Gout is a common disorder affecting the joints. It is a form of arthritis characterized by sudden, severe episodes of pain and tenderness, along with redness, swelling, and warmth in the joints.
This condition usually affects a single joint at a time, the big toe being the most commonly affected one.
The attacks of gout develop quickly. Most patients develop the first episode at night. The use of activated charcoal for gout can help the patients to obtain relief from the intense pain.
Gout results from the build-up of an excess amount of uric acid in the body. This leads to the formation of uric acid crystals, which deposit in the joints resulting in inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Uric acid is a substance formed in the body naturally during the breakdown of the waste products of protein metabolism such as purines.
The common causes of gout include drinking or eating protein-rich foods, alcohol, acute illness, surgery, unbalanced diets, chemotherapy, and joint injury.
The repeated attacks of intense pain caused due to gout can affect the quality of life of the patients resulting in mental stress.
The use of activated charcoal can control the frequency and the intensity of the attacks of this disease and thus, allow them to carry out the routine activities with ease.
The mechanisms of action of activated charcoal in the management of gout are explained beneath:
1. Reduces the levels of uric acid
The prime cause of gout is the accumulation of excess uric acid in the body. Hence, the most effective way to treat this disease is to reduce the uric acid levels.
Activated charcoal has the ability to eliminate excess uric acid from the body. This property of activated charcoal has been proved during research.
Activated charcoal traps the chemicals and toxins within the millions of tiny pores it possesses. It works through the chemical process of adsorption.
It acts through the reaction of elements, such as the nutrients, toxins, and chemicals, which are soaked up, absorbed, and assimilated into the blood.
It results in a chemical reaction in which the elements bind to the surface of the charcoal and get entrapped within it. This renders them ineffective in forming crystals that can deposit within the joints and cause damage to them.
2. Attracts the positively charged ions
The porous nature of activated charcoal provides it with a negative electric charge, which causes the positively charged gasses and toxins to bond with it.
As a result, the excess uric acid accumulated in the body is also attracted towards the charcoal. This leads to a reduced amount of uric acid circulating in the blood thereby providing relief from gout.
3. Promotes healing of the damaged joints
Activated charcoal possesses healing properties. It ensures a rapid healing of the damaged joint tissues and allows for a faster restoration of its normal structure.
Additionally, activated charcoal also protects the joints from further damage and preserves the normal functions of the affected joint.
4. Reduces the side effects of medications
Activated charcoal can be used safely along with the other commonly used gout medications such as Colchicine. It has the ability to reduce the effects of Colchicine poisoning.
Colchicine is a traditionally used medication for the patients suffering from gout.
However, though this medication is effective in controlling pain and swelling, it is known to cause serious side effects especially when it is used in a higher dose for a prolonged duration.
The narrow therapeutic index of Colchicine without any clear-cut distinction between the toxic, lethal doses and nontoxic doses has led to confusion regarding its appropriate dosage.
While lower dose may not suffice to produce the desired results, a higher dose may result in colchicine poisoning.
Hence, it is recommended to combine the use of Colchicine with activated charcoal to ensure a higher effectiveness of the overall treatment and a reduced risk of side effects and poisoning.
The ability of activated charcoal in preventing the side effects of Colchicine has been proved during research.
Activated charcoal can neutralize the effects of colchicine poisoning.
Also, since both the activated charcoal and colchicine have a high therapeutic value in the treatment of gout, combining these medications can help them complement each other’s curative potential and enhance the results of the treatment.
5. Produces a soothing effect
Activated charcoal possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It soothes the affected joints and relieves the pain. It also reduces inflammation and swelling in the affected joints.
6. Ease of use
Patients suffering from gout can derive the benefits of activated charcoal in a number of ways. One of the advantages of using charcoal is the ease and the variety of ways with which it can be used.
Patients who suffer from gout in the ankles and toes can take a charcoal bath twice or thrice a week to reduce the pain, and swelling.
It can also help to reduce inflammation in these joints. Activated charcoal gets absorbed through the skin easily and begins to trap the excess uric acid directly from these joints.
Patient suffering from gout in the elbows and knees often find it difficult to take a charcoal bath. They are advised to apply a charcoal paste on the affected joints.
The paste can be prepared by mixing half a cup of charcoal powder in enough amount of water, which is stirred to make a thick paste.
The paste can be applied directly on the elbows and knees to obtain relief from gouty arthritis.
It penetrates through the skin and absorbs uric acid thereby neutralizing it.
This promotes a fall in the uric acid levels in the blood thus preventing gout attacks in the future. Activated charcoal is also available in the form of supplements that can be consumed orally.
Using activated charcoal for gout can help to relieve the pain, swelling, and other symptoms caused due to this disease.
Additionally, it can also restore the quality of patients’ life by minimizing the frequency of attacks thereby reducing the anxieties and mental stress associated with it.