Gout is a form of arthritis that this characterized by sudden reoccurring attacks of severe pain, redness, tenderness, heat/warmth, and swelling in the joints of the body. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint is the most commonly affected area of the body, but it can also affect other major joints of the body (ex: hand, wrist, elbow, knee, ankle, etc…). Gout is commonly caused by an increased intake in foods that are rich in purines and/or a dysfunction of the kidney’s ability to properly excrete uric acid from the body. This elevation of uric acid in the blood causes deposits of crystals in the joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues.

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While there can be various explanations for the diagnosis and differentiation of gout, Traditional Chinese Medicine typically starts treatment by focusing on a patient’s diet and the digestive system. Western medicine recognizes the importance of diet for gout, but it often resorts to NSAIDS for pain and management of swelling, while other drugs like colchicine are used to treat the gout itself. Unfortunately, the continued use of these drugs often leads to more gastrointestinal issues in the patient – making the matter potentially worse in the long-run. Occasionally, drugs are needed but we recommend using them only as PART of a comprehensive plan to heal the whole body.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are great modalities to help treat gout and reduce uric acid in the blood. We have a lot of experiencing treating gout and has herbal formulas on hand that focus on relieving pain, reducing swelling and burning, and decreasing the absorption (while also increasing the elimination) of uric acid and other unwanted substances in the body.

When not under care at The Root Acupuncture, care should be taken to eliminate or reduce any purine-rich foods from the diet (heavy meats, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, and seafood). The patient should also reduce his/her intake of alcohol in their diet. In the instance of an acute gout attack, distilled water (not tap water) can be consumed to help flush out the uric acid for the short-term, as well as adding Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and concentrated strawberry, cherry, and blueberry juice.

To learn more about how acupuncture can help you, book a free 30 minute consultation by contacting us today at 303-500-5075 or clicking on the following link to book online: Book Appointment

Erik Johnson, L.Ac. MSTCM, BD, DNM


  • Maciocia, G. (1989). The foundations of Chinese medicine: A comprehensive text for acupuncturists and herbalists. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
  • Weaver, AL (July 2008). “Epidemiology of gout”. Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine
  • “The Disease of Kings – Forbes.com” http://www.forbes.com/2003/04/01/cx_cd_0401feat.html