It's characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in the joints, at the base of the big toe.
An attack of gout can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire.
The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of the sheet on it may seem intolerable.
Gout symptoms may come and go, but there are ways to manage symptoms and prevent flares.
Symptoms of Gout
The signs and symptoms of gout always occur suddenly, and often at night.
1. Intense joint pain: Gout usually affects the large joint of the big toe, but it can occur in any joint.
2. Other commonly affected joints include the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and fingers.
3. The pain is likely to be most severe within the first four to 12 hours after it begins.
4.Lingering discomfort. After the most severe pain subsides, some joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks.
5. Later attacks are likely to last longer and affect more joints.
6. Inflammation and redness. The affected joint or joints become swollen, tender, warm and red.
7. Limited range of motion. As gout progresses, the person may not be able to move the joints normally.
8. Gout that goes untreated can lead to worsening pain and if you have a fever and a joint is hot and inflamed, it can be a sign of infection.
Causes of Gout
1. Gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joint, causing the inflammation and intense pain of a gout attack.
2. Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood.
3. The body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines — substances that are found naturally in your body.
4. Purines are also found in certain foods, such as steak, organ meats, and seafood. Other foods also promote higher levels of uric acid, such as alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose).
5. Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. But sometimes either your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid. When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needle-like urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that cause pain, inflammation, and swelling.
One is most likely to develop gout if the body has high levels of uric acid, tingling of fingers, dark knuckles, red and painful joints, and slow movement
Factors that increase the uric acid level in your body include:
1. Diet. Eating a diet rich in meat and seafood and drinking beverages sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose) increase levels of uric acid, which increase your risk of gout.
2. Alcohol consumption, especially of beer, also increases the risk of gout.
3.Obesity. If you're overweight, your body produces more uric acid and your kidneys have a more difficult time eliminating uric acid.
Medical conditions: Certain diseases and conditions increase your risk of gout.
These include untreated high blood pressure and chronic conditions such as
Age and sex
Gout occurs more often in men, primarily because women tend to have lower uric acid levels. After menopause, however, women's uric acid levels approach those of men. Men are also more likely to develop gout earlier — usually between the ages of 30 and 50
People with gout can develop more-severe conditions, such as Recurrent gout.
Some people may never experience gout signs and symptoms again.
Others may experience gout several times each year.
Medications may help prevent gout attacks in people with recurrent gout.
If left untreated, gout can cause erosion and destruction of a joint.
Advanced gout or untreated gout may cause deposits of urate crystals to form under the skin in nodules called tophi (TOE-fie).
Tophi can develop in several areas such as your fingers, hands, feet, elbows or Achilles tendons along the backs of your ankles.
Tophi usually isn't painful, but they can become swollen and tender during gout attacks, they become a concern.
Kidney stones and urate crystals may collect in the urinary tract of people with gout, causing kidney stones.
Medications can help reduce the risk of kidney stones and four infections if the right diet and recovery plan is followed.
During symptom-free periods, these dietary guidelines may help protect against future gout attacks:
Drink plenty of fluids. Stay well-hydrated, including plenty of water. Limit how many sweetened beverages you drink, especially those sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. Limit or avoid alcohol. Talk with your doctor about whether any amount or type of alcohol is safe for you. Recent evidence suggests that beer may be particularly likely to increase the risk of gout symptoms, especially in men.
Get your protein from low-fat dairy products. Low-fat dairy products may actually have a protective effect against gout, so these are your best-bet protein sources. Limit your intake of meat, fish, and poultry. A small amount may be tolerable, but pay close attention to what types — and how much — seem to cause problems for you. Maintain a desirable body weight. Choose portions that allow you to maintain a healthy weight.
Losing weight may decrease uric acid levels in your body. But avoid fasting or rapid weight loss, since doing so may temporarily raise uric acid levels.
Where does uric acid come from?
Firstly, we have to understand where uric acid comes from.
(including human cells)
have structures called DNA, which resides with the nucleus of the cell?
This DNA is broken down into its constituents, called amino acids...
when a cell dies through the action or activity of a low immune system.
Some of these amino acids are called purines, which in turn are converted into other chemicals.
Our body recycles some of these chemicals with those leftover proceeding to become uric acid... which is in some ways a waste product that is then excreted by our kidneys into the urine.
It is a very complicated process but with this concept in mind, you may understand why certain diseases are associated with high levels of uric acid.
For example, if a person has a high burden of dying cells, such as occurs in certain cancers or in those undergoing chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer, then more DNA is broken down to purines, resulting in excess uric acid production.
Conversely, when the uric acid cannot be efficiently excreted, such as is the case with many kidney diseases or due to many medications that interfere with this process of excretion.
This is particularly a concern with diuretics, which remove water from our body at the expense of other products such as uric acid.
Rarely, a person is born with a defective step in uric acid metabolism, whereby gout develops at a young age, sometimes associated with a very strong family history of early and aggressive gout.
When the uric acid level is high in the circulation it is termed Hyperuricaemia.
This situation is also strongly associated with obesity. It is believed that fatty tissue enhances the production of uric acid.
Hyperuricaemia is part of the ‘metabolic syndrome’, which is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
We also obtain purine amino acids from our diet. It is estimated that 10-15% of our purine load is dietary in origin. Foods that are high in purine include offal, seafood (in particular crustaceans), red meat, and alcohol.
Gout affects millions of people every year... There remains a constant misconception that many suffer from symptoms of gout due to poor health habits, or that it is self-inflicted, and in a vast amount of patients, that simply isn’t the case. Gout can often be as debilitating as rheumatoid arthritis for thousands of patients, and when any health condition is starting to decrease your quality of daily life; it must be taken seriously.
What can you do, if anything, other than medications to conquer your gout symptoms?
Experts are weighing in that most have great success in making small changes, such as altering your diet to prevent future attacks.
There are certain foods that have a way of creating gout attacks by raising your uric acid levels, or by causing the kidneys to strain even more than they normally have to.
These are obviously habits you would need to change in order to keep your day to day symptoms at bay.
Think back a hundred years or longer, and consider how many humans lived without prescription medications; we are capable of healing many ailments through proper nutrition.
Take a look at the following foods that trigger gout attacks, and make any dietary changes necessary to finally get that control back on your gout symptoms:
1. Fried food
While everyone loves a fried anything, they are dreadful for gout patients.
In fact, fried goodies can onset an episode all on their own, so do be careful with how much you consume. Fried foods also lead to obesity which is another huge setback for gout.
Gout doesn’t have to be a rollercoaster, if you can curb a few habits such as better eating, you may be able to decrease your attacks. Always speak with your medical provider to ensure that you’re eating the right foods for your gout symptoms and to prevent any future outbreaks.
2. Beer: it can be a relaxing past time to have a cold brew, there are some that consume the beverage may be a bit too often.
The reason why beer can be dangerous for anyone with gout is due to it having a tendency to cause your uric acid levels to rise quickly, making for trouble for gout sufferers. It is hard to get out of your system and should be avoided by those who have any kidney or gout issues as much possible.
If we treat most cases of arthritis as gout and avoid diets that trigger the rise in uric acid we will have more positive results from clients with arthritis pain
I have handled more than two cases of arthritis and rheumatism which I gave Swiss Garde products but the client continued complaining of the pain while using the products until I decided to read up about his symptoms and found out most of his symptoms are same as for Gout... so I asked him to change his meal plan and I changed his medication too...
I initially gave Omega plus, A & R complex, Aloe Power, Cal-C-Mag for arthritis and rheumatism.... but when the symptoms persisted and I read about his symptoms and changed his diet plan... I replaced omega plus with Marina Spa because for someone with the kind of joint pains he was having Omega plus nurtures and will not help but add to the pain...
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