Millions of Americans suffer from gout, a type of arthritis that causes severe pain and swelling in affected joints. The condition affects 8.3 million people in the United States, or 4% of the population. On average, people who have been diagnosed with gout spend $11,000 each year on treatment.While gout has been considered the “Disease of Kings” for centuries (due to the link to an overindulgence of rich foods that only the wealthy have historically been able to afford), it is by no means a condition that will make you feel like royalty. If you’re suffering from gout and looking for relief, you may be wondering if CBD can help. We’ve compiled the research to explain what CBD may or may not be able to do for you.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis that can affect anyone. Its symptoms — including intense joint pain — come on suddenly, and often occur at night. An attack of gout may be so severe that even the weight of a sheet may seem intolerable.
Symptoms of gout include:
- Intense joint pain: usually in the large joint of the big toe; it can occur in any joint, including the ankles, knees, wrists and fingers. The most severe pain will occur in the fist 4 to 12 hours after an attack begins.
- Inflammation and redness: the affected joint(s) become swollen, tender, warm and red.
- Ongoing discomfort: after the initial pain, inflammation and redness subside, there may be some joint discomfort for days to weeks. Later attacks often last longer and affect more joints.
Limited range of motion: as the condition progresses, it may impact the ability to move affected joints normally.
Gout is caused by the accumulation of urate crystals in the joints. These crystals may form when a person has high levels of uric acid in their blood. Uric acid is produced by the body as it breaks down purines. These substances naturally occur in the body, but are also found in certain foods, such as steak, organ meats, and seafood. Alcoholic beverages and drinks sweetened with fructose may also promote higher levels of uric acid in the blood.
Normally, uric acid is dissolved in the blood and then passes through the kidneys and is excreted as urine. However, if too much uric acid is produced — or if the kidneys excrete too little uric acid — it can build up, forming urate crystals. These crystals are sharp and needling, and can cause pain, inflammation, and swelling in a joint and the surrounding tissues.
There are a number of risk factors for developing gout. These include:
- Diet: eating a diet rich in meat and seafood and drinking certain beverages
- Obesity: an overweight person’s body will produce more uric acid, and their kidneys have a harder time eliminating uric acid.
- Medical conditions: untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart and kidney disease can increase the risk of gout.
- Family history
- Age and sex: gout is more common in men, who are typically diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50; women are more likely to develop gout after menopause, when their bodies’ uric acid levels increase.
- Medication: some medicines, such as thiazide diuretics and low-dose aspirin, can increase uric acid levels.
Recent surgery or trauma
In addition to the pain associated with gout, a person with this diagnosis may develop recurrent gout, advanced gout, or kidney stones.
There are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of gout. This includes staying well-hydrated, limiting or avoiding alcohol, eating low fat dairy products, limiting your intake of meat, fish, and poultry, and losing weight.
Gout is diagnosed through the use of a number of tests, including blood tests, x-ray imaging, ultrasound, a joint fluid test, and/or a dual energy CT scan. Treatment for the symptoms of gout may include the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a pain reliever that is known to reduce gout pain (colchicine), and corticosteroids. To prevent gout, a doctor may prescribe medications to block the production of uric acid or medication that increases the removal of uric acid.
Can CBD Help With Gout?
The primary symptom of gout is severe pain and inflammation in the affected joint due to a build-up of urate crystals. When something goes wrong with your body, such as the formation of urate crystals in a joint, your body’s immune response kicks into gear. When you have an injury, your body will flood the area with white blood cells to surround and protect the area, which creates both visible redness and swelling (inflammation). Cytokines are a signaling protein that are secreted by immune cells when a response to an injury is required.
According to scientific research, CBD may help to control inflammation by dis-regulating cytokine production, and then disrupting the immune system response — which in turn reduces inflammation. Particularly with chronic inflammation, which occurs in gout, it’s believed that CBD could help to decrease tissue injury by suppressing production of IL-6 cells. The potential for CBD as an anti-inflammatory is very promising and many studies have suggested that CBD could be extremely helpful in aiding with arthritis-related inflammation and pain.
- A study conducted in 2011 found that CBD helped to reduce inflammatory pain in rats by affecting the way pain receptors respond to stimuli.
- A 2014 review of existing research conducted on animals concluded that CBD could be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis pain.
- A 2016 study found that the application of CBD topicals showed potential in relieving pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
- An additional 2017 study concluded that CBD could be a safe and effective treatment for osteoarthritis joint pain.
While findings have been encouraging, there is still more research needed to confirm that CBD is an effective aid for arthritis pain and inflammation. Nevertheless, if CBD can help with arthritis pain and inflammation, it could also help with the pain and inflammation caused by gout (being that gout is a type of arthritis). In addition to studying the effects CBD has on gout symptoms, scientists have started to study whether or not CBD could help with risk factors that may lead to gout.
- A 2016 study published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry found that CBD could be a promising therapeutic agent for the prevention of obesity.
- A 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical Insight found that CBD could help to reduce both resting blood pressure and blood pressure increases in response to stress.
- Lastly, a 2012 study found that CBD has therapeutic potential with regards to the prevention of diabetes and diabetic conditions.
Like claims related to the management of pain and inflammation, significantly more research is needed to determine whether or not CBD truly can help in mitigating conditions that lead to gout.
Buy CBD From a Trusted Vendor
If you suffer from gout and are interested in trying CBD products, we do sell products available on our online shop.
It’s worth noting that there is a difference between isolate and full-spectrum CBD products. CBD isolate is the plainest form of CBD with only trace amounts of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids present (if at all). On the other hand, full-spectrum CBD contains other cannabinoids besides CBD. The additional cannabinoids in full-spectrum CBD play a crucial role in helping to achieve the entourage effect (cannabinoids working in synergy). For this reason, full-spectrum CBD tends to offer a wider range of benefits and is likely the better form of CBD to test when trying CBD with gout. You can shop full-spectrum CBD products here.
When shopping for CBD, you want to make sure that you are buying from a safe source — a company that has tested its products independently, lists the ingredients and origin of the CBD itself, and tells you how the product was extracted from hemp.
At Green Wellness Life, we pride ourselves on the care that we take in selecting safe CBD products that have gone through rigorous testing. We even offer a buyers guide to help you as you decide what to buy.
We are not doctors. We can’t diagnose, treat, or prescribe any ailments. However, we do report on scientific studies and customer testimonials to keep readers informed on CBD and the potential of CBD oil.
Source: Green Wellness Life