Updated on January 25, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Gout can impact your quality of life significantly. Realizing medical marijuana can be a real treatment route to relieve your painful arthropathy gout symptoms can be highly beneficial. Not to mention, you no longer need to take a handful of harmful drugs to experience symptom relief.
Arthropathy gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis historically referred to as the “disease of kings.” Others called it the “rich man’s disease” because it was a condition that only the wealthy, with access to rich foods and flowing wine, could afford.
Arthropathy gout, sometimes referred to as gouty arthropathy or gouty arthritis, is a medical condition occurring when uric acid crystal deposits form in a joint space. It’s not only painful but may also:
Gout most often arrives without warning and causes you to experience intense pain in a variety of joints. While it is most commonly your big toe that gout impacts, it can trigger pain in your other joints as well, including:
With prompt treatment, gout pain is manageable and will go away in a matter of time. Though it can recur at any time, if left untreated, however, your arthropathy gout symptoms will worsen over time.
The symptoms of arthropathy gout are fairly consistent across all patients who have the condition. They may include any or all of the following:
According to the Arthritis Foundation, gout commonly associates with other, potentially serious, health risks, including:
Because the health risks associated with gout are so serious, it’s worth scheduling an appointment with your family physician if you suspect you may have gout.
A buildup of uric acid in your blood causes gout. Uric acid is created by your body or found in the foods you eat.
The kidneys filter normal levels of uric acid from your body and expel the leftovers in the form of urine. When your body fails to expel a sufficient amount of uric acid, crystals form, causing painful inflammation, swelling and redness.
One of the most common causes of gout is consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. Other potential causes include:
Many things can contribute to arthropathy gout. Responding to gout with an effective treatment plan is the best line of defense for preventing, or reducing the frequency of, future flare-ups.
You can trace gout’s history to Egypt in 2640 BCE. Byzantine Christian physician Alexander of Tralles first used Colchicine during the sixth century AD to treat arthropathy gout. During the 19th century, treatment shifted to uricosuric agents, or medications designed to increase the body’s natural excretion of uric acid.
Arthropathy gout can be physically debilitating because it causes pain in critical areas of your body. Depending on the location of the joint pain, it can limit your range of motion, your ability to walk, and your capacity to pick things up and hold them in your hand.
It can also interfere greatly with your ability to work and the quality of life you enjoy when an arthropathy gout flare-up occurs.
Any chronic illness takes a toll on people, mentally and emotionally. Gout is no different. While it isn’t a constant condition, the fact that it strikes at any time, can be so debilitating and may even cause deformities can lead you to experience depression, anxiety and diminished quality of life.
Gout impacts over three million people in the U.S., reports the American College of Rheumatology. It occurs more often in individuals with kidney disease, men and women past menopause.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, 60 percent of people who experience gout attacks will experience another attack within one year and 84 percent will do so within the next three years.
Your treatment for gout may depend on its severity and could include dietary changes, lifestyle changes and prescription medications.
You can control mild forms of gout with dietary changes designed to reduce the levels of uric acid in your blood by consuming fewer purines. While this doesn’t present a cure for arthropathy gout, it does help to reduce recurrences and slows the progress of damage to your joints.
Avoid the following foods on a gout diet:
Additionally, consider moderation when consuming shellfish, tuna and sardines, though the overall health benefits they provide may outweigh the risks of gout flare-ups.
Healthy dietary changes can lead to:
Your physician may recommend other treatment options to help you manage the symptoms of your gout and to reduce uric acid levels in your blood, such as:
There are a few different prescription medications that reduce uric acid in the blood, including Zyloprim, Uloric and Probenecid.
The pills used to treat gout itself have to be closely monitored so not too much sodium, sodium uric acid or potassium are flushed from the body in an attempt to flush the waste chemical that produces gout. As anyone who has ever had a charlie horse knows, not enough potassium in the blood can produce the most intense muscle cramps ever.
While you’re trying to get rid of gout, why would you want to exchange them for the extreme onset of muscle spasms and cramps? And sodium itself helps regulate fluid levels in the body — without it, dehydration and extreme thirst with the potential for hallucinations can occur. How’s that for side effects of a medication that is supposed to rid the body of a substance that causes chronic joint pain and inflammation?
Other side effects of prescription medications for reducing uric acid in your system vary depending on the drug you take.
Common side effects of Zyloprim to include drowsiness, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, changes in taste, muscle pain and overall stomach discomfort. You should consult your physician immediately if you experience the following symptoms:
Taking Uloric may lead to common side effects, such as liver problems, nausea, gout flares, joint pain and rash, according to Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., the drug’s manufacturer. It may contribute to serious heart problems, including:
Call your physician or seek emergency assistance right away if you experience any symptoms associated with these conditions.
Some people develop serious allergic reactions or skin rashes when taking Uloric. Seek emergency medical care if you experience the following:
Because of the potential harm to your liver, your physician will likely check liver function frequently while you take Uloric.
Common side effects associated with Probenecid include headaches, joint pain, redness, swelling, nausea, loss of appetite and mild vomiting.
Some less common side effects include the following:
Most of the common and uncommon side effects are mild to moderate in nature and pose no real threat to your overall health.
You should consult your doctor immediately, however, if you experience one of the following side effects.
Medications are often reserved for advanced instances of arthropathy gout and may not be necessary for your situation. Considering the severe side effects possible with most medications, your physician may recommend that you try dietary changes, weight loss and other treatment options before resorting to drugs.
New treatments for gout offer renewed hope to patients suffering from acute or chronic gout. According to the QJM International Journal of Medicine, physicians are using interleukin-1 antagonists that work with inflammatory reactions and immune response to treat acute arthropathy gout with some degree of success.
Febuxostat and pegloticase are medications showing promise as highly effective treatments for chronic gout. These immunosuppressive drugs prevent interleukin actions, which can interfere with immune function. Doctors currently prescribe them to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease.
Gout may be an ancient disease, but new medications appear to be offering promise and hope to those who suffer its effects today.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a promising candidate for being a good alternative treatment for gout. It’s already been shown as a potent anti-inflammatory and quality pain reliever.
CBD-rich strains are especially helpful in treating gout-related inflammation and pain. CBD is known to reduce your body’s lymphocytes — white blood cells that can contribute to inflammation. A 2008 study on mice with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) showed when they were given CBD, the cannabinoid reduced their inflammation by 50 percent.
In another study that evaluated the effectiveness of cannabis in easing arthritic joints and pain in humans, researchers found cannabinoids effectively controlled pain signals sent to the brain from affected joints.
In a Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases study, RA patients who were given marijuana-based medication had substantial improvements in:
There’s a connection between arthritis, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and CBD. Your ECS is in charge of many internal responses to stress with the goal of creating a harmonized homeostasis in your body. Your ECS isn’t always fully functional, like any other natural process. There’s always the chance it can misfire and this can lead to your immune system overreacting — developing an autoimmune disease.
Arthritis is among these potential developments and gout is a form of arthritis, which could also lead to an overactive immune system.
As we’ve seen, gout is a type of arthritis that causes pain, inflammation, tenderness causes pain, inflammation, tenderness and swelling. It’s an extremely and frequently debilitating disease, although the symptoms can come and go as quickly as a few days or stay as long as a few months. It mimics in just about every way rheumatoid arthritis and often initially will be diagnosed as such.
Although this wouldn’t be a horrid condition, as some of the drugs prescribed for RA would bring the gout patient relief for a little while, misdiagnosed ailments are costly in the long run to both patients and the medical field as visits would continue since the patient can’t find enough relief to function.
As we’ve mentioned, gout’s two primary symptoms are inflammation and pain. CBD’s anti-inflammatory role is well-documented and impressive. Additionally, medical marijuana produces enough pain relief to end the need for other prescription medications for gout.
The psychoactive effects of high-THC cannabis can make one giddy and happy, despite what level of pain they are feeling — and laughter is the best medicine of all.
Over several decades, breeders have been making many strains rich in THC content to provide users with a stronger “high,” rather than putting their focus on the therapeutic benefits of the plants. Fortunately, more and more CBD-rich strains are popping up that can help with gout symptoms.
Gout suffers may want to “mix and match” the two main strains of medical marijuana to get the right dosage level of each that manages their symptoms best. With a little trial and error, you can get the benefits of some relief without serious side effects or several trips to the doctor. As long as you have a medicinal marijuana card in the state where it is legal, you can show it to any dispensary or grower and request a change in the type or sub-type of medical marijuana you need.
Some potentially beneficial cannabis for arthropathy gout strains include:
If you’re considering using medical cannabis for arthropathy gout treatment for pain relief, you might be wondering how to take it.
Gout sufferers can take medical marijuana in just about any form. From the classically inhaled to topical balms, patients with gout can find the route to relief with medical marijuana their way.
Here are some suggestions:
The ingested and topical methods are high on the list of recommended means of consumption if you have gout. Inflammation is reduced, swelling is relieved somewhat and the pain threshold becomes elevated so you can’t feel any hurt at all. Here are a few options for ingesting medical cannabis:
Topical methods include ointments and transdermal patches.
CBD oil can be one of the best methods to use to for your arthropathy gout cannabis treatment. You can inhale, ingest or apply CBD oil topically to the painful, inflamed gout area. It’s most potent and effective when you administer it as a “full-spectrum” tincture. This means that it includes a wide range of cannabinoids present in the hemp plant, including, CBG (Cannabigerol), CBN (Cannabinol) and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), to name just three.
Marijuana for arthropathy gout provides you with a highly powerful alternative to treating your symptoms of gout. All individuals are unique in how they experience gout symptoms. Therefore, to get the most out of your cannabis for arthropathy gout treatment, you’ll want to consult with a marijuana doctor and go over your symptoms precisely. They’ll be able to guide you in the best course of cannabis treatment unique to your symptoms.
To learn more about marijuana and arthropathy gout therapy and how it can improve the quality of your life, talk to a marijuana-certified doctor today. After that, browse our extensive dispensary list to find one in your area to begin your search for your perfect cannabis products.