reduced liver function, ulcers, and more.
What’s CBD got to do with it?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the best-known cannabinoids found in cannabis. Cannabinoids including CBD, THC (Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol), and hundreds of other compounds map over to the human’s brain/body endocannabinoid system (ECS). We know the THC causes psychoactive effects that keep it listed as a Class I narcotic by the FDA. We know there has not been much study on most of the cannabinoids. And, we know that CBD has multiple medical benefits.
Only hemp-derived CBD products are legal and accessible in all 50 states, and the benefits could directly or indirectly ease the discomfort and pain associated with gout and other forms of arthritis. This CBD comes from the agrarian hemp (cannabis sativa) used since antiquity for fiber, food, and medicine. And, Creating Better Days has introduced a nano-processed CBD to accelerate the bioavailability of its benefits.
The mechanism of CBD is unclear. However, science and anecdotal observation indicate it may address most of gout’s issues — without the negative side effects. CBD does reduce inflammation, level mood swings, affect the smooth muscle systems, eliminate nausea and vomiting, and manage blood pressure.
CB2 neurologic receptors regulate the inflammation associated with arthritic conditions. It also increases CBD and may work to increase levels of anandamide by blocking its natural reabsorption by the body’s chemistry. Anandamide has been called “the bliss molecule” because it blocks the body’s pain signals. CBD helps these tracks combine to provide relief from the discomfort of gout.
Considering the absence of negative side effects and history of effectiveness, CBD could be your go-to therapy for gout.