Gout can be categorized into two main causes: primary gout is caused by congenital purine metabolic disturbance, and secondary gout is due to hyperuricemia, which is induced by other diseases or drugs such as diuretics. The disease can occur in people of all ages, but most predominantly in people age 30 to 40. Most patients (around 95%) diagnosed with gout are male and usually have a family history of gout.
Gout is a disease that is caused by a high buildup of uric acid in the blood. Typically initiated by high intake of food containing purines and malfunction of the kidneys in getting rid of excess uric acid in the body through urination. Excess uric acid can accumulate in the body and form hard crystals in joints, leading to acute and chronic pain and swelling in the joints.
In TCM, gout symptoms are considered to be caused by the invasion of exogenous pathogenic wind, cold and damp heat into the body, and internally caused by the deficiency in qi, overstress, or exposure to wind while sweating, thereby weakening the healthy qi in the body to fail to protect it from exogenous pathogenic factors. This will lead to a blockage of the meridians and stagnation of qi and blood. In the long term, blood stasis and phlegm stagnation can appear, causing visceral bi-syndrome as characterized by gout symptoms. Treatment of gout seeks to remove the pathological factors of the disease, including dampness, phlegm, and blood stasis, and support healthy qi.