Keith’s GoutPal Story 2020 Forums Please Help My Gout! Traditional Chinese Medicine for Gout

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    Keith Taylor

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for gout crept into an earlier topic about gout and itching. I decided to separate the TCM remarks into this new thread.

    I’ve summarized the TCM points as:

    • Me: Thanks, @odo, for setting me off on the gout and acupuncture research path. Perhaps all you need is acupuncture for gout??? I’m still of a mind that this falls into the too good to be true category, but I’m willing to be convinced. I have great respect for a culture that allegedly only pays its doctors when the patients are well.
    • @odo: Dunno, much depends on the individuals concerned (patient & practitioner) as to exactly how effective it is as a standalone therapy. But I really do believe it has a lot to offer as an adjunct to usual treatment (with or without meds).

      Actually, I think on the whole, TCM practitioners are probably no better informed about gout than western Drs. So, if anyone is interested in investigating Chinese medicine I can provide a link to a very good article on the TCM theory and differential diagnosis, which would be worth printing out and taking along to give to the practitioner. I did exactly this and my herbalist was very happy to receive it. It only covers treatment by herbs, but the theory is identical and would be easily adapted for acupuncture by a fully trained practitioner. It would make little sense to anyone else.

    • Me: Yes please, odo, let’s have the link. Recently, there has been a sharp rise in the number of research articles published in PubMed related to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and similar practices. I have not rushed to summarize these, as they do not seem to me to represent a valid current treatment. Many extracts from plants possess uricosuric and xanthine oxidase inhibiting properties.
    • odo: This is still a Western biomedical mindset (i.e introduction of compounds which block or inhibit x, y & z so that dysfunctional organs don’t have to deal with the problem) which is not the primary way Chinese herbs work, although they may have some of those properties. In a nutshell, the TCM approach is more about restoring homeostasis through tonifying the organs themselves to improve their function, as well as clearing certain pathogenic factors (as understood within the TCM system)
    • Me: Lots of scope for new treatments I feel, but also likely to spawn a rash of herbal placebos.
    • odo: Which is why it’s vital to see a fully qualified practitioner who will work out an individually tailored prescription (herbal or acupuncture or both) rather than buying dubious herbal remedies online.

      Here’s the link; it opens up a PDF file, if you want to stick it on the GP data base. Just let me repeat: although it does provide a Western overview, it uses terms which will be unintelligible to anyone without TCM training. It is just something which may be of help to your practitioner.

    At that point, the link got lost, but I’ve found it, and I’ve attached Simon Becker’s Gout and Chinese Medicine report to this post.

    Clearly, TCM and Western Medicine(WM) are two entirely different systems based on different cultures. However, there have been lots of recent investigations into applying TCM herbs in WM treatment plans. It’s the start of a whole new era of herbal gout medicine for Westerners.

    Please let me know what you feel about TCM for gout. Is it a new way for Westerners to view gout treatment, or is it a source of new raw materials for WM?

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