Stay Pain-Free This Festive Season

After holiday seasons, you are likely to hear of people suffering from an excruciatingly painful affliction called gout. Learn why this is so and stay pain-free with this handy guide.

What is gout?

A type of arthritis, gout is the painful inflammation of a joint caused by the depositing of sharp uric acid crystals.

Gout can be acute (typically, only one joint is affected) or chronic (repeated episodes of pain and inflammation; may involve more than one joint).

Why does it occur?

A build-up of uric acid in the body encourages the precipitation of uric acid crystals (mostly sodium urate, or the sodium salt of uric acid) on a joint (the most common, but the crystals can also deposit on other tissues, such as capillaries and skin), “causing it to swell up and become inflamed, thus causing pain,” explains naturopath Ketki Vinayachandra, who is from Natural Medicine at Raffles Place.

Uric acid is a by-product when the body processes foods and drinks that contain a compound called purine. The acid is usually filtered by the kidneys and excreted as part of your urine.

Who is prone to it?

Gout is generally more common in men in their 40s or 50s, post-menopausal women, people who consume alcohol, and people suffering from obesity, diabetes or kidney diseases.

Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic physician Chew Siew Tiang estimates that the ratio of male to female sufferers is 20:1. “Gout is most common in men in their 40s or 50s, when their ability to metabolise purine starts to deteriorate. For women before menopause, the oestrogen produced in the body helps prevent this ailment,” she explains.

When does it usually strike?

Gout often strikes around the festive season, when people are over-indulging in large amounts of alcohol and purine-rich foods such as meat and seafood. Click here to read an article (Foods to Avoid to Stay Gout-Free) that lists the different foods and drinks containing high amounts of purine.

Where in the body does it usually hurt?

The most susceptible location seems to be the big toe, although gout can occur in any joint, especially the small ones in the hands and feet. The affected joint will appear reddish and swollen, and will be warm to the touch. Be careful, because even slightest tickling by a feather will be unbearably painful for the patient!


This is an adaptation of an article, “Routed by Gout”, which first appeared in Issue 3 of Natura magazine


Eu Yan Sang Uric Acid Health Tea

Are you prone to outbreaks of gout every now and then? Are you keen to tuck into a little extra food and drink without worrying about the pain that may arise from that indulgence?

Eu Yan Sang’s Uric Acid Health Tea is a convenient way to keep gout at bay. Great for people suffering from joint pain resulting from gout or high uric acid. Here are the key ingredients and their respective benefits:

  • Japanese green tea: detox, clears heat, and diuretic.
  • Desmodii styracifolii herba: Contains flavonoids and phenolics to aid in anti-inflammation, clears heat, diuretic and drains dampness.
  • Cat’s whiskers: scientifically proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties

Click here to find out more.