Causes & Risk Factors
While natural gout remedies do help to relieve the pain and discomfort, for true healing its important to address the underlying causes of gout and address any risk factors you may have to prevent future gout attacks.
Gout Risk factors
Consuming moderate to high levels of purine-rich foods including beef, seafood, alcohol, legumes, certain vegetables and fructose is a leading cause of gout.
When obese, more uric acid is produced and the kidneys may have a difficult time eliminating the excess.
3. High Blood Pressure:
Natural high blood pressure remedies can help bring your numbers into the normal range. Partner these treatments with regular exercise and stress-relieving activities for the best results.
Stay hydrated by drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water each day. During the summer months or when exercising, be sure to drink more.
5. High Levels of Triglycerides:
Work to reduce your triglycerides by losing weight, avoiding sugary foods, reducing alcohol, and replacing unhealthy fats with healthy ones.
Follow a diabetic diet plan and exercise regularly to lower your A1C numbers naturally.
7. Metabolic Syndrome:
Incorporate burst training and essential oils into your daily routine while following a diet for metabolic syndrome to reduce your chances of gout.
8. Heart Disease:
9. Kidney Disease:
12. Trauma or Surgery:
What Are The Symptoms Of Gout
The most common symptom of gout is pain in the affected joint, such as the big toe. Gout flares often start suddenly at night, and the intense pain may wake you up. In addition, your joint may feel swollen, red, warm, and stiff.
Gout flares usually occur in one joint. They can be triggered by:
- Certain foods.
- Physical trauma.
- Certain illnesses.
Flares typically get better over a week or two. In between flares, you usually dont have symptoms. Some people may have frequent flares, while others may not have another flare for years. However, over time, if left untreated, your flares may last longer and happen more often.
Some people with gout may be more likely to develop other conditions or complications, especially with the heart and kidneys.
Gout Statistics And Facts
- 8.3 million people in the United States have gout .*
- Among people who have gout attacks, 90% have kidneys that dont remove enough uric acid from their urine while 10% make too much uric acid in their system.
- 90% of gout attacks start in a single joint. Most often, it is the bunion joint of the big toe.
- 90% of gout patients have one or more of the following conditions , which make it more difficult to manage gout: kidney dysfunction, coronary heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol and/or triglycerides, diabetes mellitus.**
*Prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia in the US general population: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2008. Zhu Y, Pandya BJ, Choi HK. Arthritis Rheum. 2011.**Comorbidities of gout and hyperuricemia in the US general population: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2008. Zhu Y, Pandya BJ, Choi HK. Am J Med. 2012.
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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.
End Discomfort & Pain From Gout Symptoms
May 18, 2017
If you awaken from a sound sleep to excruciating joint pain in your big toe, you may be experiencing one of several gout symptoms. Gout is on the rise in America, affecting millions of people each year. In fact, the latest research, from 10 years ago, found that the rates of gout doubled in 20 years prior. More than eight million Americans have gout. ” rel=”nofollow”> 2)
Many believe this dramatic increase is due to poor diets, obesity and a lack of exercise, although genetics is also thought to play a role.
Too much uric acid in the body can also cause kidney stones and in more severe cases lead to kidney failure due to the blockage caused by uric acid crystals. In addition, if the root cause of gout is not addressed, you may be at a greater risk of developing certain types of cancer and heart disease.
Statistically, men are far more likely to get gout than women. However, it is becoming more common in women, particularly after menopause.
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Stages And Types Of Gout
- Asymptomatic hyperuricemia: When your uric acid levels are elevated without any outward symptoms, you may have asymptomatic hyperuricemia. At this stage, it is important to take steps to prevent gout through dietary and lifestyle changes.
- Acute gout: Sudden attacks, also referred to as a flare or acute gout, normally subside within 3-10 days. Flares can be triggered by stressful events, certain foods, alcohol, and even cold weather.
- Interval or intercritical gout: The period in between acute gout attacks is often referred to as remission, and flares may not occur for months or years at a time.
- Chronic tophaceous gout: This is the most serious type of gout that can cause a person to suffer from chronic arthritis. It is rare to experience this type of gout if you are treating the condition properly.
- Pseudogout: Pseudogout is caused by a deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals rather than urate crystals in the joints. Pseudogout causes similar symptoms, but may need to be treated somewhat differently.
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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Why Do I Have Gout
Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid in your blood, a condition called hyperuricemia. When a persons uric acid levels rise, so does the risk of a gout flare-up.
Uric acid is always present in our blood, and it is eliminated when we urinate. When someone has gout, the uric acid builds up and crystallizes within the joints.
Foot gout can also be attributed to heredity. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases conducted a study showing that 18 percent of people who develop gout have a family history of the condition.
Numerous other medical conditions also increase the risk of developing gout. These conditions include:
Other risk factors for developing gout include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Consumption of foods rich in purine
- Exposure to lead in the environment
- Being male
When you drink alcohol, you increase the concentration of uric acid in your body. When this happens, you increase your risk of developing gout. Abusing alcohol can also affect other parts of your body, including your kidneys, which are responsible for eliminating uric acid.
Certain medications such as aspirin, diuretics, and levodopa can also interfere with your bodys ability to remove uric acid, causing a build-up.
Diagnosing And Treating Ankle Gout
If youre experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above, consider heading to an ankle and foot specialist to get an official diagnosis, especially if you are trying to rule out other issues or you have underlying health issues that could complicate treatment. If youre otherwise healthy and have a strong suspicion that gout is the problem, you can also try some of the conservative treatment techniques well talk about below from the comfort of your home.
During your diagnostic exam your doctor will conduct a physical exam of the ankle and ask you to perform some manipulation exercises to check your range of motion. Theyll also review your medical data and ask you a few questions about your diet and any medications you take. They can oftentimes make a determination after the physical exam and questions, but a blood test can be used to confirm high levels of uric acid in the body. Imaging tests for gout are rare, but can be effective.
There arent any specific exercises that target ankle gout like there are for other foot conditions, and general exercise for weight control is considered the standard. However, if a flareup makes running or walking uncomfortable, strive to do some limited weight bearing exercises like cycling or swimming.
If you follow these tips and work with a professional, were confident you can get your gout under control. For more information or for help with your condition, reach out to Dr. Silvermans office today.
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What Is The Outcome
A sudden-onset attack of gout usually resolves within 3-10 days. About 2 in every 3 people who have one acute attack will have another acute attack within the following year. Repeated acute attacks and long-lasting gout lead to progressive damage of the joint and therefore to persistent pain and disability.
Can Gout Be Prevented
Some people with gout experience recurrent attacks, which may be prevented by using prescription medications. These medicines work by lowering uric acid levels in the blood. The most commonly used is allopurinol. This helps to lower uric acid levels by reducing the body’s production of uric acid.
You can also reduce your chance of having further attacks of gout by adopting some sensible lifestyle changes, such as:
- reducing alcohol intake avoid binge drinking, in particular
- gradually losing weight if you are overweight, while avoiding fad diets
- eating a healthy, balanced diet
- drinking plenty of water, especially when at risk of dehydration
There is no scientific evidence that particular foods cause gout, but some studies have shown that people who are prone to gout are more likely to eat foods rich in purines a substance that’s converted into uric acid within the body.
Foods with high levels of purines include:
- red meat and offal such as liver, kidneys and heart
- seafood, especially shellfish, scallops, mussels, herring, mackerel, sardines and anchovies
- foods containing yeast such as Vegemite and beer
It’s best to seek the advice of your doctor or an accredited practising dietitian before making any changes to your diet. Most people with gout find that a healthy, balanced diet along with medication is enough to reduce their uric acid levels.
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Gout Frequently Flares In Your Knee But You May Not Always Know That Your Knee Pain Is Due To Gout Heres How To Tell Since Prompt Treatment Can Reduce Your Risk Of Complications
Knee pain can be a common symptom of several types of arthritis, as well as many other conditions or injuries. If your knee stiffness is accompanied by a burning pain and is warm to touch, you may have a gout flare in the knee.
Though gout is most often associated with the big toe, gout tends to flare in areas that already have arthritis, says Robert Keenan, MD, a rheumatologist with Articularis Healthcare in Summerville, South Carolina. Although gout can strike in many different joints, as a general rule, gout works its way up the body. If its not treated, it works its way up from the big toe, through the ankle, to the knee, and then to the lower spine and so on.
Gout can affect both knees, but typically is felt more strongly in one knee say, where you may have arthritis wear-and-tear to begin with.
Learn more about what causes gout in the knee, as well as ways to treat the pain and prevent it in the future.
What Are The Risk Factors For Gout
Risk factors for gout include:
- being male
- taking medications that increase water excretion by the kidneys
- being overweight
- eating a diet with a lot of meat, offal and shellfish
- having kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or abnormal levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood
- drinking a lot of alcohol, especially beer, port or spirits
- going on a crash diet or fasting
- being of Maori or Pacific Islander origin, which can predispose a person to high uric acid levels
Gout is more common in men than in women, and among women it’s more common after menopause. It’s more likely to occur in older people, but can affect anyone.
It can also affect people with certain types of blood disorder and people in treatment for cancer.
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How Can I Treat My Foot Gout
Gout is easily treated. The main goal of treatment is to lower the uric acid levels in your body, decrease pain and other symptoms, and prevent further attacks or flare-ups.
If you only experience one episode of foot gout, your doctor may recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug other than aspirin, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Aspirin is not used to treat gout because if can interfere with the excretion of uric acid crystals in your urine. Doctors have several ways to treat your gout, including:
- Anti-inflammatory medications or injections to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation
- Corticosteroid injection into affected joint to reduce inflammation
- Suggesting a change in diet to eliminate or reduce intake of foods and beverages that are high in purines and protein because protein can increase your uric acid level
- Encouraging the patient to drink plenty of fluids each day, especially water
- Explaining the importance of avoiding alcoholic beverages
- Requiring you to stay off your feet
- Cold compresses
It is very important that you talk to a doctor if you are experiencing foot gout symptoms or a flare-up.
Symptoms will generally subside within three to ten days with treatment. If the problem is left untreated, or if gout continues to occur with treatment, the uric acid buildup can eventually cause arthritic damage to your joint.
In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgically removing the uric acid crystals from your joint.
What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP may ask about your diet and if you drink alcohol.
They may refer you to see a specialist and arrange a blood test and scan. Sometimes a thin needle is used to take a sample of fluid from inside the affected joint, to test it.
The blood test will find out how much of a chemical called uric acid there is in your blood.
Having too much uric acid in your blood can lead to crystals forming around your joints, which causes pain.
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Foot Gout Management Causes Symptoms And Treatment
Gout is a form of arthritis that affects the joints, mainly the one located at the base of the big toe. Gout primarily affects the foot and toes, but it can affect any joint in your body, including your toes, wrists, elbows, heels, fingers, and ankles.
This condition is often very painful. Many patients describe gout as feeling like their toe is on fire. Gout occurs when deposits of uric acid crystals in a joint cause painful inflammation. Uric acid is a waste product that normally passes through the kidneys and leaves through our urine.
When too much uric acid is producedthat is, when new uric acid is produced faster than old uric acid can be disposed ofthe result can be gout.
A gout flare causes swollen, red, hot, stiff joints and intolerable pain. Gout mainly affects men, but studies show that women become increasingly susceptible to the condition after menopause.
Initially, foot gout flares up and goes away within days. But if the condition worsens or is left untreated, the flare-ups last longer and occur more often. Normally, a persons uric acid range is 2.6 to 7.8 milligrams per deciliter .
Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in your blood. High levels of uric acid in your body can also cause kidney stones and permanent joint or kidney damage. Gout most often occurs in people over the age of 30.
Risk Factors And Complications
Gout is a direct result of elevated levels of uric acid in the body. There are certain factors that can increase your risk of developing gout, including:
- Family history: Gout is often inherited and associated with other hereditary conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
- Diet: Consuming a diet high in purines, such as red meat and seafood, as well as sweetened beverages, increases your risk of gout. Consuming alcohol, especially beer, also increases your risk.
- Medical conditions: Certain diseases and conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease are often associated with gout.
- Sex: Gout more commonly affects men, due to naturally higher uric acid levels in the body.
- Age: Men typically start to develop gout between the ages of 30-50. It is more common for women to develop gout after menopause, when uric acid levels increase.
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