How Can Losing Weight Help My Gout
Being overweight can increase your risk of gout because carrying extra weight slows down the removal of uric acid by your kidneys. Gout is caused by high uric acid levels in your blood as your level of uric acid rises, your risk of gout increases. If you are overweight, gradual weight loss can help to lower your uric acid levels and reduce your risk of gout attacks.
Weight loss is best achieved by eating a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
- Avoid fasting or crash diets, where you go without adequate food for long periods and lose weight rapidly. This type of dieting can increase uric acid levels and trigger a gout attack.
- Examples of foods to include in your diet are low-fat dairy, soy-based foods, vegetable sources of protein and foods high in vitamin C.
- Exercise moderately, but during an acute attack rest, elevate and cool affected joints.
Whats The Outlook For People With Gout
Untreated gout can lead to permanent joint damage. The buildup of uric acid in the joints and soft tissue is called tophus. Some people with gout can also develop other health problems, such as severe arthritis, kidney stones and heart disease. Its important to discuss your symptoms with a healthcare provider.
Dealing With Gout Get Help Now To Avoid Permanent Joint Damage
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Gout is a common type of inflammatory arthritis, with sudden flares of joint swelling, pain, warmth, and redness, often in the big toe. Some patients may go months or even years between flares. Many gout sufferers assume that the gout is gone between flares and they dont need medication to treat it.
These prolonged gaps between flares, when the patient feels fine, fuel the misconception that gout is no big dealbut that couldnt be further from the truth.
Left untreated, gout can cause permanent joint damage, even between flares. As a rheumatologist, I see some of the worst outcomes from untreated gout: destroyed joints that cause significant, irreversible pain and disability.
Patients consistently tell me, I wish I had taken my gout more seriously. Its incredibly disheartening because most of the negative outcomes are preventable with early recognition and consistent treatment.
You can avoid permanent damage from chronic gout by learning its risk factors and symptomsand seeking treatment at the first sign of the condition.
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Gout And Premature Deaths
Studies have found that those with gout are at a higher risk of premature death than those that do not. Causes of gout play a significant role in mortality rates, and the occurrence of gout is linked to premature deaths. Why? You may ask. Gout is associated with the development of other health conditions that can cause eventual death.
Gout is associated with metabolic syndrome a combination of metabolic and cardiovascular health risk factors including hypertension, diabetes, renal failure. Having these conditions puts you at a higher risk of death. These conditions are chronic and will all somehow be connected. They mainly occur alongside each other. Such a combination makes these conditions even more dangerous because they increase the risk of death.
If you have gout, you are at more significant risk for a heart attack or stroke. You can also suffer from insulin resistance, whereby there is a deterioration in the ability of the body to use insulin to reduce blood sugar. Hypertension can damage blood vessels in the kidneys and eventually cause renal failure. A diabetic patient is likely to suffer from high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. This can bring forth cardiovascular conditions. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure raises the risk for a heart attack.
Can Gout Be Cured
Cure is a very strong word, but we can certainly treat the gout and put it in remission by giving the treatment as mentioned, Dr. Meysami says.
Whether to use the word cure may be a matter of semantics: A patients gout tendency may never go away but can be well-controlled. Treatments for gout are extremely good, and the vast majority of gout patients can expect to be cured, Dr. Fields says. Cured is in quotes since it means that gout flares can completely disappear, but the person would need to stay on their medicine.
Gout progression, though, certainly isnt inevitable, which is close to the best news any gout patient can hear.
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Gout And Mental Health
The chronic pain associated with repeated gout attacks can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. Gout can cause severe pain that can make it tough for you to get around, go to work, and complete daily tasks. That impact on your daily life can impacts patients mental, social, and physical well-being.
Its not just about functionality and disability, but also how patients view themselves, says Dr. Khanna. I talk to patients about the fact that gout is treatable, and its possible to stay completely flare-free if they take their medications.
How Gout Can Lead To Sleep Deprivation
Because gout attacks typically happen at night, recurrent attacks can wake you while you are sleeping. This constant awakening also disrupts rapid eye movement sleep, which is important for physical and emotional health.Once you are awake, the intense pain that follows can keep you from falling back to sleep, leading to sleep deprivation.
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How To Know If Your Gout Is Progressing
As you become more familiar with gout symptoms, you may be able to sense that a gout attack is coming on. Worsening of pain, swelling, redness, and warmth of the affected joint during the attack is the sign of progression of that attack, Dr. Meysami says.
In addition, the disease overall may progress with recurrent or more frequent gout attacks with longer duration, the involvement of more joints, and the presence of tophi, Dr. Meysami says.
If you have more than one gout flare a year, its really important to get on a regular gout medication, says Dr. Fields.
Is My Diet Responsible For My Gout
Gout is mainly caused by your body not getting rid of uric acid properly. This could be because of your genes, your weight or kidney problems. Diet has a much smaller role in causing your gout . But if you notice certain foods or drinks trigger your gout attacks, you may benefit from cutting down the amounts of these in your diet.
Follow these dos and don’ts to help reduce gout attacks:
|If you are overweight, get to a healthy weight. Exercise regularly, except during a gout attack. Keep eating a healthy diet. Eat lots of vegetables and some fruit. Eat at least 2 servings of low-fat dairy products every day. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water.||Try crash diets that cause rapid weight loss. Dont drink too much beer, RTDs or other alcohol. Dont drink sugary drinks such as energy drinks, ordinary soft drinks, orange juice or powdered drinks. Eat full-fat dairy products.|
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How Many Canadians Live With Gout And Other Crystal Arthropathies And How Many Are Newly Diagnosed Each Year
Approximately 681,000 Canadians aged 20 years and older had been diagnosed with gout and other crystal arthropathies and 54,000 were newly diagnosed in 20162017. The prevalence and incidence of diagnosed gout and other crystal arthropathies generally increase with age and are higher among males compared to females .
Figure 1: Prevalence of diagnosed gout and other crystal arthropathies by sex and age group, Canada,Footnote a 20162017
- Footnote a
How Is Pseudogout Treated
There is no cure for removing the calcium deposits that cause pseudogout. It is a progressive disorder that can eventually destroy joints. Treatments for acute attacks of pseudogout are similar to those for gout and are aimed at relieving the pain and inflammation and reducing the frequency of attacks.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are effective for treating inflammation and pain from pseudogout.
- For acute attacks in large joints, fluid aspiration alone or with corticosteroids may help.
- Colchicine may be used for acute attacks.
- Magnesium carbonate may help dissolve crystals, but existing hard deposits may remain.
- Surgery may be required for joint replacement.
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When Should I Call My Doctor
- You have a fever, chills, or body aches.
- You are confused or more tired than usual.
- You have new symptoms, such as a rash, after you start gout treatment.
- Your joint pain and swelling do not go away, even after treatment.
- You are not urinating as much or as often as you usually do.
- You have trouble taking your gout medicines.
Gout Symptoms And Complications
Gout is not gout until symptoms occur. When they do, they usually come on suddenly and, at least initially, affect a single joint. Within hours, that joint becomes red, swollen, hot, and painful they’re called gout attacks for a reason. It’s easy to mistake a gout attack for a localized infection of a joint. The metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is often the site of the first attack, but the knees, ankles, and joints between the many small bones that form the foot are also common sites. People who already have osteoarthritis the most common form of arthritis often experience their gout attacks in the joints of the finger
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How Does A Doctor Diagnose Gout
If you have sudden or severe pain in a joint, you should talk to your primary care provider . Your PCP may send you to a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in gout and other kinds of arthritis.
Healthcare providers consider several things when confirming gout:
- Symptoms: The provider will ask you to describe your symptoms, how often they happen and how long they last.
- Physical examination: Your provider will examine the affected joint to look for swelling, redness and warmth.
- Blood work: A test can measure the amount of uric acid in your blood.
- Imaging tests: You may have pictures taken of the affected joint with X-rays, an ultrasound or MRI.
- Aspiration: The provider may use a needle to pull fluid from the joint. Using a microscope, a team member can look for uric acid crystals or a different problem .
Lessen Your Risk Of Early Death
On average, having gout raises a persons risk of dying earlier than a similar person without gout by 25 percent. To lessen that risk, gout patients need to work with their doctor to lower uric acid levels to the target of < 6 mg/dl and keep it there throughout life, Dr. Edwards says. In addition, people with gout need to control medical conditions that go along with gout , such as hypertension, heart disease and kidney disease.
So if you have gout, heres what you need to do to ensure you live the longest, healthiest life you can:
- Take your gout medications and other medications as directed
- Get screened and treated for comorbid conditions
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Myth: There Aren’t Effective Medicines For Gout
Truth: Many medications put the brakes on gout. Some control pain and inflammation immediately and others get at the root cause by eliminating the deposited uric acid crystals.
Colchicine is prescribed for acute gout flare-ups. A plant extract, it’s been used to treat gout for 2,000 years, says Reveille. Colchicine works within several minutes to several hours to block gout inflammation. The sooner you start it, the more likely the attack will resolve quickly. An injected steroid also tackles inflammation, usually controlling pain and swelling within 24 hours.
Prescription drugs such as allopurinol , febuxostat and probenecid all alleviate gout by controlling blood levels of uric acid. Also, two years ago the FDA approved an intravenous drug for people with advanced gout pegloticase that lowers uric acid levels and reduces deposits of uric acid crystals in the joints and soft tissue.
Most people who have gout will need to be on a uric-acid-lowering drug for life, usually just one or two pills a day, says George Washington University’s Baraf.
Changing your diet can help reduce the frequency of gout attacks.
When Should You Call Your Doctor
if you have:
- Severe pain in a single joint that comes on very quickly.
- Swollen, tender joints with warm, red skin over them.
Its important to see your doctor even if the pain from gout has stopped. The uric acid buildup that caused your gout attack may still be irritating your joints and could eventually cause serious damage. Your doctor can prescribe medicines that can prevent and even reverse the uric acid buildup.
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Gout And Kidney Disease
One in 10 people with chronic kidney disease have gout, and an even higher percentage of people with gout have kidney disease. Uric acid is processed through the kidneys, says Dr. Khanna. As we grow older, the kidneys cant process as much uric acid, says Dr. Khanna. Damage from urate crystals can lead to kidney disease over time, especially if gout is not well-treated.
Initial symptoms of kidney disease include tiredness, weakness, and decreased energy, says Dr. Furst. However, the kidneys are amazing in their ability to compensate for problems in their function so chronic kidney disease may progress without symptoms for a long time. When decrease in kidney function is severe, people can have symptoms like ankle swelling, nausea, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
Thats why ongoing monitoring of kidney function in gout patients is so important. Its important to pick up changes in kidney function early in gout, so that efforts can be made to preserve remaining function, such as by controlling blood pressure, says Dr. Fields. Gout medications may need dosage adjustment if kidney function changes.
Myth: If You Stay Away From Liver And Alcohol You’ll Avoid Gout Attacks
Truth: Alcoholic drinks especially beer and organ meats such as liver and some fish, including anchovies and sardines, are very high in a class of natural substances known as purines. When the body breaks down purines it creates uric acid, so eating a lot of purine-rich foods does increase the risk of an attack. But while avoiding these foods may reduce attacks, it won’t halt them, says Reveille.
Gout can be life threatening if left untreated.
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Can Repeated Gout Attacks Cause Permanent Damage To The Joints
ByHeemen Ee | Submitted On May 13, 2010
Yes! It will and the damage is permanent and irreversible! Thus, you must take actions to prevent the condition from getting worse before it is too late.
Gout attack is an autoimmune reaction that is triggered by the urate crystals that form within the synovial fluid inside the joints. Formation of these tiny needle-like crystals can happen over night without any pre-warning or signs.
The sudden occurrence of these solid objects was treated as foreign invaders by the immune system and it will send signals through hormones and enzymes to activate a series of defensive mechanisms. The same reaction that happens when the saliva of mosquito that bites you goes into your body, but in the case of gout, it happens deep inside the joint.
The inflammation or swelling will last for days with or without medications. Most people think that gout is gone after the pain is gone. No way! The immune reaction will subside over time but that does not mean that the urate crystals have been removed.
This is because urate crystal is not anything organic. It is not virus, not bacteria, not fungus that can be destroyed with antibiotic or consumed by phagocytes . After all, gout is not caused by any microbes. It is a disease that resulted from one’s diet or lifestyle.
Get Tested For Sleep Apnea
Untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of gout.12,13 Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes the body to take in less oxygen while sleeping, which in turn causes the body to produce more purines.12,14 Sleep apnea is typically treated with a continuous positive airway pressure machine or other device that increases oxygen intake while sleeping.
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What Are The Mortality Rates Among Canadians With Or Without Gout And Other Crystal Arthropathies
Between 20072008 and 20162017, age-standardized all-cause mortality rates decreased among females with diagnosed gout and other crystal arthropathies , and among males with diagnosed gout and other crystal arthropathies .
Over the surveillance period, the age-standardized all-cause mortality rate ratios were relatively stable ranging from 1.9 to 2.2 for females and from 1.3 to 1.4 for males. While rate ratios were similar among females and males, they showed an increase in mortality risk among those with diagnosed gout and other crystal arthropathies.
Figure 4: Age-standardizedFootnote e all-cause mortality rates and rate ratios among Canadians aged 20 years and older with and without diagnosed gout and other crystal arthropathies, Canada,Footnote f from 20072008 to 20162017
- Footnote e
Chronic Untreated Gout Can Lead To Joint Damage And Deformity
For some people, gout can be chronic, which means multiple, severe gout attacks several times a year.
Chronic gout, sometimes called gouty arthritis, can lead to a number of serious complications if left untreated.
Complications of gout include:
- Loss of mobility or range of motion
- Bone loss
- Chronic kidney disease
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