What Youll Want To Remember To Do
10) Get a cane
It can be tough to accept, but walking with a cane during an acute gout attack will keep pressure off your painful joints and make life a lot more pleasant. For styling with a cane, there are some pretty darn cool ones out there on the Internet. A few of our favorite canes can be found at https://www.fashionablecanes.com/ and https://thewalkingcanestore.com/
11) Wear Warm Clothes When its Cold
If you live in a cold climatic area, you are susceptible to gout. Keep yourself warm by donning thick clothes and socks. Avoid exposing your feet to the cold, as gout often affects the big toe. Also, ensure that you sleep in a room that is slightly warmer than room temperature.
12) Exercise, but in Moderation
There is no substitute for exercise, as being overweight can contribute to gout. Keeping your weight in check and getting enough exercise will help prevent the accumulation of uric acid in the joints. Bear in mind that too much exercise can lead to trouble by putting more stress on already inflamed joints. Hence, always exercise in moderation.
13) Elevate your foot, if affected
Raising your foot with pillows so its higher than your chest may help lessen swelling.
14) Tame your sheets
Even the weight of your bed sheets can be unbearable to an inflamed, gouty toe. Tuck the sheet in on the sides so its end falls at calf level, leaving your painful toe free of the covers.
15) Create gout-friendly socks
16) Chill out
Gout Myths And Misconceptions And The Facts
Gout was once called the disease of kings, because of its propensity to affect overweight, rich men throughout history. Famous gout sufferers have included Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Henry VIII of England, and Benjamin Franklin.
While gout is no longer thought to be a disease of the wealthy, it is more common in men and people with weight-related health problems including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Intense Big Toe Pain From Gout: A Classic Symptom Of An Attack
While the big toe is the most common place for a gout attack to happen, gout can also affect surrounding joints in the foot, ankle, and knee.
People with gout typically experience flare-ups, or attacks, of symptoms followed by periods with no symptoms. The attacks typically last 3 to 10 days. Some people go months or even years without a gout attack after having one. In other people, attacks may become more frequent over time.
Gout can be difficult to diagnose. Once its diagnosed, it can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes.
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What Can Trigger A Gout Attack
Several things can cause the crystals to shake loose into your joint cavity, triggering an attack. These include:
- a knock or injury to the joint
- an illness that may make you feverish
- having an operation
- having an unusually large meal, especially a fatty meal
- drinking too much alcohol
- starting urate lowering therapy, especially at a high dose, or not taking your treatment regularly each day.
What Does A Gout Attack Look And Feel Like
Symptoms of a gout attack on joints are similar no matter which joint is affected. When gout flares up, you will experience extreme pain and stiffness in the affected joints and the area will also be red and warm to the touch. Inflammation from the gout attack can also affect your entire body in the form of a fever, chills, fatigue, and achiness.
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What You Need To Avoid Consuming To Help Tame Gout
7) Alcohol and Gout Do Not Go Together
Okay, this can really suck, but unfortunately, alcohol can worsen the symptoms of gout by increasing the level of uric acid in your body. Beer, in particular, is high in purines, which the body breaks down into uric acid. If you suffer from gout, it is essential that you avoid beer, and other alcoholic beverages, which we know is especially hard during the holidays.
8) Seafood and Meat Are Healthy for Some, but Not if You Have Gout.
Consumption of seafood and meat puts you at greater risk of developing gout or contributes to its severity. Red meat reduces the excretion of uric acid by the kidneys, thus increasing its level in the body.
While seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which is essential for a healthy heart, it also is high in purines. Individuals suffering from gout must avoid seafood. It can be replaced with soy and walnuts, which are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Not all seafood is necessarily a problem if eaten in moderation, though certain seafood should be avoided whenever possible.
Youll want to pass on meats such as liver, kidney, and sweetbreads, which are high in purines and contribute to increased blood levels of uric acid. Stay away from seafood that is high in purines such as anchovies, herring, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, haddock, mackerel, and tuna .
9) Alcohol and Seafood or Meat Together, a Double Whammy
Eat Plenty Of These Five Foods To Avoid Gout Attacks:
Fruits and vegetables: Any healthy diet includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, and a gout-friendly diet is no exception. Cherries in particular can help lower uric acid levels and prevent inflammation.
Legumes: Legumes is the food group that contains beans, peas, tofu and lentils. These foods are low in fat and are a great plant-based source of protein.
Nuts: If youre reaching for a snack, try having a handful of nuts: a natural source of fats, protein and fibre.
Wholegrains: Oats, brown rice and barley are nutritious and filling accompaniments to a meal.
Eggs: Its advised to limit your meat and fish intake to alleviate the symptoms of gout, and eggs are a great substitute for protein in a meal.
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What Is A Leaky Gut
When toxins and undigested food leave your digestive system and enter your body, it causes a wide variety of symptoms. These materials should be confined in your digestive system and lead to widespread complications and symptoms.
In a healthy digestive system, toxins go to a specific area that prevents them from causing damage to areas of your body unprepared for them. With a leaky gut, those toxins can enter your bloodstream and into your organs. These bacteria and toxins cause inflammation and disrupt the immune system.
The tears and openings in your intestine will get bigger as long as the underlying cause is present. As the size increases, more harmful substances slip through.
Leaky gut symptoms go beyond inflammation and immune problems, though. The longer these materials leak into your bloodstream, the more severe and widespread the symptoms become. Plus, your intestine will likely stop producing enzymes required for digestion, leading to even more issues.
How Can I Manage My Gout And Improve My Quality Of Life
Gout affects many aspects of daily living, including work and leisure activities. Fortunately, there are many low-cost self-management strategies that are proven to improve the quality of life of people with gout.
For gout in particular:
- Eat a healthy diet. Avoid foods that may trigger a gout flare, including foods high in purines , and limit alcohol intake .
CDCs Arthritis Program recommends five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms. These can help with gout as well.
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Treatment For Gout And Gout Attacks
As soon as youve been diagnosed with gout, your doctor will aim to reduce your pain ASAP. In May 2020, the American College of Rheumatology updated its guidelines for gout treatment for the first time in eight years. There is more evidence in support of early diagnosis and treatment treat-to-target protocols and allopurinol as a first-line agent.
Warning Signs Of A Gout Flare
Gout flare-ups tend to come on suddenly.
A flare-up will usually occur in one localized areausually the big toe, but it can also affect other joints like the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, or fingers.
Some symptoms you may experience include:
- Joint pain
- Loss of mobility
When it comes to gout prevention, get to know your familys general medical history.
Genetics plays a big role in your chances of developing gout, so its a good idea to get familiar with your family history of gout.
Other risk factors include:
- Sex: Men are three times more likely than women to develop gout.
- Age: Men over 40 and post-menopausal women are more likely to develop gout.
- Weight: People who are obese are at a greater risk of developing gout.
- Medical conditions: People with high blood pressure, diabetes, insulin resistance, or heart and kidney diseases are at a greater risk of developing gout.
- Alcohol consumption: Alcohol is dehydrating. The risk of developing gout increases as alcohol consumption goes up.
If you have a family history of gout or fall into multiple risk factor groups, discuss prevention with your doctor.
A low-purine diet is typically recommended to help keep uric acid levels in your body low.
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What Can I Do To Avoid Gout Attacks
Your doctor can prescribe medicines to prevent future gout attacks. These medicines wash the uric acid from your joints, reduce the swelling or keep uric acid from forming.
You should lose weight if you need to. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, get treatment and follow a low-salt, low-fat diet.
Stay away from alcohol and foods that are high in purines.
Drinking lots of water can help flush uric acid from your body.
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What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Gout
Consider asking your healthcare provider:
- What is causing the gout?
- Do I have any joint damage?
- What can I do to prevent future attacks?
- Can any gout medications help me?
- How long will I need to take gout medications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Gout is a painful form of arthritis. Extra uric acid in your body creates sharp crystals in the joints, leading to swelling and extreme tenderness. Gout usually starts in the big toe but can affect other joints. Gout is a treatable condition, and the uric acid level can be decreased by medication and lifestyle changes. Talk to your healthcare provider about medications that can reduce uric acid levels. They can also discuss changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle to prevent and reduce gout attacks.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/15/2020.
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How To Prevent Complications And Future Flares
Uric acid levels can be lowered in a number of ways. Your doctor may prescribe medication that reduces the intensity and duration of a gout attack and also breaks down the buildup of uric acid crystals. There are supplements that lower uric acid levels. And, these lifestyle changes also can help keep uric acid in check: avoid alcoholic beverages, stick to a healthy diet that limits foods high in purines, keep hydrated, and maintain a healthy weight.
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Most Common Gout Attack Sites
The most common site for a gout attack is what is known as the bunion joint on the big toe. It is typically the first joint affected by gout. As gout worsens, the ankle, mid-foot, knee, and elbow can become common sites of gout attacks. Uric acid crystals can also collect in soft tissues and form lumps called tophi, most typically on the hands, fingers, elbows, and ears.
What Should I Do If I Have A Gout Attack
The sooner you get treatment, the sooner the pain will go away. Your doctor can prescribe medicine to stop the joint swelling and pain.
You should rest in bed. Putting a hot pad or an ice pack on the joint may ease the pain. Keeping the weight of clothes or bed covers off the joint can also help.
With treatment, your gout attack should go away in a few days. You may never have another attack.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Gout
An episode of gout is called a gout attack. Gout attacks are very painful and can happen quite suddenly, often overnight. During a gout attack, symptoms in the affected joint may include:
- Intense pain.
- Tenderness, even to light touch, such as from a bedsheet.
- Warmth, or a feeling like the joint is on fire.
- How long does a gout attack last?
A gout attack can last a week or two. Between gout attacks, you may have no symptoms at all.
Who Gets Gout Gout Risk Factors
Gout happens when too much uric acid builds up in the body. Uric acid is a normal waste product in the blood resulting from the breakdown of certain foods. Uric acid usually passes through the kidneys and is eliminated from the body in urine. But it can build up in the blood and form painful, spiky crystals in your joints. This may happen if the body is making too much uric acid or if the kidneys are having a hard time filtering it out.
Having too much uric acid in the blood is a condition called hyperuricemia. Certain foods, medicines, and lifestyle factors can cause high uric acid levels in the blood, triggering a gout attack.
Your risk of gout goes up when your diet is high in naturally occurring compounds called purines. When purines break down in the body, they cause uric acid to form. Purines are found in certain high-protein foods and some drinks. It used to be thought that gout was caused only by lifestyle and diet, but new research has found that’s not true instead, gout is thought to have a genetic link. Diet, however, does play a role in the disease.
Other risk factors for gout include:
- Being a man
- Type 2 diabetes
- Health conditions that cause rapid turnover of cells
- KelleySeegmiller syndrome or LeschNyhan syndrome
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Risk Factors For Gout
There are several factors that may increase your risk of developing hyperuricemia and subsequent gout. These include:
- Being male
- Being overweight
- Having certain chronic health problems, including diabetes, insulin resistance, congestive heart failure, metabolic syndrome or high blood pressure
- Having a family history of gout
- Taking certain medications, including thiazide diuretics and low-dose aspirin
- Consuming large amounts of fructose
- Drinking alcohol in excess
- Frequently eating purine-rich foods, including red meat, organ meat, anchovies, scallops, mussels, tuna and trout
Does The Location Of The Gout Attack Affect Treatment
No matter the location of gout attacks, the treatment is the samelower uric acid levels so gout crystals disappear and tophi dissolve. Your doctor can test your urine and blood to determine your current levels. Normal uric acid levels typically range between 3.5 and 7.2 mg in men and between 2.6 and 6.0 mg in premenopausal women.
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Related Conditions And Causes Of Gout
Other conditions that are sometimes confused with gout include:
- Reactive arthritis
- Infectious arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis , which occurs when the body releases too many inflammatory chemicals . Gout is caused by too much uric acid.
- Osteoarthritis , known as wear-and-tear arthritis.
What If I Don’t Get Treatment
If you don’t get treatment, a gout attack can last for days or even weeks. If you keep having more attacks, more joints will be affected, and the attacks will last longer.
If you have gout attacks for many years, you may develop tophi . These are soft tissue swellings caused by uric acid crystals. Tophi usually form on the toes, fingers, hands and elbows. You may also get kidney disease or kidney stones. Over time, the bone around a joint may be destroyed.
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How Do You Test For Gout
If youre getting any symptoms that could be gout-related then you should think about getting tested to find out for sure if it is gout or not. Testing will help you tell whether it is likely to be gout or if its another health condition causing your joint problems.
At Superdrug Online Doctor we offer home test kits for a wide range of conditions, including gout. The test kits let you test for a specific condition without having to book an appointment with your GP first, and you take your test sample in the comfort of your own home.
Our gout test kit checks the levels of something called uric acid in your blood. This can tell you if its likely to be gout causing your symptoms or not. Once you have received your kit, follow these steps:
Wait 4 weeks after an acute attack of gout to take the test
Collect a drop of blood from your finger using the lancet provided with the kit
Place a drop of blood in the collection kit
Use the prepaid envelope to post your sample to our partner lab
Youll get your results 2 to 3 days after your sample reaches the lab. A Superdrug doctor will also send you advice based on your results.
You can also get a gout blood test through your GP. Youll need to book a face-to-face appointment with your doctor who will decide if and when you can get tested.