Colchicine to Keep That Gout in Check
Colchicine is extracted from the autumn crocus or the meadow saffron. It is naturally toxic but can be useful for different functions in low doses. It has over the years been used to treat gout and familial Mediterranean fever (FMF). FMF causes swelling and pain to occur in the lungs, stomach, and joints and some fever should be expected as well. It is inborn and occurs in children above four years and adults as well.
In the occurrence of acute gout, a large amount of uric acid is present in the blood and crystals form from it and accumulate in the bony joints. The presence of these crystals causes redness, severe pain, and inflammation of the affected joints.
The action of this extract on this condition is not very clear but it is seen to reduce the inflammation and the pain as well. It probably interferes with the formation of the crystals thus reducing the swelling.
Familial Mediterranean fever is an inherited disease. The pain it causes is severe but can be prevented by taking this herbal extract. Its function in this condition is thought to be reducing the production of amyloid A which is a protein that accumulates in individuals that have this condition.
It is generally not a painkiller so it can not be used to relieve pain resulting from other conditions apart from these. Other conditions it is used for include irritable bowel syndrome especially in women and the treatment of canker sores that are persistent.
In low doses, colchicine has been found to be very useful in the reduction of the risk of strokes, heart attack and preventing sudden death in individuals that have coronary heart disease. It has also been used in the pericarditis, an inflammation of the fibrous sac that surrounds the heart.
Patients with renal failure should avoid long-term use of this extract, like boxwood extract, because it will overwork their kidneys. A large percentage of a colchicine dose is excreted as is by the kidneys and it cannot be removed with dialysis either. It may lead to toxicity in the system.
• Stomach upset
• High dosage can lead to bone marrow damage, hair loss, and anemia
• Tingling or numbness of the hands and feet may occur.
Always maintain the dosage directed by the physician and do not increase it unless under the doctor’s instruction and careful examination of its effect on your condition.